Marxism and Educational Theory : Origins and Issues book cover
1st Edition

Marxism and Educational Theory
Origins and Issues

ISBN 9780415331715
Published November 29, 2007 by Routledge
208 Pages

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Book Description

We live in a world where thousands make massive profits out of the labours of others, while those others exist as wage slaves, millions of whom die of starvation and poverty-related illness every year. The fundamental aim of Marxism is the overthrow of the anarchic, exploitative and eco-destructive system of world capitalism and its replacement by world socialism and equality. To build a socialist world is a task of gargantuan proportions, but one that Marxists believe is eminently achievable.

This book addresses some of these challenges from within educational theory. The key theoretical issues addressed are:

utopian socialism

poststructuralism and postmodernism


globalisation, neo-liberalism and environmental destruction

the new imperialism

critical race theory.

Marxism and Educational Theory compellingly and informatively propels the debate forward in the pursuit of that socialist future. In that quest, suggestions are made to connect theoretical issues with the more practical concerns of the school and the classroom.

With a specially written Foreword by Peter McLaren, this timely book will be of interest to academics and students interested in educational theory, the sociology of education, sociology, politics, philosophy and critical theory.

Table of Contents

Introduction  1. The Development of Marxist Theory  2. The Development of Postmodernist Theory  3. The Sociological Context: The Place of Marxism and Postmodernism in Educational Theory  4. Postmodernism, Marxism and Educational Theory: A Critical Analysis  5. Postmodernism, Marxism and Educational Practice: A Critical Analysis  6. Globalization, Marxism and the Future of Education  Conclusion

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Mike Cole is Research Professor in Education and Equality and Head of Research at Bishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln, UK.


'In this important and informative book, dense theories are rendered understandable, making it highly accessible to a wide readership. In many ways, this text does so much – from couching theories historically to debunking often heard arguments against Marxism. The chapter on environmental destruction strongly connects the politics of neo-liberalism to the chilling reshaping of the natural world. This volume will be extremely useful to graduate and undergraduate students in a variety of disciplines, and will likely be considered a seminal text in fields such as education, sociology, anthropology, and political science.'

- Julia Hall, Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, Volume 6, Number 1

'The author ... has been one of the foremost Marxist writers on education in the UK in recent times. Despite the elevated place of Marxism in twentieth-century thought and political life, good books on Marxism and education are surprisingly rare and so this text provides a welcome contribution to the field.'

-Donald Gillies, British Educational Research Journal, 35:6