1st Edition

Radical Schooling for Democracy
Engaging Philosophy of Education for the Public Good

ISBN 9780367192525
Published January 7, 2018 by Routledge
216 Pages

USD $51.95

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Book Description

Radical Schooling for Democracy proposes that formal education around the world has a serious philosophical weakness: as the ideology of neoliberalism increasingly dominates economic and as a consequence, educational and social life, formal education has adopted a narrow, rational and economic purpose for all students. Hooley argues that, under these circumstances, schooling is inherently frustrating and alienating for vast numbers of children as they are systematically removed from the big ideas and practices of history and knowledge of which they and their communities are a part and are instead inducted into a technical and superficial rationality of human existence.

Radical Schooling for Democracy begins with a progressive and contemporary overview of philosophical and sociological thought during the European Enlightenment and identifies a framework of understanding that is extremely weak in education. This action framework of integrated philosophy, sociology and epistemology generates an ‘action theory’ that not only accounts for human progress, but has the potential to radically change the nature of schooling. A number of theorists who generally support a ‘theory of action’ is considered, ranging from Aristotle, Marx, Dewey and Freire to Habermas. From this analysis, the curriculum, pedagogical, assessment and research constructs of schooling are detailed such that a coherent and integrated model of education as an attribute of being human can be articulated, rather than being seen as a disparate derivative from other disciplines.

With its coverage of internationally relevant issues, this book will be essential reading for academics, graduate students, policymakers and researchers in education, philosophy, sociology and epistemology, as well as teachers and pre-service teachers.

Table of Contents

List of figures

List of tables

About the Author



Dedication: John Dewey



Part 1. Thinking Philosophically

1. Trends and tensions of philosophy and sociology

2. Understandings of epistemology

3. Action theory and theorists

4. Creative democracy, ethics, power and control


Part II. Thinking Educationally

1. Education as philosophy of practice

  • Philosophy 1: Education as a knowledge discipline
  • Philosophy 2. Religion, the sacred and profane
  • Philosophy 3. Conservatism, what is or should be
  • Philosophy 4. Neoliberalism, capitalism personified
  • Philosophy 5. Social Democracy, in practice or in name
  • Philosophy 6. Science, explanation or understanding
  • Philosophy 7. Marxism, social class and social division


Part III. Thinking Democratically

1. Social class, equity and socio-economic positions

2. Connecting with Indigenous education

3. Teacher education as experience

4.Radical schooling for all




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Neil Hooley is a Lecturer in the College of Education at Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia.


‘Neil Hooley's new book offers a philosophical vision of radical schooling for democracy in terms of criticizing neoliberal and dehumanizing reform of education. It is an outstanding contribution to reconstruct the idea of public education through a comprehensive and fascinating approach to pragmatism and the public good.’- Masamichi Ueno, Professor of Education, Daito Bunka University, Japan

"In sum, Radical Schooling for Democracy engages philosophy of education at an international level, raising important concerns surrounding education within our globalized, neoliberal context. In its best moments, it is rooted in concrete situations and creatively imagines approaches to teacher education." - Jessica Lussier and Samuel D. Rocha, Democracy & Education