1st Edition

Rethinking the School Subjectivity, bureaucracy, criticism

By Ian Hunter Copyright 1994

    Educationalists have long worked to democratise our school system and purge traces of its religious origins. Rethinking the School shows that these efforts have been in vain. The bureaucratic organisation of schooling is here to stay, and Christian moral discipline is an integral part of the school as we know it.

    Hunter argues that both liberal and Marxian theory ignore the historical reality of the school. He does not see the school as the failed attempt to realise principles of social equality, complete personal development and intellectual enlightenment. Rather, he sees the modern school as an improvised apparatus for the training of good citizens and the guidance of souls.

    Rethinking the School is one of the first major applications of Foucault's genealogical method to the school system, and will be widely debated by educationalists, policy-makers and those interested in the interaction of government and subjectivity.

    'This is a serious piece of scholarship which breaks with much orthodoxy in educational theory and research. It brings new insights to old dilemmas and as such is a major contribution to a field which has in some respects lost its nerve. This is a book that must be read.' - Professor Richard Smith, Australian Journal of Education

    'Hunter. offers a detailed and fascinating account of the popular school. in a manner which reinvigorates modern debates regarding the relations between government and education. He makes us look and see differently, the hallmark of a powerful and original thinker.' - Professor Tony Bennett, Institute for Cultural Policy Studies

    Editor's introduction



    1 Principled positions

    2 Social governance and spiritual guidance

    3 The pastoral bureaucracy

    4 Unprincipled equality

    5 The sphere and duties of critique






    Ian Hunter is a Queen Elizabeth II Research Fellow in the Faculty of Humanities at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia. He is the author of Culture and Government, and co-author of Accounting for the Humanities and On Pornography.