1st Edition

The New Publicness of Education Democratic Possibilities After the Critique of Neo-Liberalism

Edited By Carl Anders Säfström, Gert Biesta Copyright 2023

    This book explores democratic possibilities for education after the critique of the impact of neo-liberalism on educational policy and practice. Together, the authors investigate the contours of a ‘new publicness’ of education.

    This edited volume refers to well-established critiques that expose how neoliberal governance has normalised the privatisation of public life and undermined the public nature of education. Through historical reconstruction, theoretical exploration, and analyses of educational policies and practices, chapters take a novel approach by investigating democratic possibilities within and beyond the current neoliberal hegemony in education. Covering a range of educational settings – from early childhood education through to higher and professional education – chapters spotlight the Irish educational and political context, as well as exploring international implications.

    Ultimately, this book opens up new avenues for discussion around public education and its future, and will therefore be of great interest to researchers and students in the fields of educational theory, education politics, educational policy and democratic education.

    1. Introduction: The Publicness of Education Gert Biesta and Carl Anders Säfström  2. The ‘Publicness’ of Primary Education in Ireland: Tracing its Historical Lineage Thomas Walsh  3. The Forgotten Language of Public Education: From Hope to Equality Carl Anders Säfström  4. Curriculum: The Great Public Project Majella Dempsey  5. ‘Publicness’ in Pedagogical Thinking Joe Oyler  6. A New Publicness for Early Childhood Education and Care in Ireland Leah O’Toole, Georga Dowling and Tracy Mcelheron  7. Claiming a New Public Education for Children with Special Educational Needs Deirdre Forde  8. New Modes of Marginalisation: Teachers’ Ways of Knowing Themselves Suzanne O’Keeffe  9. ‘Among Others’: Reinventing Initial Professional Education with Student Teachers and Youth Workers Marianne O’Shea and Angela Rickard  10. Public Parents: Reclaiming Publicness of Education in the New Tyrannies Hana Cervinkova and Lotar Rasiński  11. Whose School is it Anyway? On the Insistence of Education and the Need for the Emancipation of the School Gert Biesta  12. Expanding the Publicness of Education: Worlding the World in a Time of Climate Emergency Sharon Todd  13. Conclusions: The New Publicness of Education Carl Anders Säfström and Gert Biesta


    Carl Anders Säfström is Professor of Educational Research and Director of the Centre for Public Education and Pedagogy, Maynooth University, Ireland.

    Gert Biesta is Professor of Public Education in the Centre for Public Education and Pedagogy, Maynooth University, Ireland.