The Politics of Education: A Critical Introduction, 2nd Edition (e-Book) book cover

The Politics of Education

A Critical Introduction, 2nd Edition

By Kenneth J. Saltman


126 pages

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The Politics of Education provides an introduction to both the political dimensions of schooling and the politics of recent educational reform debates. The book offers undergraduates and starting graduate students in education an understanding of numerous dimensions of the contested field of education, addressing questions of political economy, class, cultural politics, race, and gender. Noted scholar Kenneth Saltman introduces contemporary educational debates and seriously considers views across the political spectrum from the vantage point of critical education, emphasizing schooling for broader social equality and justice.

Updates to this second edition work through contemporary reform debates that include topics such as the reauthorization of ESEA, race and diversity, standardized testing and common core, and classroom technology. With opportunities for readers to engage in deeper discussion through Questions for Further Discussion and a Glossary of key terms, The Politics of Education remains a much-needed, accessible primer, providing the critical tools needed to make sense of the current politics of education.


'Educating our citizens is a political act, and if teachers are not familiar with how political thought influences them and the system in which they work, they will be buffeted by forces they do not understand and cannot control. This informative book provides insights teachers need. A must-read for the concerned educator.'

David Berliner, Regents Professor Emeritus, Arizona State University

'Saltman’s engaging text provides the reader with the critical tools to make sense of the current politics of education. Readers are introduced to complicated concepts in ways that show how they help us deconstruct the dominant discourses and practices. Furthermore, the writings of both well-known and unfortunately neglected theorists are put into context so that their usefulness becomes clear. Highly recommended for the beginning and advanced student of education policy!'

—David Hursh, University of Rochester

'Teachers need this book because Kenneth Saltman shatters the deep conviction that their work has nothing to do with politics. Each chapter opens up another part of the unacknowledged political imperatives that define the schoolroom—from critical pedagogy as a meaning-making practice to cultural imperialism to what corporate school reform is really about. I needed this book for my first fifteen years as a teacher.'

—Susan Ohanian, teacher, educational activist, and author of Why Is Corporate America Bashing Our Schools?

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Introduction: What Are the "Politics" in the Politics of Education?

Chapter One: The Cultural Politics of Education

Chapter Two: The Political Economy of Education

Chapter Three: The Political Psychology of Education

Chapter Four: Hegemony

Chapter Five: Disciplinary Power, Race, and Examinations

Chapter Six: Biopolitics and Education

Chapter Seven: Neoliberalism and Corporate School Reform

Chapter Eight: The Politics of Gender in the Current Education Reforms

Chapter Nine: The Politics of Globalization and Education

Chapter Ten: The Politics of the Status Quo or a New Common School Movement?

Case Studies: Struggles for Critical Education

About the Author

Kenneth J. Saltman is Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies in the doctoral program at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

About the Series

Critical Introductions in Education

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings: