Henri Lefebvre and Education

Space, history, theory

By Sue Middleton

© 2014 – Routledge

212 pages

Purchasing Options:
Hardback: 9780415810807
pub: 2013-11-12
US Dollars$145.00
x

Look Inside

About the Book

During his lifetime Henri Lefebvre (1901-1991) was renowned in France as a philosopher, sociologist and activist. Although he published more than 70 books, few were available in English until The Production of Space was translated in 1991. While this work - often associated with geography - has influenced educational theory’s ‘spatial turn,’ educationalists have yet to consider Lefebvre’s work more broadly.

This book engages in an educational reading of the selection of Lefebvre’s work that is available in English translation. After introducing Lefebvre’s life and works, the book experiments with his concepts and methods in a series of five ‘spatial histories’ of educational theories. In addition to The Production of Space, these studies develop themes from Lefebvre’s other translated works: Rhythmanalysis, The Explosion, the three volumes of Critique of Everyday Life and a range of his writings on cities, Marxism, technology and the bureaucratic state. In the course of these inquiries, Lefebvre’s own passionate interest in education is uncovered: his critiques of bureaucratised schooling and universities, the analytic concepts he devised to study educational phenomena, and his educational methods.

Throughout the book Middleton demonstrates how Lefebvre’s conceptual and methodological tools can enhance the understanding of the spatiotemporal location of educational philosophy and theory. Bridging disciplinary divides, it will be key reading for researchers and academics studying the philosophy, sociology and history of education, as well as those working in fields beyond education including geography, history, cultural studies and sociology.

Table of Contents

1. Overview: Henri Lefebvre and Education 2. Production of Space: Labouring Families in a New Colony, 1841-45 3. Everyday Life: ‘New Education’ Activists, 1928-48 4. Dwelling: Sylvia Ashton-Warner at Home and School, 1939-59 5. The Rhythmanalyst: Doctoral Students, 1968-1998 6. The Bureaucratic State: Teacher Educators, 1989 – 2013 7. Conclusion: Lefebvre as Educational Theorist

About the Author

Sue Middleton is Emeritus Professor of Education in the Faculty of Education at the University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand.

About the Series

New Directions in the Philosophy of Education

This book series is devoted to the exploration of new directions in the philosophy of education. After the linguistic turn, the cultural turn, and the historical turn, where might we go? Does the future promise a digital turn with a greater return to connectionism, biology and biopolitics based on new understandings of system theory and knowledge ecologies? Does it foreshadow a genuinely alternative radical global turn based on a new openness and interconnectedness? Does it leave humanism behind or will it reengage with the question of the human in new and unprecedented ways? How should philosophy of education reflect new forces of globalization? How can it become less Anglo-centric and develop a greater sensitivity to other traditions, languages, and forms of thinking and writing, including those that are not routed in the canon of Western philosophy but in other traditions that share the ‘love of wisdom’ that characterizes the wide diversity within Western philosophy itself. Can this be done through a turn to intercultural philosophy? To indigenous forms of philosophy and philosophizing? Does it need a post-Wittgensteinian philosophy of education? A postpostmodern philosophy? Or should it perhaps leave the whole construction of 'post'-positions behind?

In addition to the question of the intellectual resources for the future of philosophy of education, what are the issues and concerns that philosophers of education should engage with? How should they position themselves? What is their specific contribution? What kind of intellectual and strategic alliances should they pursue? Should philosophy of education become more global, and if so, what would the shape of that be? Should it become more cosmopolitan or perhaps more decentred? Perhaps most importantly in the digital age, the time of the global knowledge economy that reprofiles education as privatized human capital and simultaneously in terms of an historic openness, is there a philosophy of education that grows out of education itself, out of the concerns for new forms of teaching, studying, learning and speaking that can provide comment on ethical and epistemological configurations of economics and politics of knowledge? Can and should this imply a reconnection with questions of democracy and justice?

This series comprises texts that explore, identify and articulate new directions in the philosophy of education. It aims to build bridges, both geographically and temporally: bridges across different traditions and practices and bridges towards a different future for philosophy of education.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDU000000
EDUCATION / General
EDU040000
EDUCATION / Philosophy & Social Aspects