Wheels in the Head

Educational Philosophies of Authority, Freedom, and Culture from Confucianism to Human Rights, 3rd Edition

By Joel Spring

© 2008 – Routledge

272 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780805861334
pub: 2007-09-19
US Dollars$45.95
Hardback: 9781138171060
pub: 2015-09-29
US Dollars$165.00

e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

In this popular text Joel Spring provocatively analyzes the ideas of traditional and non-traditional philosophies from Confucianism to human rights regarding the contribution of education to the creation of a democratic society. The goal is to explore how governments use education to control and manage their populations, and to examine forms of education that claim to free people from authoritarian control. A critically original work, it is widely used as a text for courses on philosophical, social, political, and historical foundations of education, and critical issues in education. Reflecting its global relevance, a Chinese translation was published by the University of Peking Press in 2005.

New in the third edition:

  • Expanded analysis of the use of education by authoritarian states
  • Revisions to more clearly relate educational ideas to the theme of “wheels in the head” – a phrase coined by philosopher Max Stirner - to describe the use of schools by modern governments to control their citizens
  • New sections on liberation education and on human rights education

About the Originator

About the Series

Sociocultural, Political, and Historical Studies in Education

This series focuses on studies of public and private institutions, the media, and academic disciplines that contribute to educating--in the broadest sense--students and the general public. The series welcomes volumes with multicultural perspectives, diverse interpretations, and a range of political points of view from conservative to critical. Books accepted for publication in this series will be written for an academic audience and, in some cases, also for use as supplementary readings in graduate and undergraduate courses.

Topics to be addressed in this series include, but are not limited to, sociocultural, political, and historical studies of

Local, state, national, and international educational systems

Elementary and secondary schools, colleges and universities

Public institutions of education such as museums, libraries, and foundations

Computer systems and software as instruments of public education

The popular media as forms of public education

Content areas within the academic study of education, such as curriculum and instruction, psychology, and educational technology

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Aims & Objectives
EDUCATION / Curricula
EDUCATION / Philosophy & Social Aspects