Anarchism and Education: A Philosophical Perspective

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by Judith Suissa

PM Press

9/15/2010, paperback

SKU: 9781604861143


Arguing that the central role of educational practice in anarchist theory and activism has been overlooked by many theorists, this examination of contemporary educational philosophy counters the assertion that anarchism reflects a naïve or overly optimistic view of human nature. By articulating the philosophical underpinnings of anarchist thought on issues of human nature, freedom, authority, and social change, the case is made that the anarchist tradition can be a rich source of insights into perennial philosophical questions about education. This theoretical exploration is then bolstered with a historical account of anarchist education, focusing on key defining features of anarchist schools, their ideological underpinnings, and their pedagogical approaches. Finally, a clear explanation of how anarchist education is distinct from libertarian, progressive, Marxist, and liberal models defines the role of anarchist education in furthering and sustaining a just and equal society.


"Suissa's book is a valuable reminder of the possibilities that education can offer anarchists and other radicals working towards social change." -- Anarchist Studies

"This is an excellent book that deals with important issues through the lens of anarchist theories and practices of education . . . [it] tackles a number of issues that are relevant to anybody who is trying to come to terms with the philosophy of education." -- Higher Education Review

About the Author:

Judith Suissa is a senior lecturer in philosophy of education at the Institute of Education, University of London. Her research and teaching are mostly in the area of political philosophy, with a focus on liberal theory, radical theories of education, utopianism, and the role of the state.