Life in Schools: An Introduction to Critical Pedagogy in the Foundations of Education / Edition 5

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“There really is no second choice. I don’t see any book on the market that gets at the issues McLaren does. I have used this text since it first came out and will continue to use it.”

­--Sandy M. Grande, Connecticut College

This text is a provocative investigation of the political, social, and economic factors underlying classroom practices, offering a unique introduction to the contemporary field of critical pedagogy.

Life in Schools features excerpts from the author's best-selling work, Cries from the Corridor: The New Suburban Ghetto. The text provokes analytic discussion of social problems and a theoretical framework for formulating potential solutions (Parts III & IV). It also includes a new discussion of race and class, a chapter on the social construction of whiteness, and a new chapter that challenges current domestic and foreign policies of the current White House administration (including the No Child Left Behind Act) and their impact upon American public schooling.

New To This Edition:

  • Contains a new concluding chapter that challenges the current neo-conservative White House administration and looks at liberal individualism from a critical perspective. This chapter includes a discussion of alternatives to capitalist society and how teachers can help bring about a new society by becoming philosophers of PRAXIS and educational activists.
  • Includes new critical categories and new discussions of race and class, the No Child Left Behind Act, the role of Right Wing think tanks in the academy, and the work of Paulo Freire.
  • Includes a new Foreword by Joe L. Kincheloe.

About the Author: [Insert Author Photo]

Peter McLaren is known worldwide in the education and social justice community. He is Professor of Urban Schooling at the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. As a ‘philosopher of praxis’ and social and political activist, he is considered one of the primary architects of what has come to be known as critical pedagogy. An award winning author and editor, Professor McLaren has published over forty books on a wide range of educational subjects. He lectures worldwide and his works have been translated into fifteen languages. Professor McLaren is the inaugural recipient of the Paulo Freire Social Justice Award from Chapman University. His work has been the subject of numerous international conferences and recently a group of educators in Mexico established La Fundacion McLaren de Pedagogia Critica in order to advance the work of critical pedagogy throughout the Americas. Life in Schools was recently named by an international panel of experts as one of the world’s twelve most important educational texts.

Package this text with [Insert MLS Logo] –a powerful set of online tools that bring the classroom to life!

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Editorial Reviews

This work integrates the author's , a 1980 collection of diary entries written when he was a school teacher in a working-class and immigrant Canadian neighborhood, with reflections on the fundamental contradictions of capitalist schooling in North America. The author provides a socio-political context for understanding racism, sexism, and homophobia and helps teachers challenge capitalist schooling by empowering their students with a critical ideology and a set of political strategies. McLaren, known for his original contributions to educational theory and for his political activism, teaches in the Division of Urban Schooling, Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, University of California-Los Angeles. He is the author and editor of 35 books. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780205501816
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 6/23/2006
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 5
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents



The Retreat of Democracy.

The Corporate Assault on Education.

Bringing Theory into the Streets.



The Corridor Kids.

1. The Frontiers of Despair.


2. The Invisible Epidemic.


3. “The Suburbs Was Supposed to Be a Nice Place…”

Summer Vacation.



Critical Pedagogy and the Egalitarian Dream.

4. The Emergence of Critical Pedagogy.

Foundational Principles.

5. Critical Pedagogy: A Look at the Major Concepts.

The Importance of Theory.

Critical Pedagogy and the Social Construction of Knowledge.

Critical Pedagogy and the Power/Knowledge Relation.

Critical Pedagogy and the Curriculum.

Social Reproduction: A Critical Perspective.

Questions for Discussion.


6. Race, Class, and Gender: Why Students Fail.

The Black Underclass: Racial Stratifi cation and the Politics of Culture.

Resistance and the Reproduction of Class Relations.

Bein’ Tough: Bein’ Female.

Psychologizing Student Failure.

7. New and Old Myths in Education.

Technologizing Learning.

Neoconservatism and the Myth of Democratic Schooling.

8. Teachers and Students.

The Primacy of Student Experience.

The Primacy of Voice.

Beyond Conversations with the “Other.”

9. Conclusion to Parts Three and Four.

The Teacher as Social and Moral Agent.


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