Official Knowledge: Democratic Education in a Conservative Age

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In this new and expanded edition of his highly influential book Official Knowledge, Michael Apple analyzes the Right's attempt to gain a stronghold in education through the forces of commercialization, privatization, standardization, and a return to the romantic past. He shows how conservatives are radically changing our ideas about what education is and who it should serve. Apple assesses the impact of rightist educational policies by documenting the daily efforts of teachers struggling to accomplish more democratic ends. With a rich mixture of deep concern and real hope, Official Knowledge is essential reading for all who care about teaching our children.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Michael Apple is rightly regarded as one of the world’s foremost critical educators. In this third edition of his classic text, Apple provides a searing and provocative indictment of the global rightist strategies that are reshaping education into ever-more exclusionary and oppressive forms while simultaneously proclaiming their commitment to standards and freedom. Eloquent, wise and committed, Apple’s work is critical scholarship at its very best."—David Gillborn, Professor of Critical Race Studies and Director, Centre for Research in Race & Education (CRRE), University of Birmingham, UK

"Twenty years after it was first published, Official Knowledge remains one of the most critical books for understanding the current crisis in education. Apple's insights into the relationship between democracy and education—and what has gone so powerfully wrong in the past decades—are both brilliant and inspiring. Engaging with the remarkable and lucid arguments in this timeless book is a critical step towards finding a more humane and democratic path, and restoring hope for teachers, parents, and students."—Nadine Dolby, Professor of Curriculum Studies, College of Education, Purdue University, USA

"Throughout his extensive and distinguished oeuvre, critical cultural theorist Michael Apple argues that education is deeply implicated in the politics of culture. In this fully revised and updated third edition of Official Knowledge, Apple is at his best: It is a clear and elegantly written book informed by an inspiring narrative full of energy, passion, compassion, and original critical analysis. In an eloquent synthesis that is difficult to achieve, Apple reclaims a much-needed democratic vision of public education. This is one of those rare books that has passed the test of time, becoming a classic of critical studies in education, and his third edition just made it better."—Carlos Alberto Torres, Professor and Associate Dean for Global Programs and Director, Paulo Freire Institute, Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, University of California, Los Angeles, USA

"At this time, as Rightist power proves both tenacious and unstable, Michael Apple’s classic diagnosis of ‘The Right’ as an unsettled settlement of various cultural, political and economic forces remains deeply insightful. Across educational fronts of policy, curriculum, popular culture and more, Apple traces Rightist moves to capture diverse social groups in a simplistic ‘commonsense,’ as well as how ‘the margins’ battle back from multiple standpoints to build better sense. Updates and additional chapters in this 3rd edition of Official Knowledge underscore the new dangers, yet new openings for movement towards educational and social justice, in contexts of global financial crisis."—Lew Zipin, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415907491
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 1/28/1993
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 2.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael W. Apple is John Bascom Professor of Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Policy Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and Professor of Educational Policy Studies at the Institute of Education, University of London.

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction: The Politics of Official Knowledge 1
2 The Politics of Common-Sense: Why the Right Is Winning 15
3 Cultural Politics and the Text 44
4 Regulating Official Knowledge 64
5 Creating the Captive Audience: Channel One and the Political Economy of the Text 93
6 Whose Curriculum Is This Anyway? 118
7 "Hey Man, I'm Good": The Art and Politics of Creating New Knowledge in Schools 143
8 The Politics of Pedagogy and the Building of Community 151
Appendix: Education, Power, and Personal Biography: An Interview 163
Notes 183
Bibliography 211
Index 221
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