The school as an exceptional space: Rethinking education from the perspective of the biopedagogical

Educational Theory 56 (2):159-176 (2006)
In this essay, Tyson Lewis theorizes current lockdown practices, zero‐tolerance policies, and No Child Left Behind initiatives in U.S. schooling by drawing on Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben’s analysis of the concentration camp and the state of exception. Agamben’s theory of the camp provides a challenging, critical vantage point for looking at the ambiguities that emerge from the complex field of disciplinary procedures now prevalent in inner‐city, low‐income, minority schools, and helps to clarify what exactly is at stake in the symbolic and sometimes physical violence of schooling. Key to understanding the primary relation between camp and classroom is Agamben’s framework of the biopolitical, which paradoxically includes life as a political concern through its exclusion from the political sphere. Here Lewis appropriates Agamben’s terminology in order to theorize the biopedagogical, wherein educational life is included in schooling through its abandonment. For Lewis, the theory of the camp is necessary to recognizing how schools function and, in turn, how they could function differently
Keywords alejandratorres
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DOI 10.1111/j.1741-5446.2006.00009.x
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