Degrees of disenchantment: A review essay

Educational Theory 62 (2):225-247 (2012)
Abstract
In this review essay, Mark Brenneman and Frank Margonis address three recent book-length contributions to the ongoing discussion around cosmopolitanism and educational thought: Mark Olssen's Liberalism, Neoliberalism, Social Democracy: Thin Communitarian Perspectives on Political Philosophy and Education, Sharon Todd's Toward an Imperfect Education: Facing Humanity, Rethinking Cosmopolitanism, and Ilan Gur-Ze’ev's Beyond the Modern-Postmodern Struggle in Education: Toward Counter-Education and Enduring Improvisation. Brenneman and Margonis argue that these contributions exhibit a marked disenchantment with Enlightenment conceptions of human possibilities as these inform concrete recommendations in the field of the philosophy of education. All three books call for a rethinking of modernist categories in educational thought, a call that is supported by the authors' respective distrust and ultimate disenchantment with the residual presence of ideas of human perfectibility harbored in the philosophical categories that animate discussions in multicultural, liberal, neoliberal, and postmodern educational discussion. Brenneman and Margonis argue that each of these books theorizes from its own respective regionally specific circumstances, and they therefore prove valuable to philosophers of education who struggle toward their own local responses to human difference and the pedagogical possibilities of educational relations
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DOI 10.1111/j.1741-5446.2012.00444.x
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