Table of Contents

Educational Philosophy and Theory Special Issue Book Series

Series Editor: Michael A. Peters

The Educational Philosophy and Theory journal publishes articles concerned with all aspects of educational philosophy. Their themed special issues are also available to buy in book format and cover subjects ranging from curriculum theory, educational administration, the politics of education, educational history, educational policy, and higher education.

Titles in the series include:

Educational Neuroscience: Initiatives and Emerging Issues

Edited by Kathryn E. Patten and Stephen R. Campbell

Rancière, Public Education and the Taming of Democracy

Edited by Maarten Simons and Jan Masschelein

Thinking Education Through Alain Badiou

Edited by Kent den Heyer

Toleration, Respect and Recognition in Education

Edited by Mitja Sardox10D_TimesNewRomanPSMT_12n_000100

Gramsci and Educational Thought

Edited by Peter Mayo

Patriotism and Citizenship Education

Edited by Bruce Haynes

Exploring Education Through Phenomenology: Diverse Approaches

Edited by Gloria Dall’Alba

Academic Writing, Philosophy and Genre

Edited by Michael A. Peters

Complexity Theory and the Philosophy of Education

Edited by Mark Mason

Critical Thinking and Learning

Edited by Mark Mason

Philosophy of Early Childhood Education: Transforming Narratives

Edited by Sandy Farquhar and Peter Fitzsimons

The Learning Society from the Perspective of Governmentality

Edited by Jan Masschelein, Maarten Simons, Ulrich Bröckling and Ludwig Pongratz

Citizenship, Inclusion and Democracy: A Symposium on Iris Marion Young

Edited by Mitja Sardoc

Postfoundationalist Themes In The Philosophy of Education: Festschrift for James D. Marshall

Edited by Paul Smeyers (Editor), Michael A. Peters

Music Education for the New Millennium: Theory and Practice Futures for Music Teaching and Learning

Edited by David Lines

Critical Pedagogy and Race

Edited by Zeus Leonardo

Derrida, Deconstruction and Education: Ethics of Pedagogy and Research

Edited by Peter Pericles Trifonas and Michael A. Peters

Title page

Notes on Contributors

Gert Biesta () is Professor of Education and Director of Research at the Stirling Institute of Education, University of Stirling, and Visiting Professor for Education and Democratic Citizenship at Mälardalen University, Sweden. He is editor-in-chief of Studies in Philosophy and Education. Recent and forthcoming books include: Good Education in an Age of Measurement: Ethics, politics, democracy (Paradigm Publishers, 2010); Derrida, Deconstruction and the Politics of Pedagogy (with Michael A. Peters; Peter Lang, 2009); Complexity Theory and the Politics of Education (co-edited with Deborah Osberg; Sense Publishers, 2010); and Jacques Rancière: Education, truth, emancipation (with Charles Bingham; Continuum, 2010). Email:

Charles Bingham is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University. He writes on education and Continental Philosophy. His books include Jacques Rancière: Education, truth, emancipation (with Gert Biesta; Continuum, 2010), Authority is Relational (SUNY, 2008), No Education Without Relations (Peter Lang, 2004), and Schools of Recognition (Rowman & Littlefield, 2001). Email:

Goele Cornelissen is a PhD student at the K.U.Leuven, Department of Educational Sciences, Center for Philosophy of Education. She is mainly interested in the significance of Rancières work for the current debate on educational equality as well as in its implications for methodological debates in educational sciences. She uses the work of Rancière in order to re-think the role of film-ethnography in educational sciences. Email:

Mark Dercyke is professor at the University of Lyon and the University of Saint-Etienne (France). His main research interest is in education, literacy and citizenship focusing on daily-life practices. He has published on Rancière, practices of evaluation, and semantics. Email:

Daniel Friedrich is Associate Professor at Teachers College, Columbia University. His research interests are related to the production of the citizen as a technology of government, the relations between memory, history and curriculum, and comparative and international education. He has published articles in Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education and in The Journal for the Historiography of Education, among others. Email:

Bryn Jaastad is a doctoral student in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, drawing mainly upon Deleuze to consider constructions of difference in teacher education. He also works with practicum student teachers. Email:

Jorge Larrosa is Professor of Philosophy of Education in the Department of Theory and History of Education of the University of Barcelona, Spain. His research interest is in language, literature, film and education, and in difference and childhood in education. He has published several articles and books, including La experiencia de la lectura. Ensayos sobre literatura y formación (Laertes, 1999; 3rd edn. 2004), Entre las lenguas. Lenguaje y educación después de Babel (Laertes, 2003) and Entre Pedagogía y literatura (with Carlos Skliar) (Miño y Dávila, 2005). Email:

Tyson E. Lewis is an assistant professor of educational philosophy at Montclair State University. He has published widely in a variety of journals such as Rethinking Marxism, Historical Materialism, Theory and Event, and Educational Theory. He has also recently completed a new book on pedagogy, biopolitics, and critical theory entitled Education Out of Bounds: Reimagining Cultural Studies for a Posthuman Age. Email:

Jan Masschelein is Professor for Philosophy of Education at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. His primary areas of scholarship are educational theory, social and political philosophy, and critical theory. Currently his research concentrates on the ‘public’ role of education in the age of networks and on ‘mapping’ and ‘walking’ as critical research practices. Recent work includes: Globale Immunität. Ein kleine Kartographie des Europaischen Bildungsraum (Diaphanes, 2005), The Learning Society from the Perspective of Governmentality (ed., Blackwell, 2007) and the Dutch translation of The Ignorant Schoolmaster (Rancière). Email:

Thomas S. Popkewitz, Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, The University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA. His studies are concerned with the systems of reason that govern pedagogical reforms, research traditions, and teacher education. His recent publications include Cosmopolitanism and The Age of Reform: Science, Education And Making Society By Making The Child (Routledge, 2008) which explores historically the epistemological principles and cultural theses governing contemporary pedagogical reforms and sciences and their implications for inclusion, exclusion, and abjection; and Globalization and The Study of Education (with F. Rizvi, eds., Wiley, 2009) which focuses on critical analyses of the changing conditions influencing schooling. Email:

Claudia Ruitenberg is Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Studies at the University of British Columbia, Canada. She teaches courses in educational theory, critical social theory and philosophical research methods and has published in (a.o.) the Philosophy of Education Yearbooks, the Journal of Philosophy of Education, and Studies in Philosophy and Education. She is editor of the recent collection What Do Philosophers of Education Do? (And How Do They Do It?) (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010). Her research interests include: discursive performativity and its relation to freedom of speech, hate speech and censorship in education; agonistic political theory and the implications for political education; philosophical research methods; and epistemological diversity in educational research and practice. Email:

Professor Carl Anders Säfström is Dean of Education at Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication. He is director of the research group SIDES (Studies in Intersubjectivity and Difference in Educational Settings). He has published extensively on curriculum theory, educational theory and didactics in international journals and published books mainly in Scandinavian languages. He is an active contributor to the public debate about education and teacher education in Sweden. Säfström is the editor of the series Advanced Studies in Education at Liber Publishers.He is currently working on an edited book on The Price of Order. Email:

Maarten Simons is professor at the Centre for Educational Policy and Innovation and the Centre for Philosophy of Education, Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. His research interests are educational policy, political and social philosophy and educational theory with a specific focus on new modes of governance, globalisation/Europeanization and the public role of (higher) education/teachers. Recent work includes: Globale Immunität. Ein kleine Kartographie des Europaischen Bildungsraum (Diaphanes, 2005), The Learning Society from the Perspective of Governmentality (ed., Blackwell, 2007) and Re-reading Education Policies: Studying the policy agenda of the 21st century (ed., Sense Publishers, 2009). Email:


As Maarten Simons and Jan Masschelein, the editors of this monograph, explain Jacques Rancière from the very beginning of his career has pursued the philosophy of democracy and its relations and implications for equality and education in novel ways that began by splitting with Louis Althusser over the significance of the events of 1968. As his biography at the European Graduate School puts it: ‘He first came to prominence under the tutelage of Louis Althusser when he co-authored with his mentor Reading Capital (1968). After the calamitous events of May 1968 however, he broke with Althusser over his teacher’s reluctance to allow for spontaneous resistance within the revolution.’

Jacques Rancière was born in Algiers in 1940 and he grew up with the Algerian War. He is Professor Emeritus at the Université de Paris (St. Denis) and currently Professor of Philosophy at the European Graduate School where he conducts an Intensive Summer Seminar. One of the attractions of his work for educational philosophers is that it has been explicitly pedagogical even though his oeuvre is difficult to place. As Kristin Ross makes clear:

Ranciere’s books have eluded classification. His treatise on history, The Names of History: On the Poetics of Knowledge (Les Mots de I’histoire: Essai de poetique du savoir, 1992), angered or bewildered historians but was embraced by literary critics. The volume by Ranciere most read by artists, it seems, is not his recent work on aesthetics–The Politics of Aesthetics (La Partage du sensible: Esthetique et politique, 2000)–but a little book I translated sixteen years ago called The Ignorant Schoolmaster (Le Maitre ignorant, 1987). An extraordinary fable of emancipation and equality, it tells the story of a schoolteacher who developed a method for showing illiterate parents how they themselves could teach their children to read. Set in the post-Revolutionary period, it was written at the height of the hypocrisies and misdeeds of Reagan, Thatcher, and Mitterand–the moment when consensus first comes to be taken for granted as the optimum political gesture or goal, and disagreement or contradiction vaguely, if not explicitly, criminalized.

In an interview for Radical Philosophy in 1997 Ranciere explained the starting point for his trajectory:

Given the historical and political conjuncture of the 1970s, which I certainly did not foresee, I wanted to look again at certain of the concepts and conceptual logics that Marxism used to describe the functions of the social and the political. For me, that wish took the form of a decision, which might be described as purely empirical, to look at the contradiction between the social and the political within the working-class tradition. Basically, I wanted to know how Marxism related to that tradition. I wanted both to establish what that working-class tradition was, and to study how Marxism interpreted and distorted it. For many years I took no more interest in philosophy. More specifically, I turned my back on what might be called political theories, and read nothing but archive material. I posited the existence of a specifically working-class discourse. I began to suspect that there was once a socialism born of a specifically working-class culture or ethos. Years of work on working-class archives taught me that, to be schematic about it, ‘working-class proletarian’ is primarily a name or a set of names rather than a form of experience, and that those names do not express an awareness of a condition. Their primary function is to construct something, namely a relationship of alterity.

Rancière engages with the philosophical tradition and with his contemporaries in unusual ways and he subsequently developed in the The Politics of Aesthetics a description of the the lgoic of police order stifles political thinking and activity by prescribing our sensibilities. Liberation from the logic of police order by attempting to redistribute what is perceived is based on the notion of universal equality. Aesthetics for Rancière is related to ‘the distribution of the sensible’—‘a way of mapping the visible, a cartography of the visible, the intelligible and also of the possible’ where free speech emerges as a form of transgression and as a basis of the politics of aesethetics that forms political communities by establishing what can be said and done.

I am delighted to offer a Foreword to this monograph Rancière, Public Education and the Taming of Democracy which brings together eleven essays by a group of prominent international scholars. Both Rancière and this volume expertly edited by Maarten Simons and Jan Masschelein are bound to become more important to educational philosophy and theory in the coming years.


For his biography at the European Graduate School see his Faculty page .

See ‘Kristin Ross on Jacques Rancière’ (ArtForum, March, 2007) at .

See .

See the Eurozine interview with Truls Lie (an obvious pseudonym) entitled ‘Our police order: What can be said, seen, and done’ at .

Michael A. Peters

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign