ERIC Number: EJ1023649
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 45
The Origins of Critical Theory in Education: Fabian Socialism as Social Reconstructionism in Nineteenth-Century Britain
McKernan, James A.
British Journal of Educational Studies, v61 n4 p417-433 2013
This paper seeks to examine the influence of Fabian Socialist thinking as the primary force in the development of critical theory as applied to higher education in Britain. The paper covers the impact of scientific Fabian Socialism and the establishment of the London School of Economics and Political Science, the Frankfurt School and the rise of critical theory and pedagogy, and offers a critique of these perspectives. The social reconstructionist theory, worked out in the USA, posits schools and teachers as planned agents of social and cultural reform by addressing and solving practical social problems. The reconstructionists and critical theorists embrace notions of equality, the eradication of social injustices, multiculturalism, increasing levels of social consciousness and the discussion of controversial issues through employment of critical forms of pedagogy. In Britain, Fabian Socialism led directly to the establishment of the Labour Party as a political entity.
Descriptors: Critical Theory, Social Systems, Higher Education, Foreign Countries, Social Problems, Teaching Methods, Educational History, Social Change, Criticism, Cultural Pluralism, Social Justice, Political Attitudes, Labor
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom