ERIC Number: EJ886490
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Reference Count: 7
A Response to Michael W. Apple's "Theory, Research, and the Critical Scholar/Activist"
Educational Researcher, v39 n2 p161-162 2010
Michael Apple's prescient review of Anyon et al.'s "Theory and Educational Research" reminds the educational community of the importance of purpose. In his own work, he has been consistent in--actually, insistent on--emphasizing the struggle over political projects. This is not an issue concerning only the Left as the scapegoat for the disparaging of the "political"; as he has shown, the Right is very much at home with politics, albeit parading as "truth." In his review, he extends one's intellectual reach by outlining the features of critical work in education, elements of which he finds in "Theory and Educational Research." Specifically, he has in mind the scholar-as-activist, a version of Gramsci's organic intellectual and Jacoby's public intellectual, this time aimed at a particular population of intellectuals in the traditional sphere of the academy, who, while collaborating with nonacademics, admittedly occupy a particular place in knowledge production. That is, scholars are intellectuals in the classical sense and potentially intellectuals in the organic sense. Apple does not suggest that these two functions work harmoniously together; in fact, they are often at loggerheads. This leads him to encourage intellectuals to "use" theory in a critical fashion without unnecessarily producing obscurantist analyses. This is a decisive point and one that the author has taken up elsewhere. For intellectuals, it is important to build conceptual frameworks that are responsive to budding social movements and to take responsibility for the way the frameworks enter movements through discourses as forms of social practice. The goal is what the author calls building a "down to earth" critical social theory of education. The author engages this point in this article.
Descriptors: Educational Research, Scholarship, Social Theories, Feedback (Response), Literature Reviews, Politics, Models, Academic Discourse, Language Acquisition
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
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