Our primary objective in this book is to bring to a larger audience some of the most important developments in the understanding of the relationship of social theory, education, and educational practice in the 20th century through the writings of the late Paulo Freire and Jurgen Habermas. Their key contributions date from the 1960s and have exercised an immense if often diffuse influence on a number of academic fields and types of professional training. Both authors are difficult to classify in either disciplinary or ideological terms, and their reception in various intellectual and national contexts has been a complex and controversial process. Freire is known primarily in educational circles as a Brazilian adult educator who pioneered a form of literacy training based on breaking down the hierarchical teacher-learner relationship, thus allowing adults to learn to “name“ the power relations that define their social world. In contrast, Habermas is best known as a difficult German philosopher who has extended the Frankfurt tradition of critical social theory—which originated in the Weimar Republic in the late 1920s—by defending a critical modernism as a response to the “incomplete” vision of the 18thcentury Enlightenment. We will also occasionally refer to others influenced by their work, especially in domains where they have said little or remained silent. Though this community of researchers is most obvious in the case of Habermas, it has become more apparent recently with the publication of testimonies and commentaries on educational experiments influenced by Freire’s theories.
Giorgio BertiniResearch on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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