Robert H. Haworth is an assistant professor in the Department of Professional and Secondary Education at West Chester University. He teaches courses focusing on the social foundations of education, anarchism, and critical pedagogies. He has published and presented internationally on anarchism, youth culture, informal learning spaces, and critical social studies education. He cofounded worker-owned and -operated Regeneration TV as well as other academic research collectives. Currently, he is working on a coedited book on Critical Perspectives and Informal Learning, as well as writing a single authored book entitled: Horizontal Imaginaries: Education, Spontaneity and Desire.
Out of the Ruins: The Emergence of Radical Informal Learning Spaces
Editors: Robert H. Haworth and John M. Elmore
Publisher: PM Press
Page count: 288
Contemporary educational practices and policies across the world are heeding the calls of Wall Street for more corporate control, privatization, and standardized accountability. There are definite shifts and movements towards more capitalist interventions of efficiency and an adherence to market fundamentalist values within the sphere of public education. In many cases, educational policies are created to uphold and serve particular social, political, and economic ends. Schools, in a sense, have been tools to reproduce hierarchical, authoritarian, and hyper-individualistic models of social order. From the industrial era to our recent expansion of the knowledge economy, education has been at the forefront of manufacturing and exploiting particular populations within our society.
The important news is that emancipatory educational practices are emerging. Many are emanating outside the constraints of our dominant institutions and are influenced by more participatory and collective actions. In many cases, these alternatives have been undervalued or even excluded within the educational research. From an international perspective, some of these radical informal learning spaces are seen as a threat by many failed states and corporate entities.
Out of the Ruins sets out to explore and discuss the emergence of alternative learning spaces that directly challenge the pairing of public education with particular dominant capitalist and statist structures. The authors construct philosophical, political, economic and social arguments that focus on radical informal learning as a way to contest efforts to commodify and privatize our everyday educational experiences. The major themes include the politics of learning in our formal settings, constructing new theories on our informal practices, collective examples of how radical informal learning practices and experiences operate, and how individuals and collectives struggle to share these narratives within and outside of institutions.
Contributors include David Gabbard, Rhiannon Firth, Andrew Robinson, Farhang Rouhani, Petar Jandrić, Ana Kuzmanić, Sarah Amsler, Dana Williams, Andre Pusey, Jeff Shantz, Sandra Jeppesen, Joanna Adamiak, Erin Dyke, Eli Meyerhoff, David I. Backer, Matthew Bissen, Jacques Laroche, Aleksandra Perisic, and Jason Wozniak.
“How do we create spaces of learning that will help us to avoid the pitfalls of routine, hierarchy, and passivity? In other words, how do we learn to change the world, together? Those trying to figure this out will enjoy reading about the experiments, strategies, and logics of anarchist education in this rich collection.”
—Lesley Wood, professor of sociology, York University
“Out of the Ruins provides a powerful critique of the current state of education—and teaching—by exploring a diverse range of radical pedagogical practices and liberatory educational theories, coupled with on-the-ground case studies of informal alternative learning spaces. Moving beyond simplistic calls for ‘educational reform’ each contributor challenges us in some way to rethink the entire social system as it relates to education, including the ways that inequality and capitalist values shape the prevailing hierarchical, market-driven approaches to learning, teaching, and students.”
—Jake Alimahomed-Wilson, associate professor of sociology, California State University, Long Beach
“A revolution of everyday life comes with our ability to understand and transform the world—the fundamental goal of emancipatory educational practices. Out of the Ruins deconstructs the myth of schools as operating in the public interest and presents compelling arguments for triggering stoppages in the factories of collective illusion—whether those factories are schools that only offer students alienation, spectacle, surveillance, and training for consumption or a corporate media that offers us fear and perpetual war. Haworth, Elmore and the contributors to this book offer unique insights into how and why dehumanizing trends in schools can (and should) be interrupted by taking advantage of alternative learning spaces. When our thinking about the education is divorced from the hierarchical, authoritarian, and hyper-individualistic social relations demanded in schooling new worlds are opened and theories of learning, educational practices, as well as the philosophy and politics of education take on fresh new meaning.” —E. Wayne Ross, Phd, Professor of Education, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
“Out of the Ruins is a timely book that counters current narrow conceptions about the limits of education and challenges neoliberal hegemony within the way we conceive of educational possibilities and building new forms of educational communities that can think outside these parameters. The editors have called forth an international array of cutting-edge scholars that lay bare a powerful critique of narrow conceptions of teaching, learning and education. A must read!”
—Abraham P. DeLeon, associate professor, University of Texas at San Antonio
“Haworth and Elmore tell us that we have a right to a new utopia, a transformative vision of society and interconnectedness where learning supports justice, redefined relations with the rest of nature and the creation of healthy communities. They call this radical informal learning. We might call it the true purpose of learning. The passion, anger and commitment of the contributors can be found on every page.”
—Budd L. Hall, co-chair of the UNESCO Chair in Community Based Research and Social Responsibility in Higher Education, professor of community development, University of Victoria
Anarchist Pedagogies: Collective Actions, Theories, and Critical Reflections on Education
Editor: Robert H. Haworth
Afterword by: Allan Antliff
Publisher: PM Press
Published: July 2012
Size: 9 by 6
Page count: 352 Pages
Subjects: Anarchism, Education
Education is a challenging subject for anarchists. Many are critical about working within a state-run education system that is embedded in hierarchical, standardized, and authoritarian structures. Numerous individuals and collectives envision the creation of counterpublics or alternative educational sites as possible forms of resistance, while other anarchists see themselves as “saboteurs” within the public arena—believing that there is a need to contest dominant forms of power and educational practices from multiple fronts. Of course, if anarchists agree that there are no blueprints for education, the question remains, in what dynamic and creative ways can we construct nonhierarchical, antiauthoritarian, mutual, and voluntary educational spaces?
Contributors to this volume engage readers in important and challenging issues in the area of anarchism and education. From Francisco Ferrer’s modern schools in Spain and the Work People’s College in the United States, to contemporary actions in developing “free skools” in the U.K. and Canada, to direct action education such as learning to work as a “street medic” in the protests against neoliberalism, the contributors illustrate the importance of developing complex connections between educational theories and collective actions. Anarchists, activists, and critical educators should take these educational experiences seriously as they offer invaluable examples for potential teaching and learning environments outside of authoritarian and capitalist structures. Major themes in the volume include: learning from historical anarchist experiments in education, ways that contemporary anarchists create dynamic and situated learning spaces, and finally, critically reflecting on theoretical frameworks and educational practices. Contributors include: Jeffery Shantz, Isabelle Fremeaux & John Jordan, Abraham P. DeLeon, Matthew Weinstein, Alex Khasnabish, Elsa Noterman, Andre Pusey, and many others.
“Pedagogy is a central concern in anarchist writing and the free skool has played a central part in movement activism. By bringing together an important group of writers with specialist knowledge and experience, Robert Haworth's volume makes an invaluable contribution to the discussion of these topics. His exciting collection provides a guide to historical experiences and current experiments and also reflects on anarchist theory, extending our understanding and appreciation of pedagogy in anarchist practice.” —Dr. Ruth Kinna, Senior Lecturer in Politics, Loughborough University, author of Anarchism: A Beginners Guide and co-editor of Anarchism and Utopianism
“With Anarchist Pedagogies, Rob Haworth helps us to move towards a dynamic and lived praxis of socialist libertarianism, bringing together some of the most articulate voices on the educational left to thoroughly explore the theoretical, historical, political, and pedagogical elements of anarchism today. The imperatives of mutual aid, solidarity, and working-class activism are as important and relevant as they ever were. This volume is a must-read for all students of education, teachers, and those dedicated to the struggle for social justice. Bravo!” —Dr. Marc Pruyn, Monash University, Melbourne, co-editor of Teaching Peter McLaren
“This original contribution to revolutionary praxis in education could not come at a more urgent moment. It deserves to be read and its recommendations unleashed in the battlefields of capital.” —Peter McLaren, Professor, Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, University of California, Los Angeles
“I worry sometimes that too many contemporary anarchists in North America celebrate anti-intellectualism by resisting both the study of new ideas and the histories of previous actions. It’s very heartening, then, for me to see these things being explored in Anarchist Pedagogies by a gathering of young, smart thinkers interested in pondering the complex relationships between liberty and learning. Deschooling, unschooling, informal learning, and radical critical pedagogy are all part of the mix here. Haworth has done well in bringing these voices together; you may not always agree with them, but you will be excited enough to engage with what they have to say.” —Don LaCoss, Fifth Estate
For a calendar of speaking events, please click here
- Anarchist Pedagogies in Anarchist Studies
- Listen to Robert Haworth on Huge Power Podcast
- Anarchist Pedagogies in Maximum Rock N Roll
All in all, Haworth’s Anarchist Pedagogies is a more than welcome addition to the undertheorised field of anarchist education. The book clearly displays the richness of anarchist educational thought, and builds decent foundations for future research.
The presented studies and theories are more than academic exercises in anarchist
education: they present true survival kits for anarchists who work in and against
the traditional educational systems. We can just hope that the editor and authors of
Anarchist Pedagogies will continue their valuable work in the field.
Anarchist Pedagogies: A Review
by Alex Cruse
Maximum Rock N Roll
This text throughly and elegantly explains the project of tyrannical educational establishments: they hermetically seal-off the production and consumption of information to an elite—who also mediates the valuation process of this information. By working symbiotically with other State-run institutions, certain social and economic narratives are reinforced and normalized. Thus, activists and students of Radicalism/Anarchism may find themselves suspended in and disempowered by the dominate ideological complex and, in the words of Stephen Shukatis, "re-incorporated into the workings of state and capital… creating the image of subversion." This compelling tension is one that contributors revisit in chapter after chapter.Read more | Buy book now | Download e-Book now | Back to reviews | Back to top
Haworth, R. (2011). Multidimensional social studies: Teaching in the commons. In Brock R., Malott C., Villaverde L.E. (Eds.), Teaching Joe L. Kincheloe. New York: Peter Lang.
Haworth, R. (2010). Anarcho punk: Radical experimentations in informal learning spaces. In Carr, P. & Porfilio, B. (Eds.) Youth culture, education and resistance: Subverting the commercial ordering of life. Netherlands: Sense Publications.