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Robert H. Haworth is an associate professor in the Department of Educational Foundations & Policy Studies 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.

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Anarchist Education and the Modern School: A Francisco Ferrer Reader
Author: Francisco Ferrer • Editors: Mark Bray and Robert H. Haworth 
Publisher: PM Press
ISBN: 978-1-62963-509-5
Published: 11/01/2018
Format: Paperback
Size: 9x6
Page count: 352
Subjects: Anarchism/Education

On October 13, 1909, Francisco Ferrer, the notorious Catalan anarchist educator and founder of the Modern School, was executed by firing squad. The Spanish government accused him of masterminding the Tragic Week rebellion, while the transnational movement that emerged in his defense argued that he was simply the founder of the groundbreaking Modern School of Barcelona. Was Ferrer a ferocious revolutionary, an ardently nonviolent pedagogue, or something else entirely?

Anarchist Education and the Modern School is the first historical reader to gather together Ferrer’s writings on rationalist education, revolutionary violence, and the general strike (most translated into English for the first time) and put them into conversation with the letters, speeches, and articles of his comrades, collaborators, and critics to show that the truth about the founder of the Modern School was far more complex than most of his friends or enemies realized. Francisco Ferrer navigated a tempestuous world of anarchist assassins, radical republican conspirators, anticlerical rioters, and freethinking educators to establish the legendary Escuela Moderna and the Modern School movement that his martyrdom propelled around the globe.


“A thorough and balanced collection of the writings of the doyen of myriad horizontal educational projects in Spain and more still across the world. Equally welcome are the well-researched introduction and the afterword that underline both the multiplicity of anarchist perspectives on education and social transformation and the complexity of Ferrer’s thinking.”
—Chris Ealham, author of Living Anarchism: Jose Peirats and the Spanish Anarcho-Syndicalist Movement

“This volume brings together for the first time a comprehensive collection of Ferrer’s own writings, documenting the daily life and aims of the Escuela Moderna, alongside reflections, often critical, by contemporary anarchists and other radical thinkers. Together with the editors’ thoughtful Introduction, the result is a fascinating collection—essential reading for anyone keen to go beyond the image of Ferrer the martyr of libertarian education and to understand the perennial moral and political questions at the heart of any project of education for freedom.”
—Judith Suissa, author of Anarchism and Education: A Philosophical Perspective

“Bray and Haworth have here provided a great gift to the history of liberatory education and to its possible social futures, as this book is sure to become a definitive text on the origins and development of the international Modern School movement.”
—Richard Kahn, Antioch University Los Angeles

“Part martyr, part visionary, Francisco Ferrer and the Modern School Movement he created have continued to preoccupy educational reformers and political activists despite or because of Ferrer’s execution by a repressive Spanish government in 1909. Revealing Ferrer’s flaws, Mark Bray and Robert Haworth nevertheless evoke a person and a period when political visionaries and educational reformers promised and almost succeeded in transforming civic life in Europe and the Americas.”
—Temma Kaplan, distinguished professor emerita, Rutgers University

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Out of the Ruins: The Emergence of Radical Informal Learning Spaces
Editors: Robert H. Haworth and John M. Elmore
Publisher: PM Press
ISBN: 978-1-62963-239-1
Published: 06/2017
Format: Paperback
Size: 9x6
Page count: 288
Subjects: Education/Politics-Anarchism

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

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Anarchist Pedagogies: Collective Actions, Theories, and Critical Reflections on Education
Editor: Robert H. Haworth
Afterword by: Allan Antliff
Publisher: PM Press
ISBN: 978-1-60486-484-7
Published: July 2012
Format: Paperback
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

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What Others are Saying

anarchisteducationAnarchist Education and the Modern School: A Review
By Michael Long
ASR: Anarcho-Syndicalist Review
Summer 2019

In his insightful Introduction, Bray is at pains to bring out the complexities, and sometimes inconsistencies, in Ferrer’s political beliefs and actions. His dedication, starting in 1901, to establishing networks of modern schools supposedly delivering non-ideological, peaceful, scientifically based, rationalist education – an ambitious enough goal – was only one side of the man. Simultaneously, Bray notes (5), Ferrer founded and financed an anarchist labor periodi- cal La Huelga General (The General Strike) in which, under the pseudonym ‘Cero’ (probably employed so as not to scare away parents of Escuela Moderna children), he published several articles indicative of distinctly non-pacifist beliefs. One was entitled ‘The Republicans are not revolutionaries – Only the general strike will make the revolution’, and another, ‘Will there be blood? – Yes, a lot’.

outOut of the Ruins: A Review
By Michael James Miller
April 3rd, 2018
Pedagogy, Culture & Society

Out of the Ruins offers an Introduction and 13 chapters with various anecdotes and attempted antidotes, provocations and practical, experiential writing on experimental efforts to create and maintain counter-hegemonic learning spaces and communities. Through different approaches, reflections and emergences this book extends many important considerations. Whether we are starting on our thinking of radical informal learning spaces, looking for examples from other’s experiences, or how we might bring in more criticality, radical intentions and informal pedagogies to our own practices and experiences, Out of the Ruins is intended to be that place.

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outOut of the Ruins: A Review
By Gregory Zobe
Journal of the Study for Technical Communication
May 2018

Anarchism has long attended to education’s importance in social relations and liberation. Sadly, scholarship around these ideas has been limited, often despite the explicit parallels between anarchism and liberatory educators like Ivan Illich and Paulo Freire or John Dewey’s experiential education and learning. Out of the Ruins is a welcome addition. It contributes both in terms of scholarly work as well as helping share practical and theoretical pieces for those interested in challenging extremist authoritarianism.

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outOut of the Ruins: A Review
By James Cox
Midwest Book Review
September 2017

Critique: Out of the Ruins sharply criticizes the entire social structure of the current educational system, especially its capitalistic, market-driven approach, and offers viable alternatives in its assembly of essays by public education experts. While unreservedly recommended as a core addition to both community and academic library Contemporary Education Issues collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of students and non-specialist general readers that Out of the Ruins is also available in a digital book format.

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apedagogiesAnarchist Pedagogies: A Review
By Petar Jandric
Anarchist Studies
Volume 2 Number 1
pg 106-108

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.

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apedagogiesAnarchist Pedagogies: A Review
by Alex Cruse
Maximum Rock N Roll
January 2013

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.

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More from Robert...

Haworth, R. & DeLeon, A. (2012). The crisis of mutative capitalism: Holey spaces, creative struggle and educative innovations. In Cole, D. R. (Ed.) Surviving economic crisis through education. New York: Peter Lang.

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.

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