By James Cox
Midwest Book Review
Synopsis: 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. The important news is that emancipatory educational practices are emerging. In many cases, these alternatives have been undervalued or even excluded within the educational research. Collaboratively compiled and co-edited by the team of Robert Haworth (Assistant Professor in the Department of Professional and Secondary Education at West Chester University, Pennsylvania) and John M. Elmore (Professor and Chairperson in the Department of Professional and Secondary Education at West Chester University, Pennsylvania), “Out of the Ruins: The Emergence of Radical Informal Learning Spaces” is comprised of thirteen erudite and scholarly articles that collectively explore and discuss the emergence of alternative learning spaces that directly challenge the pairing of public education with particular dominant capitalist and statist structures.
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 (Kindle, $9.99).