This provocative book's starting point is a deep and profound concern about the commodification of knowledge within the contemporary university.
Acts of Knowing aims to provide readers with a means of understanding the issues from the perspective of Critical Pedagogy; an educational philosophy which believes that 'knowing' must be freed from the constraints of the financial and managerialist logics which dominate the contemporary university. Critical Pedagogy is important for three key reasons: it conceptualises pedagogy as a process of engagement between the teacher and taught; secondly that that engagement is based on an underlying humanistic view about human worth and value; and thirdly that the 'knowing' which can come out of this engagement needs to be understood essentially as exchange between people, rather than a financial exchange.
Cowden and Singh argue that the conception of education as simply a means for securing economic returns for the individual and for the society's positioning in a global marketplace, represents a fundamentally impoverished conception of education, which impoverishes not just individuals, but society as a whole.
Stephen Cowden has taught for the last 10 years at Coventry University, UK. He has a background in political activism in Melbourne, Australia and in London, and has worked as a frontline care worker and Social Worker in the UK before entering academia. He is interested in the Critical Pedagogical tradition as a way of working specifically with students from non-traditional university backgrounds, and also as a methodology for Social Work practice. Gurnam Singh is a Principal Lecturer in Social Work and Co-Director of the Applied Research Group in Social Exclusion in Social Care (SISC) at Coventry University, UK. He was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship by the Higher Education Academy in 2009. Throughout his adult life he has been active in numerous social movements whose aim has been to fight for social and economic justice.
Introduction - Critical Pedagogy and the Crisis in the Contemporary University Part 1 - Perspectives on the Crisis in Education Chapter 1: On the New Poverty of Student Life Chapter 2: Sat-Nav Education - A Means to an End or an End to Meaning Chapter 3: Critical pedagogy, Public Sociology and Student Activism Chapter 4: The Practical Politics of 'Criticality' in Higher Education Chapter 5: Opening Spaces of Possibility in the University- Critical Pedagogy in the Teaching of Social Justice Part 2 : Critical Pedagogy and Popular Education Chapter 6: Critical Pedagogy and the Uses of Freire and Bourdieu Chapter 7: The Neoliberal University, Critical Pedagogy and Popular Education Chapter 8: Indigenous Pedagogy Chapter 9: Popular Education and Higher Education Chapter 10: Critical Pedagogy, Critical Theory and Critical Hope Chapter 11: Autonomist Marxism, Social Movements and Popular Education Bibliography Index