A timely and persuasive argument for Higher Education's obligations to our democratic society, Longing for Justice combines personal narrative with critical analysis to make the case for educational practices that connect to questions of democracy, justice, and the common good. Jennifer S. Simpson begins with three questions. First, what is the nature of the social contract that universities have with public life? Second, how might this social contract shape undergraduate education? And third, how do specific approaches to knowledge and undergraduate education inform how students understand society? In a bold challenge to conventional wisdom about Higher Education, Simpson argues that today's neoliberal educational norms foreground abstract concepts and leave the complications of real life, especially the intricacies of power, unexamined. Analysing modern teaching techniques, including service learning and civic engagement, Simpson concludes that for Higher Education to serve democracy it must strengthen students' abilities to critically analyse social issues, recognize and challenge social inequities, and pursue justice.
Jennifer S. Simpson is an associate professor and Chair of the Department of Drama and Speech Communication at the University of Waterloo.
Chapter One. Higher Education and Democracy's Agenda: Resisting "Streamlined" Education Chapter Two. Higher Education and the Social Contract: Considering the "We" of Public Life Chapter Three. Civic Engagement and Service Learning: The Burden of Liberal Norms Chapter Four. "What Do You Think? 41 Bullets?": The Relationship of the Subject and the Social Chapter Five. Liberal Norms and Questions of Practice: Education, Ethics, and Interests Chapter Six. Epistemological Architectures: Possibilities for Understanding the Social Chapter Seven. The Work of the "We": Democracy's Agenda and Curricular and Pedagogical Possibilities References Endnotes