Acts of Knowing: Critical Pedagogy in, Against and Beyond the University
AbstractThis 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.