Henry A. Giroux: Higher Education Under Siege: Implications for Public Intellectuals (PDF)

Henry A. GirouxHenry A. Giroux: Higher Education Under Siege: Implications for Public Intellectuals (PDF)
Thought & Action, Fall, 2006

What is the task of educators at a time when mainstream American culture is increasingly characterized by a declining interest in and misgiving about national politics? How one answers this question will have a grave impact not only on higher education but on the future of democratic public life. There are no simple solutions. Hence it becomes crucial for educators at all levels of schooling to provide alternative democratic conceptions of the meaning and purpose of both politics and education. In what follows, I want to argue that one of the primary tasks facing educators, students, community activists, and others in the 21st century should center around developing political projects that can challenge the ascendancy of cynicism and anti-democratic tendencies in the United States by defending the institutions and mechanisms that provide the pedagogical conditions for critical and engaged citizenship. Crucial to such a challenge is the role that higher education can play in reclaiming the links between education and democracy, knowledge and public service, and learning and democratic social change.

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