This book engages with the political, philosophical and policy debates around contemporary democratic socialism and state education. It examines contemporary education and education systems, as well as democratic socialism in the context of the complex political world we live in currently. It takes the reader towards a democratic socialist curriculum and pedagogy, and concludes by investigating democratic socialism and governance in education. Discussing the work of Axel Honneth, Chantal Mouffe and Norberto Bobbio, the book argues that contemporary democratic socialism gives a philosophical and political grounding to the notion of education being more than simply preparation for work or a series of qualifications. It makes the case for education as an exercise in democratic community, and learning as collective citizenship. Taking the curriculum, classroom pedagogy, and educational governance in turn, it offers a series of practical ways in which state education can be re-interpreted and re-applied to emphasise the democratic, collective and creative aspects of learning.
"Hopkins contends, firstly, that twenty-first-century democratic socialism must reinvigorate itself by responding to the challenges of liberalism; and, secondly, that a socially just education system must be willing to learn from such a reinvigorated socialism. These twinned theses are clearly and concisely thought through in relation to urgent educational, and more broadly socio-political, issues: contemporary democratic-socialist thought; educational systems (and possibilities for reform); curriculum design; pedagogy; systems and mechanisms of governance. In just a few thousand words, Hopkins’s Democratic Socialism and Education manages to be that rare thing: a book that is both lucid introduction and original contribution. It will surely appeal equally to teachers, philosophers of education, and those engaged in educational action research."
Dr. Oliver Belas, Lecturer in Education, School of Education and English Language, University of Bedfordshire, UK