© 2017

Antonio Gramsci: A Pedagogy to Change the World

  • Nicola Pizzolato
  • John D. Holst


  • Makes an important contribution to both the field of pedagogy and the study of Antonio Gramsci’s thought

  • Includes essays from Gramscian scholars from Italy and Latin American never published in English before

  • Expands the debate about Gramsci’s pedagogical and political thought beyond its actual frame of reference


Part of the Critical Studies of Education book series (CSOE, volume 5)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xx
  2. Nico Pizzolato, John D. Holst
    Pages 1-32
  3. Understanding Gramsci and Education

  4. Using a Gramscian Framework for Research

  5. Key Gramscian Concepts and Pedagogy

  6. Back Matter
    Pages 221-227

About this book


This volume provides evidence for the argument of a central place of pedagogy in the interpretation of Gramsci’s political theory. Gramsci’s view that ‘every relationship of hegemony is necessarily a pedagogical relationship’ makes it imperative to dismiss narrow and formal interpretations of his educational theories as applying to schooling only. This book argues that what is required rather is an inquiry into the Italian thinker’s broad conceptualisation of pedagogy, which he thought of as a quintessential political activity, central to understanding and transforming society.

Preceded by a broad introduction that positions Gramsci in his context and in the literature, the essays in this book critically revisit the many passages of the Prison Notebooks and pre-prison writings where Gramsci addresses the nexus between politics and pedagogy. Some essays apply those concepts to specific contexts. The book for the first time brings to the attention of an English-speaking audience voices from the current historiography in Italy and Latin America.

We are forced at regular intervals to consider how Gramsci might still be useful, in particular national territories, in an international context. How can we carry on with pessimism of the intelligence, but find some basis for optimism of the will? 
Anne Showstack Sassoon, Visiting Professor of Politics at the Department of Politics at Birbeck, University of London


Antonio Gramsci Gramscian pedagogy Prison notebooks adult education critical pedagogy critique of education education and power pedagogy and hegemony pedagogy and hegemony philosophy of praxis workers education social theory Marxism

Editors and affiliations

  • Nicola Pizzolato
    • 1
  • John D. Holst
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute for Work Based LearningMiddlesex UniversityLondonUK
  2. 2.Department of Educational LeadershipUniversity of St. ThomasMinneapolisUSA

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Antonio Gramsci: A Pedagogy to Change the World
  • Editors Nicola Pizzolato
    John D. Holst
  • Series Title Critical Studies of Education
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Education Education (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-40447-9
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-319-82103-0
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-40449-3
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XX, 227
  • Number of Illustrations 1 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Educational Philosophy
    Sociology of Education
    Philosophy of Education
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


“This new text on Gramsci, from editors Nicola Pizzolato and John Holst, is an important intervention into international conversations on Gramsci’s major contributions not only to social theory, but to educational theory specifically. … In my opinion, this emphasis on the notion of praxis, including the lived conscious reality, is a needed strength and important contribution of this text.” (Sara Carpenter, Canadian Journal for the Study of Adult Education, cjsae, Vol. 33 (1), 2021)

“Antonio Gramsci: A pedagogy to change the world offers a critical review of recent developments around Gramsci’s revolutionary pedagogy. … I would highly recommend anyone with an interest in the revolutionary potential of education to get ahold of a copy of this book. There is still much work to be done with Gramsci and education. Hopefully, this book will reignite an interest in the work of Gramsci as a particularly useful theorist.” (Anthony Friend, Power and Education, Vol. 12 (2), 2020)

“The book under review is a great critical contribution in this direction and offers its readers a variety of approaches to better understand Gramsci’s work … . the present volume is very successful in advancing our understanding of Gramsci’s work and his vital contribution to educational theory as a system which is not confined to schooling and as an essential piece in the process of social change.” (Zvi Bekerman, International Review of Education, Vol. 66, 2020)

“The volume is definitely about education/pedagogy and hegemony and mirrors much of the work of Gramsci, whose overall political project was an educational one. … I wholeheartedly recommend this book to adult educators and all those interested in critical education.” (Mervin Chisholm, Adult Education Quarterly, November 01, 2018)