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Maxine Greene’s Concept of the Social Imagination

  • Wendy Kohli
Part of the Springer International Handbooks of Education book series (SIHE)

Abstract

Maxine Greene (1917–2014) was a philosopher of education who grounded her work in existentialism, pragmatism, critical theory, and aesthetic education. A prolific writer, public intellectual, and teacher, Greene offered (and continues to offer) contemporary educators and policy makers a valuable critique of education and schooling in the USA. In particular, her concept of the social imagination is a potent antidote to the negative forces of scientism, technicism, and instrumental rationality that have dominated educational thought and practice for several decades, especially through the over-reliance on authoritarian accountability systems. This chapter locates the social imagination in Greene’s existential commitment to provide openings, to create more possibilities, to move us to a more empowered stance in the world. For Greene, it is through encounters with a range of art forms that we are provoked to ‘think of things as if they could be otherwise.’

Keywords

Aesthetic education Social imagination Critical pedagogy Existentialism Multicultural democracy 

References

  1. Dewey, J. (1934). Art as experience. New York: Penguin Putnam.Google Scholar
  2. Greene, M. (1973). Teacher as stranger: Educational philosophy for the modern age. Belmont: Wadsworth Publishing.Google Scholar
  3. Greene, M. (1978). Landscapes of learning. New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  4. Greene, M. (1988). The dialectic of freedom. New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  5. Greene, M. (1995). Releasing the imagination: Essays on education, the arts and social change. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  6. Greene, M. (2001). Variations on a blue guitar: The Lincoln Center lectures on aesthetic education. New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  7. Gur-Ze’ev, I. (Ed.). (2005). Critical theory and critical pedagogy today. Haifa: University of Haifa Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wendy Kohli
    • 1
  1. 1.Educational Studies and Teacher PreparationFairfield UniversityFairfieldUSA

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