Anarchist Education

  • Judith Suissa


In this chapter I will discuss how the anarchist objection to the state and the defence of central anarchist values, such as mutual aid, autonomy and cooperation, yields a distinct perspective on debates about the aims of education. I will draw on historical accounts of anarchist educational experiments to explore how their pedagogical practices, organisation and content constituted a radical alternative to mainstream forms of educational provision in different historical periods and will reflect on the relevance of these alternatives in contemporary educational contexts. My discussion will incorporate both formal and informal education and will address central issues within educational philosophy and theory, such as the relationship between education and social change, the moral legitimacy of educational intervention and the conception of human nature. I will argue that the anarchist tradition of educational thought and practice, while overlapping in some respects with forms of libertarian, progressive and democratic education and with critical pedagogy, offers a unique perspective on issues such as the above, and a valuable set of resources with which to critique some dominant trends in contemporary educational policy and practice.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Judith Suissa
    • 1
  1. 1.University College LondonLondonUK

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