Dystopia & Education

Insights into Theory, Praxis, and Policy in an Age of Utopia-Gone-Wrong

Edited by:
Jessica A. Heybach, Aurora University
Eric C. Sheffield, Missouri State University

A volume in the series: Studies in the Philosophy of Education. Editor(s): John E. Petrovic, The University of Alabama.

Published 2013

Dystopia and Education: Insights into Theory, Praxis, and Policy in an age of Utopia Gone Wrong provides an as-of-yet unexplored critical perspective for examining contemporary educational theory, praxis, and policy with particular reference to the current state of dehumanizing and often oppressive policy and practices that have come to demarcate the era of NCLB and RTT. The authors in this collection employ dystopian themes found in literature, film, visual art, and video games as the lens for that critical inquiry. As such Dystopia and Education: Insights into Theory, Praxis, and Policy is an essential contribution to the philosophical/critical tradition in educational scholarship. It is especially valuable because the inquiry undertaken is from a new perspective—one that will extend the critical tradition into a yet unexplored arena.

Given the educational climate established by NCLB and RTT, this collection is especially important to the ongoing critical analysis of such policy mandates. There is also a significantly important timeliness to this book given NCLB’s utopian expectation of universal academic proficiency among American schoolchildren by the year 2014: as educators race to achieve such a noble yet naïve goal, this collection of essays examines the educational environment that has been enacted to achieve such ends, and describes our current state as a utopia-gone wrong.

Foreword: Dystopia and Education, William Ayers. Preface: Dystopia and Education? Jessica A. Heybach and Eric C. Sheffield. Acknowledgments. SECTION I: THEORY. Dystopian Theory: Can We See What We Have Not Yet Theorized? Jessica A. Heybach and Eric C. Sheffield. An Aesthetic of Horror in Education: Schools as Dystopian Environments, Kerry Freedman. Youth, the Self, and Violence: A Hegelian Analysis of Fight Club, Kip Kline. Merit, Democracy, Governing, Benjamin Baez. Dyst(r)opia: A Tropological Argument for Dystopia in Education, F. Tony Carusi. Tests, Consumerism, and the Cruel Drone of White Noise, Andrew N. McKnight. SECTION II: PRAXIS. Dystopian Practice or Praxis? Jessica A. Heybach and Eric C. Sheffield. Dystopian Love Manifested in a Dystopian Aesthetic: Insights Into Contemporary Educational Practice From A Clockwork Orange, Eric C. Sheffield. Lessons From Elsewhere; or, Rethinking Democracy and Public Education Through Lois Lowry’s The Giver, Eric D. Smith and Philip E. Kovacs. When Undergraduate Students Read Huxley’s Brave New World and Plato’s Republic in an Educational Foundations Course, Steven P. Jones. “Unlearning” With the Dystopian Youth: Sating Student Hunger With The Hunger Games, Becky L. Noel Smith. Gaming as Virtual Education: Insights From Dystopian Art, Stefan J. Sheffield. SECTION III: POLICY. Are Utopian Educational Policies Inherently Dystopian? Jessica A. Heybach and Eric C. Sheffield. In Search of Equality of Educational Opportunity for Harrison Bergeron, John E. Petrovic. An Educational Dystopia:Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Race to the Top, Bradley D. Rowe and Taylor Lacy Klassman. Orwell’s 1984 and Education as Commodity Spectacle, Dennis Attick. Dystopia, Disciplinarity, and Governmentality: A Foucauldian Analysis of the Novels of Isamu Fukui, Joshua Garrison and Leslee Grey. Education’s Handmaids? The Role of the Teacher in the Age of Accountability, Alison Happel and Becky Atkinson. All I Really Needed to Know about Tolerance I Learned From Zombies, Richard McDonald and Nicholas McDonald. About the Contributors.