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Volume 112, Number 2 (2010)

by Chris Higgins
This essay introduces the special issue Education, Crisis, and the Human Condition: Arendt after 50 Years.
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by Julian Edgoose
How can teachers find hope in hard times, when the usual promise of schools for a better future seems difficult to sustain? This article examines Hannah Arendt’s critiques of the dominant understandings of hope that frame schools, and her view of the different understanding of hope that teachers can find by reaffirming the interactive nature of classroom life.
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by Chris Higgins
According to Hannah Arendt, the aim of education is the cultivation of the future action of students. But teaching itself does not seem to count as a form of action for Arendt, leaving us to wonder how teachers estranged from their own natality can hope to cultivate and safeguard the natality of the young. To solve this dilemma, Higgins shows how both teaching and action take the form of mediation. In Higgins’s formulation, the classroom is a theatrical space and the curriculum a reweaving of our cultural constitution.
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by Geoffrey Hinchliffe
A discussion of the concept of action in the work of Hannah Arendt shows how its scope reaches further than Arendt was prepared to allow, into the shared world. Education is part of this world and also a preparation for it.
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by Natasha Levinson
This article explores the concept of world estrangement in Arendt’s analysis of the crisis in education. I explain what Arendt means when she contrasts an education for the world with an education for life, and I show how, in light of the deep philosophical and material roots of world-alienation, orienting teachers toward the world and away from a preoccupation with the concerns of “life” will demand a rethinking of the core of the teacher education curriculum.
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by Eduardo Manuel Duarte
The article is a study of Hannah Arendt’s early essays, “Reflections on Little Rock” and “The Crisis in Education,” reading them through the lens of Thinking, the first volume of her final and posthumously published work, The Life of the Mind. The result of this study is the identification of educational thinking as occurring in the existential space of solitude where students, withdrawn from the continuity of everyday life, engage in an activity that enables them to reflect upon and critically reimagine the world and thereby prepare for world-caring.
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by Stephanie Mackler
This article examines Hannah Arendt’s analysis of the problem of modern world alienation, with particular attention to the ways in which predominant modes of thinking contribute to this problem. The author argues that educational research and practices must be grounded in an Arendtian conception of thinking if we are to reclaim the world.
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by Jan Masschelein & Maarten Simons
Two different ways of thinking the public meaning of school education are derived from Arendt’s text on the crisis in education. In the first, the school is conceived of as the space/time of introduction, having a public role in giving access to the public sphere. In the second line of thinking, the school is by itself a public space/time: a space/time of suspension and profanation.
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by Gert Biesta
This article challenges the idea that the guarantee for democracy lies in the existence of a properly educated citizenry and argues that we should shift our attention from questions about the conditions of democracy to questions about the nature of political existence. The argument is developed through a critical discussion with the work of Hannah Arendt.
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