Teacher Education and the Political: The power of negative thinking

Matthew Clarke, Anne Phelan

Research output: Book/ReportBook

34 Citations (Scopus)


2016 marks the centenary of Democracy and Education, in which Dewey argued for the mutually dependent relationship linking a legitimate education system and a thriving democracy. A century later, it seems, democracy and education have been decoupled, with both undermined by developments such as growing inequality, declining participation and trust in democratic processes, techno-rationalism that reframes political issues in terms of efficiency, and growing political extremism. Meanwhile, recent years have seen the increasing grip of market-based principles and techniques of measurement and evaluation as state-endorsed norms across various sectors and domains of society, including education, reflecting an instrumentalism Lacan described in terms of ‘the service of goods’. Against this background, this paper draws on resources from political and psychoanalytic theory to rethink and reanimate the links between education and democracy, thereby encouraging and emboldening educators to, in David Harvey’s words, “write the poetry of their own future”.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages160
ISBN (Electronic)9781315732671
ISBN (Print)9781138840744
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jan 2017

Publication series

NameFoundations and Futures of Education


Dive into the research topics of 'Teacher Education and the Political: The power of negative thinking'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this