Anarchist Pedagogies: Collective Actions, Theories, and Critical Reflections on Education

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Editor: Robert H. Haworth

“This original contribution to revolutionary praxis in education could not come at a more urgent moment. It deserves to be read and its recommendations unleashed in the battlefields of capital.” –€”Peter McLaren


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Education is a challenging subject for anarchists. Many are critical about working within a state-run education system that is embedded in hierarchical, standardized, and authoritarian structures. Numerous individuals and collectives envision the creation of counterpublics or alternative educational sites as possible forms of resistance, while other anarchists see themselves as “saboteurs” within the public arena—believing that there is a need to contest dominant forms of power and educational practices from multiple fronts. Of course, if anarchists agree that there are no blueprints for education, the question remains, in what dynamic and creative ways can we construct nonhierarchical, anti-authoritarian, mutual, and voluntary educational spaces?

Contributors to this edited volume engage readers in important and challenging issues in the area of anarchism and education. From Francisco Ferrer’s modern schools in Spain and the Work People’s College in the United States, to contemporary actions in developing “free skools” in the U.K. and Canada, to direct-action education such as learning to work as a “street medic” in the protests against neoliberalism, the contributors illustrate the importance of developing complex connections between educational theories and collective actions. Anarchists, activists, and critical educators should take these educational experiences seriously as they offer invaluable examples for potential teaching and learning environments outside of authoritarian and capitalist structures. Major themes in the volume include: learning from historical anarchist experiments in education, ways that contemporary anarchists create dynamic and situated learning spaces, and finally, critically reflecting on theoretical frameworks and educational practices. Contributors include: David Gabbard, Jeffery Shantz, Isabelle Fremeaux & John Jordan, Abraham P. DeLeon, Elsa Noterman, Andre Pusey, Matthew Weinstein, Alex Khasnabish, and many others.


  • “Pedagogy is a central concern in anarchist writing and the free skool has played a central part in movement activism. By bringing together an important group of writers with specialist knowledge and experience, Robert Haworth’s volume makes an invaluable contribution to the discussion of these topics. His exciting collection provides a guide to historical experiences and current experiments and also reflects on anarchist theory, extending our understanding and appreciation of pedagogy in anarchist practice.”  —Dr. Ruth Kinna, Senior Lecturer in Politics, Loughborough University, author of Anarchism: A Beginners Guide and coeditor of Anarchism and Utopianism
  • “With Anarchist Pedagogies, Rob Haworth helps us to move towards a dynamic and lived praxis of socialist libertarianism, bringing together some of the most articulate voices on the educational left to thoroughly explore the theoretical, historical, political, and pedagogical elements of anarchism today. The imperatives of mutual aid, solidarity, and working-class activism are as important and relevant as they ever were. This volume is a must-read for all students of education, teachers, and those dedicated to the struggle for social justice. Bravo!”   —Dr. Marc Pruyn, Monash University, Melbourne, co-editor of Teaching Peter McLaren
  • “This original contribution to revolutionary praxis in education could not come at a more urgent moment. It deserves to be read and its recommendations unleashed in the battlefields of capital.”  —Peter McLaren, Professor, Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, University of California, Los Angeles
  • “I worry sometimes that too many contemporary anarchists in North America celebrate anti-intellectualism by resisting both the study of new ideas and the histories of previous actions. It’s very heartening, then, for me to see these things being explored in Anarchist Pedagogies by a gathering of young, smart thinkers interested in pondering the complex relationships between liberty and learning. Deschooling, unschooling, informal learning, and radical critical pedagogy are all part of the mix here. Haworth has done well in bringing these voices together; you may not always agree with them, but you will be excited enough to engage with what they have to say.”  —Don LaCoss, Fifth Estate 

About the Editor:

Robert Haworth is an assistant professor in the Department of Professional and Secondary Education at West Chester University. He teaches courses focusing on the social foundations of education, anarchism and critical pedagogies. He has published and presented internationally on anarchism, youth culture, informal learning spaces, and critical social studies education. He cofounded worker-owned and -operated Regeneration TV as well as other academic research collectives. Currently he is working on a coedited book on critical perspectives and informal learning, as well as writing a single-authored book entitled Horizontal Imaginaries: Education, Spontaneity, and Desire.

About Allan Antliff (afterword):

Allan Antliff, Canada Research Chair, University of Victoria, is author of Anarchist Modernism: Art, Politics, and the First American Avant-Garde (2001), Anarchy and Art: From the Paris Commune to the Fall of the Berlin Wall (2007) and editor of Only A Beginning (2004) a documentary anthology of anarchist writings and activism in Canada.

Product Details:
Editor: Robert H. Haworth
Afterword by: Allan Antliff
Publisher: PM Press
ISBN: 978-1-60486-484-7
Published: July 2012
Format: Paperback
Size: 9 by 6
Page count: 352 Pages
Subjects: Anarchism, Education

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Weight 400 g
Dimensions 23 × 15.5 × 2.6 cm