Against school?

Public lecture by Stephen Ball.

In this presentation Professor Stephen J. Ball examines the sensibilities of contemporary educational research and policy, that constantly seek for more and/or better schooling as a way of making education more equal and more inclusive. Ball calls for the need to abandon the ‘redemptive perspective’ and think education beyond and without the school. As a part of this, Ball argues:

“As ‘educators’ we need to be ‘against’ rather than ‘for’ the school. The modern school is an ‘intolerable’ institution. It is an institution of normalisation and division within which equality and inclusion are impossible. Concretely I will highlight the epistemic fundaments of the modern school; the dynamics of normalisation related to the universal; the production of inequalities and isolated individuals. Over and against this, I propose the need to think education differently in order to open up other educations, and specifically education as an ethical activity, an exploration of limits, and a politics of the self.”

Stephen Ball is Affiliated Professor at Section of Education, Department of Communication, University of Copenhagen. The lecture is part of the sessions in ‘Comparative education and globalisation’ at the BA-program in Education.

Suggested reading

Stephen Ball & Jordi Collet-Sabé (2021): Against school: an epistemological critique in Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education.

Further information

Tine Brøndum,, Karin K. Hougaard, or Trine Øland,