Foucault News

News and resources on French thinker Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

Ball, S. J. (2019). A horizon of freedom: Using Foucault to think differently about education and learning. Power and Education.

DOI: https://10.1177/1757743819838289

Building on the work of others, this article sketches out what a Foucauldian ‘education’ might look like in practice, considers some of the challenges, paradoxes and (im)possibilities with which such an ‘education’ would face us, and indicates some of the cherished conceits and reiterated necessities that we must give up if we take seriously the need for an education that fosters an orientation to critique and curiosity. Three elements of Foucault’s ‘philosophical ethos’ that might be translated into educational practices are addressed: first, fostering a learning environment that encourages experimentation; second, enabling the development of an awareness of one’s current condition as defined and constructed by the given culture and historical moment; and, third, encouraging an attitude or disposition to critique – a focus on the production of particular sorts of dispositions that would be valued and fostered. All of this raises issues about ‘the teacher’.

Keywords: Foucault, self-formation, critique, refusal

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