Benign Violence: Education in and beyond the Age of Reason by Ansgar Allen

By Ansgar Allen

Education is a violent act, but this violence is hid via its stable motive. schooling offers itself as a surprisingly enhancing, permitting perform. Even its such a lot radical critics imagine that schooling is, at middle, an incontestable social good.

Setting schooling in its political context, this e-book, now in paperback, bargains a historical past of excellent intentions, starting from the delivery of recent education and smooth exam, to the increase (and fall) of meritocracy. In hard all that's well-intentioned in schooling, it finds how our academic commitments are regularly underwritten through violence. Our optimum beliefs have the bottom origins.

Seeking to unsettle a settled judgment of right and wrong, Benign Violence: schooling in and past the Age of cause is designed to disturb the reader. schooling constitutes us as topics; we owe our lifestyles to its violent inscriptions. those that refuse or insurgent opposed to our academic current needs to start via objecting to the topics we have now become.

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Assurance is given that the moral character of persons selected by examination could indeed be guaranteed. 50 Testimonies confirmed that for the newly examined universities ‘in more than nineteen cases out of twenty, men of attainments are also men of character’. 52 Admittedly, these were mere defensive retorts. Nevertheless, they were also truer than their authors imagined. * * * Bentham’s non-discerning child was just a convenient device, serving as a minor actor within the architectures of a larger machinery.

113 Once called to their seats, the hierarchy of classes and functionaries becomes manifest. Each allotted spot is a relative position within a route of progression that operates throughout the school, from the front, Bodies 33 nearest the master’s desk, to the rear. 114 Through these arrangements in space, a disordered mass becomes a legible entity. The definition of each child, including his or her role within the school, is the direct result of his or her position within this conceptual and functional grid.

39 Examinees were tested in batches, side by side with their competitors, alongside whom they would eventually be listed in order of attainment. A ranking procedure of ‘unparalleled intensity and precision’40 had been developed, and with it came the possibility of a new scientific reckoning that would take the individual as its prime target. At this point, only an elite minority were subjected to these dividing practices. It would take a century or more to extend examination to the general populace.

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