In this edition of our Hedda literature tips, Filipa M. Ribeiro, PhD researcher and science writer from University of Porto reviews the book “Education Science and Knowledge capitalism – creativity and the promise of openness” by Michael A. Peters.
The book Education, Science and Knowledge Capitalism – creativity and the promise of openness takes up the idea of knowledge as something that needs to be explained, rather than what does the explaining. Michael A. Peter’s book traces how diverse processes of modernisation of science and knowledge systems involved inscribing and reinscribing a complex domain of ‘the social’ upon a world of heterogeneous concepts of education.
As the several essays assembled in this book show, in what regards education and knowledge production, ‘the social’ has changed radically in the last decades and continues to change rapidly. ‘The social’ is not only made of social stuff as several trends and mechanisms try to reduce it to phenomena like marketization, privatization and commercialization of knowledge, of ‘knowledge workers’, of knowledge institutions and of knowledge policies. As the author puts it, the best hope and the best way against such reduction is openness, which is defined as an orientation “towards change and experiment, collaboration and sharing, tolerance and the acceptance of criticism”.
In a way or another this basic idea of ‘openness’ permeated a great deal of sociological thinking; it enabled sociology to continually stress the irreducibly ‘social’ aspects of diverse knowledge phenomena. But this way of thinking about ‘the social’ in science and education also has its attendant problems, and these have begun to be felt more acutely in recent decades. The author, thus, explores what it takes for us – as individuals, as a society, even as a civilization – to cultivate the capacity of openness so vital to countering uninhibited impulses of neoliberalism and capitalisms within educational and scientific settings. (more…)