In this article, we first suggest that contemporary school policies and practices represent a utopia-gone-wrong. In striving for an unattainable educational utopia—that is, all students will be proficient in math and reading by 2014—current polices and their resulting practices have brought a classic dystopian turn—the dehumanization of students, teachers, and administrators. We then argue that such a turn can best be seen and then potentially stopped via a complete dystopian theory of education grounded in John Dewey’s radical aesthetics. In utilizing Dewey’s aesthetic theory as a lens of analysis, we argue that this turn toward dystopia is resulting in an increasingly numbing, anaesthetic educational experience at best; and a dehumanizing, violent educational experience at worst. Finally, we briefly ponder an antidote for our dystopian malaise: human love.
Project Muse URL
Heybach, Jessica A. and Sheffield, Eric C.
"Dystopian Schools: Recovering Dewey’s Radical Aesthetics in an Age of Utopia-Gone-Wrong,"
Education and Culture: Vol. 30
Available at: https://docs.lib.purdue.edu/eandc/vol30/iss1/art6