Education, Development, and Change
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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Education, Inequalities, and Freedom

Shahid Siddiqui 

Education, Inequalities, and Freedom, is an extension of critical educational discourse in Pakistan.  It underscores the role of education as a powerful socio-political phenomenon that is linked with power, politics, hegemony, resistance, and freedom. The book suggests that how education, which is believed to be a tool of emancipation, is in fact involved in further widening the socioeconomic gaps in the society.   The book calls for a major shift in the concept of knowledge, pedagogical practices, and assessment norms prevalent in our schools. To tackle the enormous challenge of social change, schools need to reposition themselves by making use of other social institutions and linking their pedagogies to non-formal and informal sources of knowledge.  The book is divided into nine thematic parts which include Education and Politics; Inequalities and Stratifications; Education and Development; Teachers, Control, and Freedom; Language and Power; Politics of Educational Reforms; Education and Hegemony; Myths and Slogans; and Exploring Alternatives. 
What education experts say about the book:
Dr. Shahid Siddiqui is one of the most serious thinkers about education in contemporary Pakistan. He combines deep understanding of theory with empirical research which makes his work engaging for scholars as well as interesting for the general public. He has special interest in issues of inequality, gender and power-differentials which makes his scholarship interdisciplinary. I am sure the book in your hands will be a milestone of scholarship on education in the context of the social issues of the country which you will enjoy and reflect upon for the years to come.
Dr Tariq Rahman
Distinguished National Professor, Beaconhouse National University, Lahore.
This book is a significant contribution to educational theory and a must-read for all those engaged in the important process of the making and distributing of knowledge.  The book is an addition to the growing body of work on the critical theory of education.  It underlines the fact that knowledge, its manufacture and circulation are ultimately political processes that cannot be divorced from society and the dynamics of social power.  This book challenges the dominant liberal and religious paradigms of education by raising issues of power, ideology and resistance that underlie educational systems. 
Dr Rubina Saigol
Writer and Researcher in Social Development
As an act of culturalization, education is multidimensional in its nature and impact. Dr. Shahid Siddiqui is among the very few in Pakistan who have a broad and deep understanding  of the issues and challenges in education, both in theory and in practice. His incisive articulation is a great help to those who wish to comprehend the complexity of the educational landscape in its fullness.
A.H. Nayyar
Lahore University of Management Sciences

Shahid Siddiqui’s book is an excellent attempt to challenge our world view about education, teaching and learning and explore alternatives for transforming education. It introduces a number of innovative ideas which are critical but constructive and revolutionary.  Dr Siddiqui’s book is a welcome addition in the domain of critical education keeping in view the dearth of critical perspective-based publications in Pakistan.  I am certain that academics, students, researchers and policymakers in the field of education will benefit enormously from the wisdom shared by the author.  
Dr Muhammad Memon
Director, IED,The Aga Khan University Karachi

Conventional wisdom has it that education is an equaliser. By providing everyone knowledge, information, skills  and the power of critical thinking, education is supposed to level the playing field. However, that is not what is happening in Pakistan. In this book, Shahid Siddiqui highlights the far from ideal state of education in Pakistan today. Unfortunately the disparities are glaring.
Zubeida Mustafa
Journalist and Educationist