Legitimacy of non-negotiable imposition in diverse approaches to education

Eugene Matusov


Modern conventional education is full of impositions on its students. Schools often impose on students where they must be, what they must do and learn, how they must behave and communicate in the places and the ways that the teacher and school define. However, the legitimacy of this imposition – how much of this imposition is necessary, useful, justified, and desirable for education itself – has not been specifically discussed and analyzed yet. The legitimacy of this imposition is especially important to do for innovative education, evaluating and reconsidering its goals and practices of education. Analysis of imposition in education can help to address important questions of why oppression, alienation, if not pedagogical violence, are so prevalent in organized education and whether this is can be avoided or not. The goal of this paper is to consider different approaches to non-negotiable imposition in education, its legitimacy, and justifications and analyze their pros and cons. I consider Totalizing conventional, Capitalist, Progressive, Democratic, Anarchist, and Communitarian educational approaches to non-negotiable imposition and its legitimacy from an educational perspective.


impositions, agency, progressivism, democratic education, open syllabus education

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/dpj.2015.110


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