In this chapter Giroux is focusing on the educational foundations of the democratic society, or in his words the art of “pedagogy.” “Pedagogy is a moral and political practice that is always implicated in power relations and must be understood as a cultural endeavor that offers both a particular version and vision of civic life, the future, and how we might construct representations of ourselves, others, and our physical and social environments” (pg. 185). I feel that he is trying to stress the importance of a democratic society and the steps we should take as citizens to gain control over our country and decide our policies. He’s trying to let us know that we do have a choice and that we don’t have to adapt both our hopes and our abilities to this new global market. I agree that we all need to educate one another and seek that extra knowledge in order to make our world and our future better.
“Coupled with an ever-expanding culture of fear, a market-based notion of freedom seems securely grounded in a defense of national security and the institutions of finance capital. Under such circumstances, a neoliberal model now bears down on American society, threatening to turn it into an authoritarian state” (pg. 184).
Like Giroux I believe that we should be able to come up with our own views and thoughts, instead of just settling with the rest of the world. This chapter explains how important public intellectuals are, they can help society by using new political and pedagogical languages to help bring democracy back. They will help by teaching young people the skills and knowledge they need to play an active role in shaping a democratic future, we need to actually teach our children not, just math and science, but how to think and make decisions. BUT that’s a gamble, because as stated on page 204 “Such forms of pedagogy are dangerous because they not only provide the intellectual capacities and ethical norms for students to fight against poverty, ecological destruction, and the dismantling of the social state, but also hold the potential for instilling in students a profound desire for a “real democracy based on relationships of equality and freedom.” This is dangerous, because nobody of higher power wants anyone to think that America is unequal, right?
“The greatest threat to our children does not come from lowered educational standards, the absence of privatized choice schemes, or the lack of rigid testing measures. On the contrary, it comes from a society that refuses to view children as a social investment, one that cosigns 16.3 million children to live in poverty, reduces critical learning to massive testing programs, promotes policies that eliminate most crucial health an public services, and defines masculinity through the degrading celebration of a gun culture, extreme sports, and the spectacles of violence that permeate corporate- controlled media industries.”