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Backwards into the Future
Chaos in the Classroom


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Backwards into the Future
Chaos in the Classroom

by Arnold De Graaff (Author)
R.C. Smith (Introduction)



ISBN: 9780957096110


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Backwards into the Future: Chaos in the Classroom by Arnold De Graaff (Paperback) (ISBN: 9780957096110)

At a time when neo-liberal ideology and corporatisation are more infused in our education systems than ever, Heathwood has chosen to publish this insightful and thought-provoking presentation by Arnold De Graaff. As relevant to the trials of today’s schools as it was to the specific context in which it was originally presented over a decade ago, De Graaff offers a lucid critique of the new Ontario curriculum that was being implemented at the time, and outlines some valuable alternative ways to think about and approach education.

At the time of writing, a permeating wave of rotten educational policy was spreading throughout western society at both State and Provincial levels, spanning from the aftermath of Thatcher’s 1988 Education Reform Act in the United Kingdom through to the controversies of Ontario Premier Mike Harris. As a call-to-arms, Backwards into the Future was written and publicly presented by De Graaff in response to the resulting corporate distortion of public education in Ontario, Canada.

Keeping in mind the particular sociohistorical-cultural conditions from which this work was born, the thesis offered in Backwards into the Future speaks to some of the key issues prevalent in educational contexts across much of western society to this day. Not only does it offer one of the more penetrating and concise diagnoses of the state of Western education to be produced in the last two decades; but it also stands as a testament to what grounded academics looks like in practice, as, aside from Arnold De Graaff’s unquestionable academic merit, this book speaks uniquely as a lived critique.

It is, moreover, the raw form of this presentation that bears so much fruit for the reader. De Graaff’s direct and clear tone of voice never ceases to honour the very humanness of the trying circumstances facing our schools, as he questions the damaging effects of distorted policy and passionately highlights what radical alternative forms of education could be like.

This booklet is a small and practical work intended mainly for teachers and parents, which Heathwood has released in order to launch its critical series on education and in order to set the tone for some of the discussions to come. We have a much more substantial work currently in development which is the result of a doctoral study – one which draws a substantiated critique of predominant educational practice and lays the foundation for an alternative philosophy of education. It is in this way that the publication of Arnold De Graaff’s highly passionate and incisive presentation: Backwards into the Future (Chaos in the Classroom) will pave the way for Beth M. Titchiner’s highly anticipated critique on the ravaged state of Education as well as her ground-breaking thesis on educational alternatives, scheduled for publication later in 2012.


ISBN 957096119
ISBN13 9780957096110
Publisher Heathwood Press
Format Paperback
Publication date 13/01/2012
Pages 78
Weight (grammes) 651.00
Published in United Kingdom
Height (mm) 216
Width (mm) 140