As mentioned at the outset, common to all of the papers included here is a focus
on revitalizing education, the central theme of the 2014 SAPES Conference. There are
also several other points of convergence among the papers, one of which merits particular
attention in drawing these reflections to a close. Whether it is the primary focus of the
paper or not, and whether or not the language employed in referring to it is consistent
across various papers, an underlying area of concern is the attention paid to the question
of the purpose or aim of education and schooling. Remarkable about this is how little
attention is regularly paid to this matter in the literature and in public debates on
education and schooling. What also stands out as an area of general agreement across the
papers presented here is the extent to which the interests of the individual student are
viewed as paramount and the purpose of schooling is seen as one of enabling the
individual student to develop his or her individual talents. If this is to be accomplished, it
is further pointed out, the form and quality of the interaction between the student and the
teacher is crucial and matters of curriculum organization, legislative mandates, accepted
educational practices, and the default to fulfilling corporate needs as a purpose or aim of
schooling due to neoliberal agendas should be of secondary importance at most. There is
also much attention drawn to the importance contribution of feminist scholars, the tenets
of critical pedagogy, and peace education, including eco-justice. As a whole, the
scholarship presented here explores a significant array of pressing issues for schools
throughout the nation and beyond and presents important ideas and thoughts on the
revitalization of education in the twenty-first century.
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