Research News

Apple co-edits new book examining politics, possibilities of educational change

March 10, 2017

Leonel Lim and UW-Madison’s Michael W. Apple are the editors of a recently released book titled,  “The Strong State and Curriculum Reform: Assessing the politics and possibilities of educational change in Asia.”

Michael Apple
“Too often we talk about borrowing supposedly successful curriculum reform from places such as Singapore, China, Japan or South Korea in a vacuum,” Apple, who is the School of Education’s John Bascom Professor of Curriculum and Instruction, and Educational Policy Studies, says of this new publication. “This book demands that we look much more closely at the realities of government power and control.  The process of doing this book certainly made me considerably more aware of what these realities actually are, and much less apt to support such borrowing without question.”

Lim is an assistant professor with the Curriculum, Teaching and Learning Academic Group, at the National Institute of Education, Singapore.

According to this Routledge web page previewing the book: “As Asian education systems increasingly take on a stronger presence on the global educational landscape, of special interest is an understanding of the ways in which many of these states direct their schools towards higher achievement. What is missing, however, are accounts that take seriously the particular construction of the strong, developmental state witnessed across many Asian societies, and that seek to understand the politics and possibilities of curriculum change vis a vis precisely the dominance of such a state.”

The preview continues: “By engaging in analyses based on some of the best current social and cultural theories, and by illuminating the interactions among various state and non-state pedagogic agents, the chapters in this volume account for the complex post-colonial, historical and cultural consciousnesses that many Asian states and societies experience.”

Book coverApple is recognized across the world as one of the most important and influential education scholars of our time. On Dec. 6, he received an honorary degree from the University of Ljubljana in a ceremony on the campus of the oldest and largest university in Slovenia. That visit to Slovenia marked the third time since the start of the fall 2016 semester that he had received such an honor, and Apple now holds 13 honorary degrees.

In particular, Apple is recognized for making significant contributions to the development of critical educational theory, research and practice.  Two of Apple’s previous books, “Ideology and Curriculum,” and “Official Knowledge,” were listed as being among the 50 most significant education books during the 20th century.

Apple has edited or authored more than 50 books.