How can discerning critical hope enable us to develop innovative forms of teaching, learning and social practices that begin to address issues of marginalization, privilege and access across different contexts?

At this millennial point in history, questions of cynicism, despair and hope arise at every turn, especially within areas of research into social justice and the struggle for transformation in education. While a sense of fatalism and despair is easily recognizable, establishing compelling bases for hope is more difficult. This book addresses the absence of sustained analyses of hope that simultaneously recognize the hard edges of why we despair.

The volume posits the notion of critical hope not only as conceptual and theoretical, but also as an action-oriented response to despair. Our notion of critical hope is used in two ways: it is used firstly as a unitary concept which cannot be disaggregated into either hopefulness or criticality, and secondly, as an analytical concept, where critical hope is engaged and diversely theorized in ways that recognize aspects of individual and collective directions of critical hope. The book is divided into four sub-sections:

  • Critical Hope in Education

  • Critical Hope and a Critique of Neoliberalism
  • Critical Race Theory/Postcolonial Perspectives on Critical Hope
  • Philosophical Overviews of Critical Hope.

Education can be a purveyor of critical hope, but it also requires critical hope so that it, as a sector itself, can be transformative. With contributions from international experts in the field, the book will be of value to all academics and practitioners working in the field of education.

chapter |8 pages


ByVivienne Bozalek, Ronelle Carolissen, Brenda Leibowitz, Megan Boler

part I|46 pages

Critical hope in education

chapter 1|15 pages

Affective, political and ethical sensibilities in pedagogies of critical hope

Exploring the notion of ‘critical emotional praxis'
ByMichalinos Zembylas

chapter 2|14 pages

Teaching for hope

The ethics of shattering worldviews 1
ByMegan Boler

chapter 3|15 pages

A pedagogy of critical hope in South African higher education

ByVivienne Bozalek, Ronelle Carolissen, Brenda Leibowitz

part II|43 pages

Critical hope and a critique of neoliberalism

chapter 4|12 pages

“That's scary. But it's not hopeless”

Critical pedagogy and redemptive narratives of hope
ByGustavo Fischman, Eric Haas

chapter 6|16 pages

Critical hope

Deconstructing of the politics of HOPE at a South African university
ByHenk van Rinsum

part III|41 pages

Critical Race Theory/Postcolonial perspectives on critical hope

chapter 7|12 pages

Critical hope and struggles for justice

An antidote to despair for antiracism educators
ByRonald David Glass

chapter 8|13 pages

Agents of critical hope

Black British narratives 1
ByPaul Warmington

chapter 9|14 pages

Decolonizing education

Discovering critical hope in marginal spaces
ByMerlyne Cruz

part IV|23 pages

Philosophical overviews of critical hope

chapter 10|14 pages


An emancipatory resource across the ages
ByJohn Horton

chapter |7 pages


Critical hopes – gratitude and the magic of encounter
ByMary Zournazi