In recent years, debates over culture and education have entered the public consciousness as never before. Politicians, bureaucrats, and scholars have credited these endeavors with the capacity to influence matters ranging from public morality to national productivity. Trend examines points at which art and learning intersect in both traditional and nontraditional settings and offers a variety of alternatives for the construction of a new cultural pedagogy. He argues that we need to redefine concepts like art, literature, and education, to integrate them more fully into our lives.
On one hand, Trend uses a critical approach to examine how cultural work and pedagogy intersect within a range of discourses such as Marxist, feminist, deconstructionist and postcolonial. Yet on the other, he focuses on the use of specific examples of cultural practice within and outside the classroom to emphasize the importance of action as well as philosophy to bring about social change. Trend provides a theoretical overview of the ideological battles over texts and their discursive contexts and then analyzes how cultural education has evolved in such settings as the school, the university, and the community. He concludes with a discussion of pedagogy and democracy which suggests a range of possible resolutions.