Kontopodis, Michalis (hardcover 2012, paperback 2014). Neoliberalism, Pedagogy and Human Development: Exploring Time, Mediation and Collectivity in Contemporary Schools. London and New York: Routledge.

Reviewed in: 

a. Connolly, M. (2015). Book review: Michalis Kontopodis: Neoliberalism, pedagogy and human development: Exploring time, mediation and collectivity in contemporary schools. Power & Education, 7(3), 370-371. available HERE

b. Klitmøller, J. (2014). Review of Kontopodis, Michalis (2012): Neoliberalism, Pedagogy and Human Development: Exploring Time, Mediation and Collectivity in Contemporary Schools. Outlines: Critical Practice Studies, 15(3), 97-101: available HERE

c. In French: in Cahiers de psychologie et éducation (Université de Neuchâtel), 50, pp.15-20 by Fabienne Gfeller available HERE

Reply by M Kontopodis: Vygotsky, Neoliberalism & Post-structuralism: Reflecting on Three Reviews of My Book “Neoliberalism, Pedagogy & Human Development”

Review Quotes: 

In this ambitious and provocative book, Michalis Kontopodis explores how temporal dimensions of development are enacted through culturally mediated social practices, highlighting the links between memory, imagination and collaboration. By drawing on everyday lives of marginalized students variously positioned within their unique cultures yet subjected to the abiding power of neoliberal educational regimes, this approach breaks with the tradition that assumes a position of a neutral observer. In its activist critical stance that interrogates political contexts of human development, the book exemplifies a novel and much needed trend in socio-cultural studies that itself helps to enact new possibilities for the future. Anna Stetsenko, City University of New York.

Excellent book which moves brilliantly from the analysis of local schools and concrete student cases to a timely discussion of global educational politics and dynamics. Christoph Wulf, Free University Berlin.

Trained both in educational psychology and in anthropology, the author provides fantastic information about German, US and Brazilian educational projects while exploring students’ personal dramas and developmental trajectories. The analysis sheds new light on existing Vygotskian scholarship and interpretation and opens new paths in the education of urban and rural marginalized populations. Erineu Foerste, Federal University of Espírito Santo, Brazil.

Kontopodis, Michalis, Wulf, Christoph and Fichtner, Bernd (eds.) (2011) Children, Development and Education: Cultural, Historical, Anthropological Perspectives. New York: Springer.

Detailed review by Stéphanie Breux in Outlines: Critical Practice Studies Vol 16(1) available HERE

This book presents interesting original research with a strong cultural dimension. It provides material for important theoretical innovations regarding the notions of practice, performativity, or subjectivity. It shows the relevance of historical approaches to the understanding of human cultural development and cultural practices, that may help students and researchers of education and psychology better understand their own constructed actuality. Bert van Oers, Free University Amsterdam.

The strongest aspect of “Culture, Development and Education” is its interdisciplinary character. The breadth of approaches, cutting across evolution, ontogenesis, and cultural history, is impressive and innovative, and makes an original and timely contribution to the study of human development. Igor Arievitch, The City University of New York.

This excellent book brings to discussion, in an innovative way, issues of culture, childhood and development that are of great interest for the international audience since it opens new paths to look at cultural-historical research, educational science, developmental psychology and childhood research. Maria Cecília Camargo Magalhães, Catholic University of São Paulo, SP, Brazil.

Kontopodis Michalis & Niewöhner Jörg (Eds.) (2010). Das Selbst als Netzwerk. Zum Einsatz von Körpern und Dingen im Alltag [The Self as Network: On Everyday Uses of Bodies and Things]. Bielefeld: transcript.

The anthology convincingly pleads for looking more closely at the everyday life practices with (biomedical) technologies, and emphasizes the irreducible relevance of these technologies by ascribing them agency. However, the relational-materialist concepts presented here do not seem to call for looking beyond the descriptive level, do not ask for how these might contribute to changes in societal practice. Nevertheless the questions the contributions pose are significant for how we humans live our everyday life, and how we conceive of normality, health, illness, a good life. Challenging common understandings of the various fields and practices therein by posing these questions directly in and to the field is a first step towards realizing the transformational potentials in practice. […] The next step, then, would be to refine the (evidently rather rigid) conceptual framework applied, so that future work may not only describe transformations in practice, but actually promote them.

(Chimirri, Niklas Alexander (2012). Review: Michalis Kontopodis & Jörg Niewöhner (Eds.) (2010). Das Selbst als Netzwerk. Zum Einsatz von Körpern und Dingen im Alltag [The Self as Network: On Everyday Uses of Bodies and Things]. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung/ Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 13(2), Art.7,

Kontopodis M. & Kozin A. (Guest Eds) (2009). Materializing Times: From Memory to Imagination. Memory Studies, 2 (1).

What this collection does so well is invite us to think about the phenomenology of forgetting/ remembering both the material and the semiotic in the same movement, and this is where the hyphenation comes in… The authors of this special issue have not just demonstrated a neat trick (that one can associate time, memory and materiality in interesting ways) – they have shown that only an integrated analysis will enable us to work with our own pasts and futures, lacunae and hyperrealities in a politically and culturally rich way.  GEOFFREY C. BOWKER, Santa Clara University/ University of Pittsburgh, USA.