derek r. ford is a teacher, organizer, and educational theorist. He is assistant professor of education studies at DePauw University, where he teaches courses in philosophy and history of education. He received his PhD in Cultural Foundations of Education from Syracuse University in December 2015. Informed by marxism, critical geography, and post-structuralism, his research examines the nexus of pedagogy, subjectivity, and revolutionary movements.
His latest book, Communist study: Education for the commons was published in fall 2016 through Lexington. Contending that radical politics needs educational theory, Communist study poses a series of educational questions pertinent to revolutionary movements: How can pedagogy bridge the gap between what is and what can be, while respecting the gap and its uncertainty and figurality? How can pedagogy accommodate ambiguity while remaining faithful to the communist project? In answering these questions, the book develops a pedagogical constellation of educational concepts: the secret, figure, restraint, whatever, and party. Demonstrating that learning is the educational logic that underpins capitalism and democracy, the project articulates a theory of communist study as an alternative and oppositional logic. This theory of study is oriented not just against capitalism and democracy, but toward the sublime feeling of being-in-common, which is always a commonness against.
He has published articles in peer-reviewed journals such as Studies in Philosophy and Education, Educational Philosophy and Theory, Critical Studies in Education, Policy Futures in Education, and borderlands e-journal. His first book (co-authored with Curry Malott), titled Marx, capital, and education: Toward a critical pedagogy of becoming was published in 2015. He is associate editor of Issues in Teacher Education and on the editorial board of several journals. He is chair of the Education Department at The Hampton Institute and an organizer with the Answer Coalition.