Uncommon, perhaps, but it is necessary to say something about ‘us’, the two authors of this book. We came to experience that it is impossible to talk, to think and write alone about these things. Not only in the sense, of course, that thinking and writing always relies on a conversation with many others (including animals and things), but in the stronger sense, that we need each other in order to think and write. Another, maybe the only name for that experience is friendship. Friendship is not about intimacy or privacy. It is a worldly experience; for friends the world becomes something of a concern, something to think about, something that provokes experimentation and writing. And we have frequently been asked how it works. But we can only say that it is truly joint writing, that maybe the new technology helps, and that we experiences it as the articulation of a time and space for friendship which risks to be banalized under the changing conditions of academic life.
Jan Masschelein is professor of philosophy of education at the Laboratory for Education and Society of the University of Leuven (Belgium). His research mainly concerns the public role of the school and the university. More specifically, he focuses on reinventing their public work and study forms in confrontation with social and technological challenges. Together with students, he is engaged in designing experimental pedagogical practices and places, with a lot of attention being paid to film, cartography and walking.
Maarten Simons is professor of educational policy and theory at the Laboratory for Education and Society of the University of Leuven (Belgium). His principal interests are in educational policy, mechanisms of power, and the new global, European and national regimes of governing education. In his recent work, he focuses on current monitoring devices in education, processes of governing through examples, and the shift from disciplinary power and individualization to feedback and personalization. His research explicitly addresses the challenges posed to education with a major interest in (re-)thinking and (re-)inventing the public role of schools and universities. In public experiments he tries to organize collective, experimental research on the crossroads of education and society.