Radical Thought in Education:



“The beliefs or actions of people who advocate thorough or complete political or social reform.”

Radicalism, also known as classical radicalism, was a political ideology that emerged in the late nineteenth and early eighteenth centuries and was a forerunner of social liberalism, social democracy, and contemporary progressiveness.

Radicalism can also be seen as being context-specific. In other words, the environment in which a collection of concepts are introduced or developed determines whether or not they are radical. Through time, many concepts that were previously viewed as radical have gained widespread acceptance.

As a result, radicalism must be viewed less as a characterization of a basic attitude in which the following conditions are met with terms like “Marxist,” “liberal,” or “conservative,” and primarily as a collection of concepts that are prone to challenge authority, whether it be “secular, religious, social, or scientific.”

This comparison is useful for bringing awareness to the term’s essential properties and the numerous ways it is used in social science. Whenever people use the word “radical,” they refer to individuals who go back to the fundamentals of concepts and notions. They are people that are not afraid to expose what is secret, underground, or taboo to talk about. Radicals have no problem challenging the established quo, conventional wisdom, or any other notions of “common sense.” Thus, discussing radicalism entails discussing radicals’ worldviews.


Radical politics refers to the intention to alter or change a society’s or political system’s guiding ideas, frequently via social transformation, economic restructuring, rebellion, or radical overhaul. Radicalization is the process of acquiring radical viewpoints.


  • “that are vulnerable to criticism and protest; ideology exists to protect these social conditions from attack by those who are disadvantaged by them.”
  • “Ideology is conserved by camouflaging flawed social conditions, giving an illusory account of their rationale or function, in order to legitimize and win acceptance of them.”

This viewpoint captures “an agreement among radicals of all shades on the function of law as a dissembling force to maintain the unfair relations of the existing quo.” Within post-leftism, this extreme critique of ideology is particularly prevalent. Some radical politics may completely disregard any overarching ideological plan in order to address specific issues.