This essay investigates both the pedagogical and communicational roles of photography and education in contemporary society. Assuming that photography and education not only show people their world, but that they also offer them the means to help create it, this essay explores the various ways that social forces have kept people from the democratic possibilities such institutions offer. Indeed, since they are typically controlled by state and corporate interests, photographic institutions and public education systems, as well as their specific representations and practices, typically reinforce a hegemonic order rather than challenge it. Through these institutions such forces have shown and taught us only a limited version of what constitutes our lives by structuring and ordering the material conditions and symbolic spaces of our world, including many of our own thoughts, actions, and experiences. This essay suggests that the critical tendencies of the few alternative photographic and popular educational practices that challenge this order continue to collaborate and develop systematic practices designed to challenge depoliticizing forces, particularly by investigating the spaces most immediately accessible to a large portion of the population: the public school classroom.