I'm constantly amazed that more people haven't read this book, or even heard of it; it should be considered among the new classics of Continental political thought.
Rancière's text does several things at once: most simply, it tells the story of the eighteenth-century revolutionary pedagogue Joseph Jacotot, who developed a method of "panecastic" education which he considered the universal route to mental emancipation. But at the same time Rancière resurrects Jacotot's doctrine. Through a marvelous, sustained sleight-of-hand Rancière plays with its tone and narrative voice, this whole book works as a twentieth-century political manifesto at the same time as a work of history. It is radically egalitarian -- in fact, after reading the book I am not sure that anyone other than Jacotot and Rancière has fully understood the meaning of real, radical egalitarianism. And it is a real book on teaching, all the same, as part of its goal is to evangelize "panecastic" teaching and summarize this general method for teaching.
Not to take anything away from Rancière's other important work, which also deserves more exposure, but this book is incredible, maybe his best, and should be read by a much wider audience.