Critical Pedagogy

Image Source (http://www.wikiwand.com/pt/Paulo_Freire)

Its 30 years today since I encountered, discussed and applied Freire in my teaching practice. In this period I have experimented with method, I have been in leadership positions arguing for Criticality and the Transformative in the design of learning events. I have in this same period seen the rise of the ‘L&T suits’ who have been allied with the corporatisation of the university. I have just two days ago spoken at a public forum about the tension in ‘academia’ between the notion of the ‘university’ and the corporate enterprise providing the ‘learning product’.

This post then is a placeholder ( and an introduction for others) for me to locate my resources. Below are the books on Critical Pedagogy in my Kindle.

my-kindle-books

I listened to Giroux recently and its a great primer – and an inspiring introduction to Critical Pedagogy. Plus a humorous mention of the Hidden Curriculum.

Actually, I am not the father of critical pedagogy. While I may have played a prominent role in its development, critical pedagogy emerged out of long series of educational struggles that extend from the work of Paulo Freire in Brazil to the work on critical pedagogy advanced by myself and Roger Simon, David Livingstone, and later Joe Kincheloe in the 1970s and 1980s. Critical pedagogy is a movement and an ongoing struggle taking place in a number of different social formations and places. To argue that there is such a thing as “the father of critical pedagogy” devalues those struggles and the collective efforts that have been made to develop and build upon the diverse archives that make up critical pedagogy in all of its different formations. As Roger Simon once pointed out, the attempt to define a set of “founding fathers” for critical pedagogy suggests that “an authentic version could somehow be found in a patriarchal vanishing point.”

First, I think it is best to think of critical pedagogy as an ongoing project instead of a fixed set of references or prescriptive set of practices–put bluntly, it is not a method. One way of thinking about critical pedagogy in these terms is to think of it as both a way of understanding education as well as a way of highlighting the performative nature of agency as an act of participating in shaping the world in which we live. But I think the best place to begin to answer this question is to recognize the distinction between a conservative notion of teaching and the more progressive meaning of critical pedagogy. Teaching for many conservatives is often treated simply as a set of strategies and skills to use in order to teach prespecified subject matter. In this context, teaching becomes synonymous with a method, technique, or the practice of a craft—like skill training. On the other hand, critical pedagogy must be seen as a political and moral project and not a technique. Pedagogy is always political because it is connected to the acquisition of agency. As a political project, critical pedagogy illuminates the relationshipamong knowledge, authority, and power. It draws attention to questions concerning who has control over the conditions for the production of knowledge, values, and skills, and it illuminates how knowledge, identities, and authority are constructed within particular sets of social relations. Similarly, it draws attention to the fact that pedagogy is a deliberate attempt on the part of educators to influence how and what knowledge and subjectivities are produced within particular sets of social relations. Ethically, critical pedagogy stresses the importance of understanding what actually happens in classrooms and other educational settings by raising questions regarding what knowledge is of most worth, in what direction should one desire, and what it means to know something. Most importantly, it takes seriously what it means to understand the relationship between how we learn and how we act as individual and social agents; that is, it is concerned with teaching students how not only to think but to come to grips with a sense of individual and social responsibility, and what it means to be responsible for one’s actions as part of a broader attempt to be an engaged citizen who can expand and deepen the possibilities of democratic public life. Finally, what has to be acknowledged is that critical pedagogy is not about an a priori method that simply can be applied regardless of context. It is the outcome of particular struggles and is always related to the specificity of particular contexts, students, communities, available resources, the histories that students bring with them to the classroom, and the diverse experiences and identities they inhabit. More

 Read More:

  1. Bibliography of Critical Pedagogy – https://sites.google.com/site/josephjlee1/critical-pedagogy
  2. Introduction to Critical Pedagogy (PDF) – http://www.case.edu/artsci/engl/emmons/writing/pedagogy/critical.pdf
  3. An annotated Bibliography – http://jbgcriticalpedagogy.blogspot.com.au/2008/12/annotated-bibliography.html
  4. Here is a book chapter I wrote: https://rawslearn.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/educating-for-design-activism.pdf

Published by Soumitri Varadarajan

Soumitri lives in Melbourne, Australia - #probonodesign #codesign #sustainability #patientexperience #quantifiedself #mdg

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