Critical Pedagogy

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Critical Pedagogy

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Critical Pedagogy

  1. 1. Critical Pedagogy Kurt Love, Ph.D. Central Connecticut State University
  2. 2. Critical Pedagogy • Major Focus: Understanding and disrupting power imbalances that are present in educational settings especially connected to issues of race and class • Etymology: Critical Social Theory, Frankfurt School of Thought, Michel Foucault, Marxism, Critical Race Theory • Major Contributors: W.E.B. DuBois, Carter Woodson, Paulo Freire, bell hooks, Henry Giroux, Joe Kincheloe, Peter McLaren, Antonia Darder
  3. 3. Major Critical Critiques of Education Critical Theory ★ Power is concentrated in the production of knowledge ★ Content areas seen as disconnected from power and as a result are viewed as neutral. ★ Subject areas perpetuate hegemony of socioeconomic classes and race
  4. 4. 3 Types of Curricula • Mainstream Curriculum - Curriculum that is explicit • Hidden Curriculum - Messages that are implicit • Null Curriculum - Messages that are silenced, omitted, or just simply not included. These also are critical views of the mainstream and hidden curricula
  5. 5. 3 Types of Curricula • Mainstream Curriculum - Columbus was a strong, brave “explorer” that opened the doors for European colonization of the Americas. • Hidden Curriculum - Europeans are more advanced and sophisticated than the indigenous peoples of the Americas. Eurocentrism, patriarchy, technology over nature. • Null Curriculum - Columbus violently exploited and dominated the indigenous peoples of the Americas, which was part of a larger European mindset that allowed for genocide, enslavement, assimilation, colonization and in contemporary settings, globalization (or global Westernization).
  6. 6. Hidden Curriculum in a Teacher’s Practice Heterosexism Sexism Naturism Anthropocentrism Corporatism Eurocentrism Classism Patriotism/ Racism Militarism Teaching Practice
  7. 7. Hidden Curriculum in a Teacher’s Practice What did did you learnschool today, dear little boyboy mine? What you learn in in school today, dear little of of I learned that Washington never told a lie mine? I Ilearned that soldiersnot so bad learned that war is seldom die I learned about that great ones we have had I learned the everybody's free We fought in the teacher said to me That's what Germany and in France And that's what II learned in my chance And someday might get school today And that's what I Ilearned in school today That's what learned in school That's what I learned in school What did you learn in school today, dear little boy of mine? What did you learn in school today,my friends boy of I learned that policemen are dear little I learned thatmine? never ends justice II learned that our government must becrimes learned that murderers die for their strong Even if we make a and never wrong It's always right mistake sometimes And that'sleaders learned finest men Our what I are the in school today That's what I learned in school And we elect them again and again And that's what I learned in school today That's what I learned in school
  8. 8. Critical Pedagogy: Major Principles • Liberatory Education: An educational experience that allows for students to question power and power/knowledge relationships in society. • What is a power/knowledge relationship?
  9. 9. Liberatory Education • Identifying potential concepts that have embedded relationships of oppression, cultural colonization, or any form of social injustice. • Questioning scientific method • Questioning historical “facts” • Using math as a tool for community investigation • Questioning “profit” • Questioning language • Questioning public health policies • Investigating poverty in our own community and globally
  10. 10. Critical Pedagogy: Major Principles • Class Struggle: The primary mode of analysis comes from looking at how socioeconomics limits people’s power. Jean Anyon’s study of how knowledge is treated differently based on the class of the students.
  11. 11. Class Struggle in Educational Contexts • Jean Anyon’s (1981) study of how knowledge is treated differently based on the class of the students. • How is knowledge treated in the professional/elite schools? Middle class schools? Working class power schools? • How is knowledge treated in “honors” tracks? “Academic” or lower tracks?
  12. 12. Critical Pedagogy: Major Principles • Cultural Capital: Those knowledges that are valued by the dominant elites
  13. 13. Cultural Capital • Knowing which fork to use. • Knowing how to play golf or sail. • Knowing what car to buy. • Knowing where to go on vacation that avoids the middle class people. • Knowing which private school to send your children. • Not saying “aks” in a job interview setting. • Not having an “accent.”
  14. 14. Critical Pedagogy: Major Principles • Reading the World vs. Reading the Word: Understanding and investigating social justice issues vs. having technical decontextualized knowledge
  15. 15. Reading the World • Excavating political meanings and cultural capital in texts • Investigating ecological conditions in one’s community • Incorporating the voices of subordinated groups as forms of analysis
  16. 16. Critical Pedagogy: Major Principles • Naming: Exposing and identifying those social processes that promote hegemony and social injustice
  17. 17. Naming ☛ Hegemony • “The people participate in their own domination.” • Hegemony is the perpetuation of social injustices (i.e. classism, racism, sexism, heterosexism). • Hegemony allows for the powerful elites to retain their power while non-violently controlling the less powerful groups. • Hegemony is perpetuated through social consensus, social forms, and social structures including schools, church, media, political system, and family.
  18. 18. Naming ☛ Forms of Hegemony • Legitimization: Domination is seen as “just” or “fair” • Example: Ranking schools in newspapers is fair. • Reification: Domination is seen as “normal” and “natural.” They are also seen as “always having been this way.” • Example: Meritocracy is normal and natural.
  19. 19. Naming ☛ Forms of Hegemony • Fragmentation: Subordinated groups are divided and turned against one another. • Example: Latin Kings, Los Solidos, 20 Luv -- Gangs in Hartford • Dissimulation: Domination is concealed. • Example: Predatory lending practices by commercial banks and mortgage lenders.
  20. 20. Critical Pedagogy: Major Principles • Cognizable Objects: An object from every day life that is used for deconstructing social processes that create social injustice.
  21. 21. Critical Pedagogy: Major Principles • Generative Themes: Topics and questions raised by students become classroom topics for investigation and exploration.
  22. 22. Generative Themes • Teacher listens to what students discuss amongst each other as well as the questions and comments they offer during class discussions. • Over time, these topics become centralized for investigation, inquiry, and community- based work.
  23. 23. Generative Themes • Students interested in: • Local politics and policy-making • Decisions that affect their schools and neighborhoods • Ecological conditions • Community-based actions • Issues present in media • Cultural commons

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