Possibilities for Moving from Theory to Practice in Urban Schools
2 Contemporary Developers of Critical Pedagogy
Contemporary Developers of Critical Pedagogy
This chapter discusses the foundation of our understanding of critical pedagogy. It pays particular attention to critical pedagogues emerging from the Freirean tradition (Freire, 1970, 1998; Freire and Macedo, 1987; Shor, 1992; Darder, 1991; McLaren, 1994, 2003b; Giroux, 2001, 2003; hooks, 1994a, 1994b). It also discusses educators, scholars, theorists, and revolutionaries not traditionally associated with critical pedagogy (Carter G. Woodson, Lolita Lebrón, Frantz Fanon, Reies Tijerina, Audre Lorde, Gloria Anzaldúa, and Subcommandante Marcos). Finally, it addresses critiques of critical pedagogy from both the right and left in attempting to contextualize the current educational discourse.
Critical pedagogues, drawing on social and critical educational theory and cultural studies, examine schools in their historical context and as part of the existing social and political fabric that characterizes the dominant society. They challenge the assumption that schools function as major sites of social and economic mobility. Instead, they suggest that schooling must be analyzed as a cultural and historical process in which students are positioned within asymmetrical relations of power on the basis of specific race, class, and gender groupings. A major task of critical pedagogy has been to disclose and challenge the reproductive role schools play in political and cultural life. Although differences exist in their analysis, these critical thinkers are united in their belief that any genuine pedagogical practice demands a commitment to social transformation in solidarity within subordinated and marginalized groups.
Critical pedagogies can provide...
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