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The Art of Critical Pedagogy

Possibilities for Moving from Theory to Practice in Urban Schools

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Jeffrey M.R. Duncan-Andrade and Ernest Morrell

This book furthers the discussion concerning critical pedagogy and its practical applications for urban contexts. It addresses two looming, yet under-explored questions that have emerged with the ascendancy of critical pedagogy in the educational discourse: (1) What does critical pedagogy look like in work with urban youth? and (2) How can a systematic investigation of critical work enacted in urban contexts simultaneously draw upon and push the core tenets of critical pedagogy? Addressing the tensions inherent in enacting critical pedagogy – between working to disrupt and to successfully navigate oppressive institutionalized structures, and between the practice of critical pedagogy and the current standards-driven climate – The Art of Critical Pedagogy seeks to generate authentic internal and external dialogues among educators in search of texts that offer guidance for teaching for a more socially just world.
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5 Critical Pedagogy in a College Access Program for Students of Color With assistance from Anthony Collatos

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5

Critical Pedagogy in a College Access Program for Students of Color

With assistance from Anthony Collatos

A team of district administrators and university-based researchers designed the South City High School Futures project to study and intervene in the pathways students of color follow through high school into higher education and the workplace. The project initially targeted a group of Latino and African American students just beginning 9th grade in a five-year study. These 9th-graders were chosen as relatively random representatives of a larger group of students (working-class African Americans and Latinos) who were not attaining college access in similar numbers to the wealthier white and Asian American students attending the same school. In fact, the African American and Latino 9th-graders at the school were just as likely to drop out of school as they were to graduate.

In addition to developing a body of scholarship pertaining to the pathways that high school students of diverse ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds commonly follow, the project team also designed a four-year intervention that they felt would take under-represented (and under-served) students through South City High and into four-year universities. Alongside this work with students, the South City High School Futures project team planned to support the efforts of educators at South City High School to develop more powerful and equitable models of learning that offered all students clear pathways to successful futures. The project thus sought to reshape students’ lives, the work of one...

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