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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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Preface

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There has been much discussion concerning critical pedagogy and its practical applications to urban contexts in the generation following the publication of such seminal works as Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1970), Henry Giroux’s Theory and Resistance in Education: Toward a Pedagogy for the Opposition (1983/2001), and Peter McLaren’s Life in Schools: An Introduction to Critical Pedagogy and the Foundations of Education (1994/2003b). While honoring the tremendous contributions that each of these works has made to educational theory and practice, this book addresses two looming, yet underexplored, questions that have emerged with the ascendancy of critical pedagogy in the educational discourse:

What does critical pedagogy look like in work with urban youth, specifically in the context of urban schooling in the United States?

How can a systematic investigation of critical work enacted in urban contexts simultaneously draw upon and extend the core tenets of critical pedagogy?

The book reports from a theoretically informed, inquiry-based practice that is a direct response to Freire’s (1997) call for critical and reflective journaling of the pedagogical process. It is a systematic analysis of our theoretically inspired practice in urban education; that is, we have developed a text that challenges and reconsiders critical theories of teaching in urban contexts through the examination of actual practices with urban youth. This book addresses several tensions inherent in enacting a critical practice in traditional institutionalized settings, such as between the efforts to disrupt oppressive structures and to navigate oppressive...

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