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Becoming a Critical Educator

Defining a Classroom Identity, Designing a Critical Pedagogy

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Patricia H. Hinchey

Many American educators are all too familiar with disengaged students, disenfranchised teachers, sanitized and irrelevant curricula, inadequate support for the neediest schools and students, and the tyranny of standardizing testing. This text invites teachers and would-be teachers unhappy with such conditions to consider becoming critical educators – professionals dedicated to creating schools that genuinely provide equal opportunity for all children. Assuming little or no background in critical theory, chapters address several essential questions to help readers develop the understanding and resolve necessary to become change agents. Why do critical theorists say that education is always political? How do traditional and critical agendas for schools differ? Which agenda benefits whose children? What classroom and policy changes does critical practice require? What risks must change agents accept? Resources point readers toward opportunities to deepen their understanding beyond the limits of these pages.