Week 12 (Critical Pedagogy)

This week’s readings talked about critical pedagogy and brought forth a lot of different ideas and thoughts. For me, especially, the readings hit home in the sense that they made me look at some different aspects of my own teaching that may or may not need to be changed. (Freire) spoke about the ‘banking system of learning’ and explained that this system, the idea of students being vessels for knowledge that the teacher is in charge of filling up, is used throughout higher education. Although I disagree with some of his writing, I can see where, with time and classroom constraints, this system can be beneficial to some students, and that needs to be understood by teachers as well.

This semester, we have talked a lot about changing the way higher education is taught and maybe changing our own teaching techniques to fit in with some of this semester’s readings and ideas. This week’s readings have shown me that, yes, higher education can use some changes and a contemporary pedagogy approach may be beneficial to higher education and set forth some ideas for change. However, there are some ways of teaching that do work for student in higher education. I am not saying to stick with the ‘old school’ lecture and test model for all classes and students. But I am saying that the old school system may work in some instances and for some students. I think that critical thinking is not only crucial in higher education but I would even say it is the point. I understand that the ‘lecture’ model may just be a way for students to memorize information and restate it on a test but there are some students, in specific classes, that think critically and ask questions to fill in gaps and can ‘get,’ understand, the material critically thinking. All I am saying is that some methods that have worked for ages may still work in today’s society, even with the inordinate amount of changes going on around us.

I think this class, contemporary pedagogy, is extremely beneficial in the way that it gives me ideas as to how to change my teaching. It allows my mind to open up and understand and accept how these changes can change my teaching style as well as my students learning. I can see amazing benefits to some of these changes. But, to be honest, I can also see benefits to the classical ways of teaching. Not everything needs changing. Knowing each student and how they learn and each class and how it can be taught is of extreme importance when trying to be the best teacher you can be. So, the knowledge this class has given me has made me ‘critically’ think about what changes I can and should make and what changes may not need to be made.