Critical Pedagogy.

Shelli Fowler’s  “Paulo Freire and Critical Pedagogy” had an opening quote that immediately grabbed my attention. It stated,  “Education can function to control and contain students and maintain the status quo . . .Or, it empowers students to be critically engaged and active participants in society”.  Might I add I must admit that I am enjoying these sociological-based readings and topics, now that I have some time to reflect pedagogy and interaction between students and instructors are sociological situations. Especially if the goal is to create an environment where you want the student is able to gain and absorb as much knowledge as possible. This invites my next thought as Fowler’s also discussed critical consciousness, Fowler states that “The formation of a critical consciousness (which allows students to question the nature of their historical and social situation and to effect change in their society)”. Helping students develop and critical conscious also reminds me of another teaching strategy that I watched an instructor use heavily during a graduate teaching assistantship I had here at Tech. It is called Inquiry based learning, or Inquiring By Design, it is basically the practice of instructors leading students with questions and also answering with questions so the students are learning through experience and answering their own questions and teaching their selves for a greater educational experience. The idea of teaching and communicating with students and not at students is also a  component and take away from this teaching strategy. It is also a student-centered teaching strategy. Social sciences use alot of critical pedagogy techniques to teach and create a learning environment and beneficial discussions for students. I see critical pedagogy and critical consciousness overlapping, as far as fostering the idea of “raising awareness of critical issues in society (e.g., environment), and encourage students’sense of themselves as active agents with the ability to shape the world in which they live”. That is the thing i enjoy about sociology is that everyone “studies” or encounters sociology on a daily basis and it can be taught and understood a million different ways.  As I was anxious about having to teach something that is so routine is that everyone has different experiences and perspectives that everyone can learn from -such an interdisciplinary subject, I am grateful that this class is laying a great foundation for my future pedagogical ideas

6 Replies to “Critical Pedagogy.”

  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I liked the example you mentioned about leading students with questions and also answering them with questions. This could be implemented as a class exercise to prepare students to find answers to their own questions. I will definitely try and implement this in the next course I teach!

  2. Thanks for this post!

    I too have sat in on a course where a professor has (probably unintentionally) used Inquiry by Design. It is quite effective and keeps the conversation going – which is really important in sociology courses.

  3. I have never heard of this method of Inquiring by Design, but it sounds like an interesting method. Some of the courses that I have taken while in college have tried to give students more ability to talk and ask/answer questions. But, I still don’t feel that it allowed for as much engagement as what you are talking about. I think this could be an interesting teaching method and not squeeze the curiosity out of the student.

  4. Inquiry by Design has a lot in common with Problem Based Learning, which we’ll be exploring in a few weeks. Both methodologies lend themselves well to Freire’s critical pedagogy. Very cool to read about you experiences using Inquiry by Design in Sociology, Jariah!

  5. I’m intrigued by this “Inquiring by Design” thing. I would be curious to see it in action, I would imagine it would make me quite uncomfortable as a student. It could be very different than what I’m imagining, but I think that it’s important to encourage both conversation and reflection and I think this would do that well.

  6. Your description of inquiry-based learns sounds very similar to the Socratic method. In the Platonic dialogues, Socrates, as many people know, would lead his interlocutors to a “truth” – or, more often than not, to the realization that they don’t know the truth – by means of endless questioning. I like to use this method in my own classes as well as it engages the students and forces them to formulate their ideas.

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