Realizing Critical Pedagogies

The readings this week, like many readings I have encountered over the years, confirmed my opinions on our education systems. The systems that see students as consumers and “to be taught”. The systems that aim to “process” these students to make sure they have a role in this society. The systems that constantly reproducing the oppressions and injustices structured within power dynamics between the majority and the minority.

So how do we address the issue I presented above? How do we realize them within our contexts? Frankly speaking, I do not know. When I start imagining me doing this in my future engineering classrooms, I get overwhelmed and stressed. How do I navigate the very system to get my students to think critically about said system? How can I persuade and convince my students and peers that this is something we need to constantly reflect and consider when we design learning environments? These are difficult questions I am struggling to address and realize.

I think some topics that we have learned so far in class (culturally responsive pedagogies, problem-based learning, case-based learning) may be a good start to help implement such philosophy in our contexts. It is possible that I use culturally responsive pedagogy to challenge my students to think about the world as it is, and where they situate through reflection pieces on their own personal backgrounds and experiences. It is possible that, with guidelines, to facilitate my students to have difficult conversations. It is possible that I can use problem-based learning to make aware of the systems that we live in, exposing my students to the different problems that different communities confront, with in-depth contexts and histories to situate those problems.

These are some of the ways I could think of, but again, I do not know how to fully embrace critical pedagogy in the current system. I am, however, excited to be challenged on the topic. I look forward to incorporating critical pedagogical elements in learning environments I have the privilege to facilitate.