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.

3 Replies to “Realizing Critical Pedagogies”

  1. Exposing students to different questions and problems would be a great start to enable students to form a sense of critical thinking. Perhaps group discussions are very efficient for students to raise questions and form their own ideas. And then students can evaluate each other’s ideas, which will really help them to adjust their original ideas.

  2. As I was reading the material for this week on critical pedagogy, I went through a very similar thought process to the one you described here. I came to realize that this topic ties everything we have talked about in the class, in a way it brought me back to “Finding Your Authentic Teaching Voice” week. Implementing critical pedagogical approaches requires us as teachers to be open and give students a voice in the classroom as a starter to change the status quo. Thanks for your post.
    Sam

  3. Thanks for sharing KJ! I think you bring up some interesting points regarding the system of education and particularly higher education. The college and university systems we have created in the United States are built on a business model that inherently views students as consumers who pay for the service of education. This gets even trickier when you consider research-intensive universities that give faculty higher incentives for research activities compared to teaching. All this to say, as educators we have the opportunity to challenge some of these narratives and power imbalances but there is definitely a need for greater systemic change.

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