Critical Pedagogy in Standardized Courses


“Leaders who do not act dialogically, but insist on imposing their decisions, do not organize the people–they manipulate them. They do not liberate, nor are they liberated: they oppress.”
― Paulo FreirePedagogy of the Oppressed

Before this week, I had never heard about the Critical Pedagogy and Paulo Freire. The reading materials and the movie were very interesting. I am so glad I learned about the critical pedagogy.

My undergrad program was more like the Banking Model. However, my master degree courses were project based and were very similar to critical pedagogy model. I feel I learned a lot more in my master and what I learned in those courses I will never forget. Now, after reading about critical pedagogy, I have a better insight about my experiences and why I liked my master program more than the undergraduate one.

Overall, I think the critical pedagogy is a great model to use in teaching, especially at the present time that the business organizations need innovative people. However, I am not sure about applying it in all types of courses.

I feel applying critical pedagogy in a graduate level course is much easier than applying it in an undergraduate level course.  For example, in a course such as undergraduate Quantitative Methods for Decision Making (what I should teach the next year) the methods and concepts are very basic and solid. We expect all students learn the basics methods because they are the foundations for the next courses. Of course, there are some critical issues in the methods, but the topics are far beyond of an undergrad course.

The instructor in this course should make sure that the students learn the basics, considering that time is limited. I like using connected learning techniques in this course and increase critical thinking using the problem-based learning technique. But, I am not yet convinced that “raising awareness of critical issues” about some basics concepts, which are beyond an undergraduate course, will help students in that undergrad course.  Actually, with current settings, applying critical pedagogy in some standardized courses seems almost impossible to me.