Setting your mind on fire with critical pedagogy

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.
It is time to take education beyond the walls of the classroom. 
Focusing singularly on textbook problems and not applying them to a real context leaves students wondering “what is the point?” and that’s really not what you want the take away from your lessons to be.  Often times courses that are run like that leave the students feeling like this…
Another concept within the principle of critical pedagogy is eliminating conventional power relations – when I’m teaching I would really prefer to be called Alex, or Dr. Alex (if students really have to stick a title in there). This title + last name thing for folks we’re talking with everyday is a daily reminder of a rigid and dated power paradigm. notFriends_Family
Any time I head a prof. wanting to be addressed as Dr. S0-and-so PE I’m like
Critical pedagogy requires critical reflection and analysis. 
Like really – you can’t shut it off. You need to light your brain UP – fire those neurons. Think critically, think about things after the lecture. Discuss them with those who will talk with you about them.
Reexamines the role of educators in relation to society and environment

Be an inclusive instructor – Read more about that here
 Communicate WITH not AT students
Self explanatory – have fun, have discussion, treat them as equals. They’ll freakin’ love it.
Problem based learning – problem-solving and problem-posing
Problem based learning is not the picture on the left. It’s the one on the right. Have fun with teaching so these students have fun learning. If they’re having fun they’re more likely to be able to recall this information.
Critical consciousness which allows for the informed analysis of systemic issues
It is the responsibility of the instructor to raise 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. Keep it real with them – like really real.
 Some critics of this  type of pedagogy say that it will “create political radicals” honestly that’s totally fine with me. There is some division between traditional and progressive education and that statement highlights it quite well.
 The future isn’t something hidden in a corner. The future is something we build in the present. – Paulo Freire
This entry was posted in GediVTF15. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Setting your mind on fire with critical pedagogy

  1. Ayesha says:

    As always- awesome post Alex -and I agree with you on several aspects: 1) about how some faculty take the power dynamics too seriously (i wrote a little about that in my blog as well), and they intentionally continue to reinforce the power by showing who is in charge through titles and actions (like students ever forget). 2) I understand that faculty are busy individuals and don’t always have the time to be creative (due to all their responsibilities) but what they don’t realize is that they create more work for themselves/ and others, long term by being unintentional now.

Leave a Reply