Critical Pedagogy Whiteboard!

This week we discussed about critical pedagogy focusing mainly on Paulo Freire work. Using Jigsaw classroom technique we formed groups and after co-teaching/learning the main concepts, collectively created the image below to consolidate our ideas and understandings of critical pedagogy and its elements. This was a collaborative effort with Jack ViereHeather CorleyAllie BriggsBailey Houghtaling, Tami Amos, and Romcholo Macatula.


we defined Critical Pedagogy as the following:

Critical Pedagogy first acknowledges power structures in order to reciprocally cultivate knowledge within a dynamic learning space that acknowledges varying human perspectives and life experiences, promotes continual questioning, and liberates marginalized view points.

It was really a fun educative experience for all of us as a group and as individuals.

Social Media in Classes, Yes or No?

In their article “Mobile computing devices in higher education: Student perspectives on learning with cellphones, smartphones & social media” Gicas and Grant (2013) present findings on students’ (from three universities across the US) perceptions of learning with mobile computing devices and the roles social media played.In these three cases, teachers had been integrating mobile computing devices, such as cellphones and smartphones, into their courses for at least two semesters. From students’ perspective, the authors found out that mobile computing devices and the use of
social media created opportunities for interaction, provided opportunities for collaboration, as well as allowed students to engage in content creation and communication using social media and Web 2.0 tools with the assistance
of constant connectivity.

“At times the device could be distracting. The allure of
social networking applications that were not being used for class potentially
threatened their concentration” (p.23); however, students also felt that
it was very easy to respond to a text message that was received and
just as quickly return to the task at hand when using the devices for
coursework, demonstrating that they were able to manage their
time on appropriate tasks.

The Lakeshore University students found the participatory nature of their university course more beneficial than their high school experiences. moreover, students spoke of the advantages of capturing information outside of the learning environment and making connections with the material. These experiences point to the advantages of using mobile learning in higher education and reinforce the concept of knowledge
acquisition across contexts and environments.

In conclusion, it is vital to mention that although “mobile learning may look like web-based learning in that mobile computing devices connect different technologies to exchange information,” (Gicas and Grant, P.25)  the mobile device is “a contemporary paradigm for connecting, communicating and getting things done on mass-customized and yet personal relationship level that extends to the devices themselves” (P.25). Therefore, the potential long-term impact  of mobile computing devices on learning in  the higher educational environment is yet to be investigated.


Gikas, J., & Grant, M. M. (2013). Mobile computing devices in higher education: Student perspectives on learning with cellphones, smartphones & social media. The Internet and Higher Education, 19, 18–26.

Journal of Public Administration and Policy Research

Journal of Public Administration and Policy Research (JPAPR) is one of the over 100 journals of Academic Journals which is a publisher of peer-reviewed open access journals covering art and humanities, engineering, medical science, social sciences, biological sciences, physical sciences and agricultural sciences. It is registered in Nigeria and Kenya.

Starting in 2009, JPAPR is published monthly (134 articles till now) and covers all areas of the subject such as political science, emergency preparedness, investment policy, industrial policy, tariff and trade etc..

Regarding positioning toward open accessibility, JPAPR abstracts and full texts of all articles published in the journals can be read online without any form of restriction. All JPAPR articles are published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 International License. Readers can copy, distribute, transmit and adapt the work provided the original work and source is appropriately cited.

About copyright, in JPAPR submission of a manuscript implies that authors have met the requirements of the editorial policy and publication ethics. Authors retain the copyright of their articles published in the journal. However, authors agree that their articles remain permanently open access under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 International License.

Are we all good ol’ racists?

While reading a piece about Shankar Vedantam’s new book “the Hidden Brain” I was thinking “NO! This is wrong! I was not at all racist when I was 3… cause there was no other race in Iran…” To be more precise, we (Iranian students) usually have a hard time understanding what race is when filling out application forms for US universities (I sometimes categorized myself as Asian and sometimes as white)! But after a while pondering about racism, I thought well, we do not have racism in its classic meaning of othering the other ‘races’, BUT we do have many discriminatory behaviors (and policies unfortunately) toward a large number of minority groups in our country namely Afghan Refugees”.

The point is, even if we have not formed the associations between certain groups of people and the concepts about them (simply because we have not had the chance of it), it does not necessarily means we are not bigots, as a Persian proverb says “He doesn’t see any water; otherwise, he is a skilled swimmer.”

I totally agree with Shankar when he emphasizes on taking back the control of our brain by unlearning our mental associations consciously and conscientiously. This would be a difficult process for everyone of us, since as we grow up we lean more and more towards our autopilot brain functions and as Shankar puts it “… the hidden brain is much more in charge of what we do than our conscious mind’s intentions”. This, in my view,  is everyone of us responsibility at individual level.

What I find lacking in this article, is how society as a whole should move towards eradicating racism. The structural inequalities must be addressed in order to give back minorities and the oppressed their voice and power. When world powers, their policies, media and social structures at national and international level are constantly shaping an unequal, prejudice and hateful global culture (e.g. toward Muslims/Jews/Arabs/etc.), do individual efforts suffice? I say NO!