"Critical pedagogy considers how education can
provide individuals with the tools to better themselves and strengthen
democracy, to create a more egalitarian and just society, and thus to deploy
education in a process of progressive social change. Media literacy involves
teaching the skills that will empower citizens and students to become sensitive
to the politics of representations of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class,
and other cultural differences in order to foster critical thinking and enhance
democratization. Critical media literacy aims to make viewers and readers more
critical and discriminating readers and producers of texts.
"Critical media pedagogy provides students and citizens with the tools to
analyze critically how texts are constructed and in turn construct and position
viewers and readers. It provides tools so that individuals can dissect the
instruments of cultural domination, transform themselves from objects to
subjects, from passive to active. Thus critical media literacy is empowering,
enabling students to become critical producers of meanings and texts, able to
resist manipulation and domination."
Douglas Kellner, "Multiple Literacies and Critical Pedagogies" in
Revolutionary Pedagogies - Cultural Politics, Instituting Education, and the
Discourse of Theory, Peter Pericles Trifonas, Editor, Routledge, 2000).
[Critical] pedagogy . . . signals how questions of audience, voice, power, and
evaluation actively work to construct particular relations between teachers and
students, institutions and society, and classrooms and communities. . . .
Pedagogy in the critical sense illuminates the relationship among knowledge,
authority, and power. Giroux,
fundamental commitment of critical educators is to empower the powerless and
transform those conditions which perpetuate human injustice and inequity
(McLaren, 1988). This purpose is inextricably linked to the fulfillment of what
Paulo Freire (1970) defines as our "vocation" - to be truly humanized social
agents in the world. Hence, a major function of critical pedagogy is to
critique, expose, and challenge the manner in which schools impact upon the
political and cultural life of students. Teachers must recognize how schools
unite knowledge and power and how through this function they can work to
influence or thwart the formation of critically thinking and socially active
traditional perspectives of education that claim to be neutral and apolitical,
critical pedagogy views all education theory as intimately linked to ideologies
shaped by power, politics, history and culture. Given this view, schooling
functions as a terrain of ongoing struggle over what will be accepted as
legitimate knowledge and culture. In accordance with this notion, a critical
pedagogy must seriously address the concept of cultural politics y both
legitimizing and challenging cultural experiences that comprise the histories
and social realities that in turn comprise the forms and boundaries that give
meaning to student lives. (Darder 1991, p. 77)"
Is Critical Pedagogy?
You Should Know
Pedagogy Web Sites
Readings - see Bibliography
Flow Chart - Backtracking the Philosophical Foundations of Critical Pedagogy
References Cited on this page
(1995) "Buscando America: The Contributions of Critical Latino Educators to the
Academic Development and Empowerment of Latino Students in the U.S." in
Multicultural Education, Critical Pedagogy and the Politics of Difference
edited by Christine E. Sleeter and Peter L. McLaren, New York: Suny Press.