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INSTRUCTIONAL THEORY

 

Instructional Theory and Critical Pedagogy

Classroom teachers, as well as philosophers and theorists, find it challenging to transform this theory into practice. This has been the most difficult hurdle of all. Teachers need philosophy and theories, but they also need practical, applicable experiences. .” Shor states that it is damaging to think pessimistically that nothing good can be achieved in the classroom until the economic system and society are changed. He continues, “It is also mistaken to believe euphorically that education can change society one classroom at a time. Lone classrooms cannot change a social system. Only political movements can transform inequality.”

What does Critical Pedagogy mean for the classroom teacher? It means that the classroom will function as a democracy, the roles of teacher and student will change drastically, a variety of methods of instruction will enter into practice, knowledge will be redefined, new forms of assessment will be utilized, and there will be other assessors than the classroom teacher, but most of all it will mean the beginning of the development of conscious, critical thinkers who will, as a result of this education, be enabled to create a better life for humankind.

The next logical question is “How does this take place? What about all the legislation, the budget, the testing?”  These are important questions. These are political questions, since it is within the realm of politics that these decisions are made and then handed down to the schools. Many of the teachers I have known do not think of education or teaching as political, preferring to see themselves as neutral, simply teaching children the basics of reading, writing and math, etc. They are deceiving themselves. Everyone has a philosophy of education and a political stance - it is a part of who we are as people. Teachers are people and carry with them into the classroom, consciously or not, those politics and beliefs. These beliefs and politics may be observed in the manner in which a classroom’s furniture is arranged; in the daily routines, procedures and rules of the classroom; in the relationships between the teacher and the students; in the instructional methodology applied; and so on.

To be continued . . . .

 

 

 

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