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Critical Theory Explained
Critical Theorist: Michael Apple
Critical Theorist: Paolo Freire
Critical Theorist: Henry Giroux
Critical Theorist: Peter McLaren
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Systems of Human Inquiry Web Project Page
Rage and Hope
Henry Giroux



What is Critical Pedagogy?

"The critical question here is whose future, story, and interests does the school represent. . . Critical pedagogy argues that school practices need to be informed by a public philosophy that addresses how to construct ideological and institutional conditions in which the lived experience of empowerment for the vast majority of student becomes the defining feature of schooling."

"Critical pedagogy attempts to:

  1. create new forms of knowledge through its emphasis on breaking down disciplines and creating interdisciplinary knowledge.
  2. raise questions about the relationships between the margins and centers of power in schools and is concerned about how to provide a way of reading history as part of a larger project of reclaiming power and identity, particularly as these are shaped around the categories of race, gender, class, and ethnicity.
  3. reject the distinction between high and popular culture so as to make curriculum knowledge responsive to the everyday knowledge that constitutes peoples' lived histories differently.
  4. illuminate the primacy of the ethical in defining the language that teachers and others use to produce particular cultural practices."


Giroux Introduction Page
What is Critical Pedagogy? What is the Role of Schools? What is the Role of Teachers? What is the Role of Curriculum? Giroux on Freire Giroux on Giroux Links
Updated: 11/22/99
Laurie Williams