Rage and Hope Home Page
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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

Critical educators experience rage caused by the unjust circumstances that surround the educational experiences of the dispossessed (the poor, minorities, and other marginalized people). While being fully cognizant of the immense struggles to be faced to achieve the goal of social equity, they are committed to the notion that education can be a transformative process.

"One of the tasks of the progressive educator, through a serious, correct political analysis is to unveil opportunities for hope, no matter what the obstacles may be. After all, without hope there is little we can do. For hope is an ontological need...The attempt to do without hope in the struggle to improve the world, as if that struggle could be reduced to calculated acts alone, or a purely scientific approach, is a frivolous illusion." (Freire, 1998a)

Critical educators "draw from their own personal biographies, struggles, and attempts to understand their own contradiction in the context of the contradictions of schooling and capitalism." (Torres, 1998)

They also help us to debunk "two educational myths of liberalism...the notion that education is a neutral activity, and that education is an apolitical activity."(Torres, 1998)

"Critical scholars in education have combined theory with political, cultural, and educational practices in unique ways. This tradition of critical studies has often been associated with a New Left in American academia; it is a tradition that emerged after McCarthyism, developing in the wake of the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights movement, in the face of the Sputnik revolution and the Bay of Pigs fiasco."(Torres, 1998)

The struggles of Apple, Freire, Giroux and McLaren have moved critical education studies into the center of today's debates "on curriculum, testing, governance, teacher training, educational financing, and virtually any meaningful educational problem."(Torres, 1998)



Michael Apple

Paulo Freire

Peter McLaren

Michael Apple
Paulo Freire
Henry Giroux
Peter McLaren
Updated: 06/03/04
Laurie Williams