The Inclusive Teaching Unit uses, as one of its key theories, critical pedagogy. In preparation for the start of the course we would like you to watch the following 14 minute film on Critical Pedagogy from the Friere Project:
and come to the first session prepared to discuss the following prompt questions:
- What are the central concerns of critical pedagogy?
Critiacal Pedagogy, I take from the video ‘the study of oppression in education, of how issues of race, gender, class and sexuality religion is shapes what happens in the classroom’. I Identitfy it as what we is taught is used to control thinking and to be taught be the views of those in power. It is a form of dictatorship and conditioning of minds to control one way of thinking. It is a political move to of power to keep people in line, controlled, a form of slavery by promoting only one view in order to keep those that are privileged in power. Critical Pedagogy aims to break down the oppressive value system that has an impact on people in working class or poor communities.
The concerns are that there is no equal education.
The central concerns to critical pedagogy is that some teachers teach students by rote. By just being told what to do and then students memorising a formula. This is shown in the video when the high school teacher asks the student of what is a circle and he is answer is so prescribed and memorised. Freire describes this as depository, just placing in the mind of the student one way of thinking with prepared answered by the teacher.
- In what ways does critical pedagogy relate to UK Higher Education?
In Higher Education Critical Pedagogy is vital for creating free thinking students. Rather to except what they are being told to enquire investigate and challenge to promote change. The oppression is in the curriculum, some teachers beliefs are based on what they have been taught, experiences, privilege background or their bias views, Therefore in HE Critical Pedagogy is vital for a the generation of students to be not only locally but globally aware of inequalities that effects them and those around them. To gain autonomy and voice being empowered free thinkers by using active research to find out to know.
Teachers need to enable students to do this encouraging analysis and provoke thought and reflection. Teachers need to do the same by Reviewing their own knowledge of what they think they know and their own practice.
- How does critical pedagogy relate to your own practice?
As a parent I have been aware of this oppression within education. As a black British woman, educated in the UK from a working class background I have been raised in this oppression. My own teaching experience in secondary school was to apply critical pedadgoy with my ow practice despite being (until now) unfamiliar with the actual terminology. I considered what I was doing within my teaching art and design practice was simply manipulating a Eurocentric curriculum that is designed to conceal hidden truths that lacked any representation of racial identities other than white. For instance, with the new National Curriculum I believe is designed to promote a white middle class. English literature features mainly European book titles. Art an Design exam papers have few BAME artists references. My attention was focused on diversifying topics schemes of work that addressed issues of race, gender faith age and class. Sexuality had been a tricky one to employ within a catholic school but I had found subtle ways to address this particularly with older students. For all it was the representation of artists, designers, ordinary everyday people, the students themselves, that I would use to engage influence and inspire them. I always encouraged to students to analyse and raise question and brought in relevant current affairs to discuss, debate and deconstruct in order to build on their learning. This I still do.
- Discuss one thing you have learned or surprised you from the film
Learning by rote, conditioning like a form of brainwashing I am aware of. What I had not been aware of is the ‘banking system’ approach described by Freire in Pedagogy of the Oppressed and globally how many people this effect! There seems to be an international curriculum for behaviours of oppression.
I remember being specifically told by a former head of department that a seating plan in rows is a deliberate act of teacher power and control over the students in order to get them to learn.
- Discuss an aspect of critical pedagogy that you would like more information/clarification on.
I would like more information on Critical Pedagogy projects and additional study on the term Neutral education. I am aware of the conveyor belt system of prescribed education for students to achieve target grades and league tables. I am interested how a students previous education (wherever they have studies globally) effects a student’s transition to HE and beyond if Critical Pedagogy for the practice of freedom is not addressed.