Education is a site where the State’s hegemony is played out and resisted. The content of the curriculum continues to be a site of cultural struggle (Should History, be compulsory? Should there be one national testing system? How can testing be rendered non-discriminatory for minority students? How can other, non Eurocentric, knowledge systems be accommodated and validated?)
What is called the Hidden Curriculum, too, continues to be used as a means of social and cultural pacification and it is here that inroads can be made into the deadening methodologies of our educational practice by an engagement with Critical Pedagogy. Critical pedagogy takes as its mission the transformation of education in order to bring about greater social equity and justice - both in the classroom and out. It views the way we educate critically, noting that it induces public apathy by promoting:
• an acceptance of hierarchy
• an acceptance of the status quo power through
• an inability to think critically or
• to question authority
• to be reflective
• to weigh evidence
• to recognise the difference between reasoning and opinion
• to recognise the relationship between cause and effect
• to differentiate between espoused values and values in action
• to dialogue across difference
• work collaboratively for common goals
Critical pedagogues seek out sites and instances of oppression and inequity in the community and wider world and make these sites the subject of their work in the classroom and in the community itself revealing the workings of power and forging links between between students and oppressed groups so that they may work towards their mutual advantage.
In the articles listed below you will find many examples of Critical pedagogy in practice.