Response 1

The following papers are examples of responses to Pablo Freire's essay "Pedegogy of the Oppressed." In these essays we were required to express in our own words the meaning of one of the following nine principles, set forth by Henry A. Giroux in his introductory chapter to Modernism, Postmodernism, and Feminism, and then support it with examples from Freire's essay. Giroux insists that in critical (Marxist) pedagogy:

1. Education must be understood as producing not only knowledge but also political subjects.

2. Ethics must be seen as a central concern of critical pedagogy.

3. Critical pedagogy needs to focus on the issue of difference in an ethically challenging and politically transformative way.

4. Critical pedagogy needs a language that allows for competing solidarities and political vocabularies that do not reduce the issues of power, justice, struggle, and inequality to a single script, a master narrative that suppresses the contingent, historical and the everyday as a serious object of study. This suggests that curriculum knowledge not be treated as a sacred text but developed as part of an ongoing engagement with a variety of narratives and traditions that can be re-read and re-formulated in politically diffferent terms.

5. Critical pedagogy needs to create new forms of knowledge through its emphasis on breaking down disciplinary boundaries and creating new spaces where knowledge can be produced.

6. The Enlightenment notion of reason needs to be reformulated within a critical pedagogy... Reason implicates and is implicated in the intersection of power, knowledge, and politics.

7. Critical pedagogy needs to regain a sense of alternatives by combining a language of critique and possibility. Postmodern feminism exemplifies this in both its critique of patriarchy and its search to construct new forms of identity and social relations.

8. Critical pedagogy needs to develop a theory of teachers as transformative intellectuals who occupy specifiable political and social locations... Critical pedagogy would represent itself as the active construction rather than transmission of particular ways of life.

9. Central to the notion of critical pedagogy is a politics of voice that combines a postmodern notion of difference with a feminist emphasis on the primacy of the political.

The following students have responded...

Kathryn Polking

Shanna Taylor

Katie Wallace

Tim Rockey

Jessica Ireland

Anne Selene

Jon LeBaugh


This page was created by Kathryn Polking and Andrea Schroeder

Background Image Copyright 1998 Michael J. Bonnell