Critical pedagogy: “Yeah, let us do that!” vs. “No, let us rather stop doing it!”

Today I provide you two opinions on critical pedagogy and whether we should educate our students into critical thinkers or not.

In the ‘pros-corner’, there is Tait Coles, then being vice principal at Dixons City Academy in Bradford. He explains the basic tenets of critical pedagogy and shows the advantages of this approach to what he refers to as the transmission model of knowledge. His statement resonates with the work of numerous thinkers in critical pedagogics, such as Paulo Freire, Henry Giroux, bell hooks, and Stanley Aronowitz, all of them discussing how we could develop students into citizens, who have the capacity to critically reflect societal conditions and to instigate social change. Read Coles’ text here:

In the ‘cons-corner’, there is Dennis Hayes, Professor of Education at the University of Derby. He warns of the misuse of criticism and argues, among other things, that one cannot teach students to be critical unless one is critical oneself. Afterwards he introduces the reader to his understanding of criticism referring to Matthew Arnold and John Anderson. Read Hayes’ text here:

I invite you to read both accounts and to develop your own conclusion. Perhaps you would like to share your thoughts in the comments?


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