Critical Pedagogy: Improving Teaching and Learning

Preservice teachers in most of the public school in America come across several issues on their way to becoming fully licensed teachers. One of the tasks they face is the high school set up with multicultural culture requiring the learning of educational theory and going ahead to come up with their practical application. Taking a close look at the social studies, critical thinking has been emphasized as being an important skill for teachers helping them to become productive and effective in their carriers. The curriculum in most of the high schools in the United States are planned in such away that they encourage the students  to develop the ability to be informed at the same time reason out decisions that are of public interest (McLaren 2000). Such curriculums try to address issues like racism, sexism, hatred and bigotry that result out of human interaction due to the varying cultures. However, having high school teachers   use their personal pedagogy in addressing the above named human interaction outcomes is in most cases unachievable.

This is because preservice high school teachers while partaking social studies fail to consider such issues as they develop their personal pedagogy. One of the aims of critical pedagogy is to attempt to have inequality known. This aim goes along with the curriculum in the social studies mentioned above. A teacher who is out to implement critical pedagogy has to aim at exposing students to issues like hatred, oppression, sexism, racism and bigotry by first acknowledging the issues so that students can take the step of changing them (McLaren, 2000). Critical pedagogy as a means of improving learning and teaching in high school classrooms that are multicultural is regarded as an educational theory. The theory is aimed at making students conscious of the many existing institutes to perpetuate and facilitate systematic forms of oppression.

These forms are applicable both in and out of the classroom. Paulo Freire, who was a Brazilian philosopher, is credited as being among the first scholars to articulate critical pedagogy in one of his books. In the book, Freire explained the conditions he went through   while teaching peasants in Brazil and it was out of the experience that he came up with the critical pedagogical theory (Freire, 2000). Since then, several works on the application of critical pedagogy in different classroom environments have come up. A good example of such work is the Jose Calderon’s argument that combined critical pedagogy with civic and learning diversity. Most of the articles on this theory examine the race inequality existing in education. Other cases address, ethnicity, gender, and cultural inequalities. It is essential to discern such inequalities so as to come up with change in the society.

The current education situation in the United States regarding social studies is focused in emphasizing the significance of critical thinking on various issues (Freire, 2000). This is done through social studies methods and skills. However, that is not enough as it is the responsibility of the social studies teachers to guide the students on how to develop such skills. One of the best ways in which the teachers can guide their own students to think critically is by employing critical pedagogy. Critical thinking is considered as being a crucial component in critical pedagogy but still critical pedagogy goes beyond simple critical thinking as it enables the students be aware of challenges facing the status quo, injustices, and adopt active steps to create a society that practices just and equitability. It is through critical pedagogy that the inequalities experienced in education are brought out in an effort to achieve positive changes in the society and improve the learning and teaching in the classrooms.

Students in high school classrooms exist in a constant and complex changing environment. It is this set up that shifts the responsibility to the teachers to prepare them to face the world. By using critical pedagogy, teachers faced with this challenge will be better placed to guide students in developing the necessary skills needed in the complex and continuously changing learning environment. These skills prepare students to critically re-examine their hidden structures of power, question their status quo and help them facilitate change creating equitable, democratic and fair learning environment.

The application of critical pedagogy cannot be considered as being a new educational concept in United States. It can be traced back to early 1980’s where it was implemented by teachers such as Robert Peterson and has since then been used in all parts of the nation. Recent policies on federal education like the ‘No Child Left Behind Act’ that was enacted in ten year 2001, have taken into consideration the original concepts used by Freire and have gone further to offer suggestions to better the concepts (Peters, 1999). Such acts based on critical pedagogy are meant to generally assess the inequality existing in the United States education sector.   As a result of increased globalization, there has been a great increase in the interconnectedness of students around the United States and the impacts have become apparent in the classroom levels. As the students get more connected, inequalities resulting from varying cultural backgrounds become more apparent leading to inequalities self evaluation.


The aim of this thesis paper is to make the students understand the importance of critical pedagogy concepts and goes further to indicate how the concepts can be applicable in multicultural high school classrooms in an effort to improve both the learning by students and teaching by the teachers. The above can be easily achieved by applying the information of this thesis in their personal lesson plans and studying guidelines. Interested parties in this information may end up being teacher educators in the evaluation of personal philosophy by applying critical pedagogy concepts. Teachers specializing in social studies may also find information from this paper beneficial as they can use it as reference in the evaluation of their personal curriculum in social studies.

High school as well as teachers in the social studies disciplines may base on the findings in evaluating their lessons plans. Preservice teachers taking social studies will also find this information relevant as it helps then in the application and understanding of critical pedagogy concepts. It also provides implementation methods of critical pedagogy in various class environments thus help in changing the understanding of this concepts. By achieving the above mentioned initiatives in social studies in classroom environments in United States, teaching among the teachers will in the long run be improved consequently making learning of the critical pedagogy concepts by students easier.


In applying the critical pedagogy concepts in any elementary classroom environment, the teacher has to develop a perspective about the learning process and the learners being addressed. This set up is a counter argument of the dominating educational ideology in the United States. Pedagogy theory success depends on the students’ experience and utilizes on the students language, culture and dialect. The theory values reflection and dialogue before repetition and lecture. This means that the theory helps to create a classroom set up in which the learners receive the maximum power that can be legally permitted and at the same time be able to handle it socially. This can then be considered to being a problem posing dialogic method serving as an alternative to old forms of education. In this set up, the students and the teachers are both actors in finding out what entails learning and teaching through a mutual communication process. In the other systems, the curricular text and the teacher are always the right answers which the learners need to periodically regurgitate into criterion reference. In the critical pedagogy model however, the curriculum core consists of questions and not answers. The open ended questions are used to prod the learners to analyze their social situation critically and encourage them to work ultimately towards changing it. This thesis paper is organized beginning with an introduction outlining the major themes of the paper, followed by a literature review which analyses the literature in the paper and finally the reflective essay outlines how the theory is applied.

Literature Review

Chronological Forebear

Critical pedagogy entails rich chronological background concerned with education values. The evolution of critical pedagogy, since time immemorial, has involved the contributions of various outstanding educators, revolutionaries, scholars and philosophers (Lee 2000). The broad-spectrum timeline commences with the philosopher, Karl Marx. This is tagged on by the Frankfurt school philosophy and then the forerunner to critical pedagogy, the theory of social critical. Educational and social modifications that were analogous to Frankfurt’s school and Marx’s theory were advocated by John Dewey and George Counts, both well-known philosophers of edification. These theories served as the basis of education evolution since they empowered contemporary philosophers of education including: - Paulo Freire, considered as the founder academic of critical pedagogy and Peter McLaren who is an influential intellectual. This segment highlights the account of critical pedagogy and its starting point contained by critical social supposition and a discussion of its present-day outline.

Based upon the 19th century scripts by Karl Marx, a German philosopher, whose thoughts ventured into economic and political arenas, Marxism played a crucial part in shaping the society’s education. This theory proposes that societal criticism is indispensable in attaining the definitive objective of turmoil, ending in a democratic economy and society founded on socialism ground. Capitalism, according to Marxism, is detrimental to the society and in order to achieve equality and prosperity of the people, then the employment of socialism system is necessary.

The reading and utilization of Marx’s scripts throughout the world has enhanced criticism by individuals and influenced the campaign for societal reforms. Frankfurt school was discovered as a result of the foundational philosophy of Marxism. Sociologists who, retrieved, disputed, modified and appended to the theory of Marx so as to create the critical social theory, founded the Frankfurt school in the year 1923 at Frankfurt University. Thus, it is the impact of this theory that has influenced the ascension to a variety of educational applications.

Critical and social educational theory scrutinizes schools in their chronological perspective and as an element of existing political and social framework that outlines the prevailing society (Klemp and McBride 2007). The development of the critical theory of society was overseen by Herbert Marcuse, Theodore Adorno and Max Horkheimer who were conventional scholars. The proposal to utilize critical social theory to evaluate society and individual affiliation, to comprehend the scripts of Marx profoundingly, and to make clear the correlation between society, awareness and culture, was by Max Horkheimer. On the other hand, Ardono’s perspectives were concerned with the unenthusiastic controlling persona and dialectics of the critical social theory. He advises that the connection between society and individuals is relentlessly affected by the unenthusiastic dialectics. Furthermore, Adorno distinguishes between non-observed and professed relations to emphasize on the authoritarian persona, which involves the assessment of an individual in the society, with the focal point being the individual’s psychology and ensuing social dealings. The proposal put forward by Herbert Marcuse stated that personal liberation was as a result of an individual’s self-fulfillment. He established that enjoyment generates “improved personal liaisons, individuals and society”. Moreover, Marcuse’s thoughts critically explore the theory of society by recommending that capitalism and scientific proceeds lead to material affluence submission and hinders freedom of an individual, since a person becomes a stereo- type and surrenders on pursuing social integrity.

The characteristic of society and how an individual relates to this plan is scrutinized by the critical theory of society. Through social analysis of the society and acknowledgement of the drawbacks that affect it, which is analogous to critical pedagogy, the submission of this theory is accomplished (Freire 2005). Initially, the focal point of Frankfurt school was on society but top philosophers of education converted the objectives of critical social theory and Frankfurt school to education. Though the initiatives of George Counts were similar to Frankfurt school’s critical theory of society, counts utilized his theories of restoration and transformation particularly on education. Counts brings out the disparities experienced in the society and education through his work in Dare the School Build a New Social Order? Counts believed that custom is the fundamental medium for the enlightment of individuals but are empowered particularly via education. However, he was critical of the notion that education was free from economic or political influence since it revealed the society’s welfare and thus, manipulated by it. Similar to Frankfurt school philosophers’ stand, Counts was extremely decisive on capitalism purporting that it led to cruel, wasteful, inefficient and inhuman management of people. He advises that schools should be responsible for the changing of the society to achieve prosperity since they mirrored the setbacks of social disproportion. His idea was that social alteration should commence in schools.

Educational reformist, John Dewey, was based in the United States. His viewpoints were progressive minded and child-focused with the aim of developing a new autonomous and rehabilitated society. These ideas were child-focused in order to stress on the individual rather than on the purposes of the school. Through the provision of services, Dewey viewed a school as an avenue through which social misdemeanors could be corrected. This was so as schools were the most fundamental echelon to contact people and impart social adjustment contained by the democratic structure in the United States. The current prominent names associated with critical pedagogy are: - Peter McLaren and Paulo Freire. The philosophy of Freire is comparable to those proposed by Counts, Frankfurt School and Dewey. Consequently, McLaren’s scripts on the issue of education and critical pedagogy are combinations of the prior stated theories.

Students are believed to gain personal beliefs and philosophies through social studies. These studies intend to enhance the development of an individual’s personality, similar to the aforementioned theories of Counts, Frankfurt School and Dewey. In addition, these studies should facilitate reorganization in the society. Citizenship education helps instigate social change because information criticism is taught to the students. Social action involves the discussion of pertinent social matters and remedy techniques but does not go past classroom conversation. On the contrary, reformist social action entails the involvement of deed in order to bring about change in the society (Darder and Baltodano 2008). Comprehension of the divergence between these words is essential in reform achievement since social action does not inculcate the real change contrary to reformist social action, which does.

Supportive Perception

Classroom practices and the duty of the teacher in the course of education is critical in the achievement of the set goals. Thus, students require to be guided on the ways to curb and improve the social life of the society and through this initiative, the students are equipped with the skill and knowledge of examining life from various angles (Freire 2005). In this section, I will consider two education structures to highlight the essence of critical pedagogy and these include: - community-based and teacher-focused education systems. In the case of teacher-focused education system, the relevant issues to be taught and the means of learning is determined by the teacher. The teacher plays the pivotal role in all the activities engaged by the students including formal lecture. The student typically adheres to what the teacher directs to be done and the methods utilized to perform such directives since the teacher is the sole figure. As a result, learning process in this system entails passive roles rather than active roles in the case of students. Freire outlines this system of education, which was related to a banking scheme, as one in which the teacher dictates the whole course since he is knowledgeable while the students only wait to acquire the same information. This exposes the naivety of the students who entirely depend on the teacher for knowledge, which can be distorted (Freire 2005).

McLaren proposed that “school information is collectively and traditionally entrenched and significance bound” and is ingrained in the conception of power associations, which does not consider neutrality. This postulation accentuates the reason critical pedagogy is valuable in transitioning to community-based scheme from teacher-focused education system. Since this system depends on the teacher, who is empowered, to deliver knowledge to the students, then the students’ education integrity might be compromised (Talvacchia 2003). Education is critically approached from the onset and thus, the credibility of teachers determines a lot in conceptualizing democracy by students. Democracy entails the full participation of an individual, who is empowered with the ability to control the situation at hand, in the course of learning. For this reason, autonomous education must be structured in a manner that enables the students to directly contribute to the learning process rather than being controlled. Through critical pedagogy, students are empowered with knowledge and this allows teachers to have a paradigm shift from non-critical deliberation to one that cultivates vital assessment. As such, the students will be incorporated into finding solutions of problems affecting the society rather than just being an element of the system. Through self evaluation and the discovery of their role in the society, students will appreciate the essence of education in the society and will foresee its implementation.

Self-discovery by the student through community-based learning fosters the application of knowledge to life beyond the classroom. The balance between the community and education is effected in this manner by the students. Praxis entails the aptitude to generate history and culture through action and reflection. Students are given an opportunity to comprehend their thoughts and environment making critical pedagogy essential in this system of learning. By being involved in these activities, students stand to gain two primary innovations. The students will build up a critical elucidation of the ancient times, and this will boost their personal empowerment. Preservice teachers mostly get empowered by this means since they have a first hand experience in this system (Darder and Baltodano 2008). Change beyond the classroom, which is proposed by Calderon differs from that projected by Fabillar, which promotes revolution of perception. Teachers and students are the main initiators of these systems.

Being democratically implicated means that an individual becomes conscious, active and critical about one’s surrounding. The critical viewpoint of issues enables students to figure out their position in the society’s culture. Culture encompasses various notions but in the case of community-focused education, the aspiration is to make students associate through their individual culture. In critical pedagogy, culture is very significant as it acts as a channel through which thoughts are conveyed (Morrell 2012). From a critical pedagogical outlook, preservice instructors can achieve a deeper sense of their personal history and culture. With the deep understanding of the culture and personality, preservice instructors can efficiently and effectively instruct their students in a style that enhances their critical analysis too. The preservice teachers are placed in a state to query individual ideas, thoughts and beliefs that comprise the establishment of culture and society. Cooperative surrounding presents the preserve educators with the prospect to grow multicultural and critical pedagogical techniques, which supplements their capacity to execute the educational routines.

In diverse societies, race has traditionally been a concern and has made one faction to subdue another. The authenticity of racial dissimilarity is revealed by critical pedagogy in order to make teachers educate their students in a compassionate approach. Without considering the color difference between the teacher and the students, the teachings entail the recognition of the instructor as an authority. Both the students and the teachers are meant to acknowledge that cultural differences are in existence and that conflicts are a daily experience in the society. Critical pedagogy inculcates a good judgment of proactively evaluated thoughts rather than reactivity as it solicits students to counter the cultural conflict head on (Morrell 2012). Globalization has enhanced links among the universal citizens thereby developing a minor existence and thus, teachers have to be aware of the cultural transition from homogenous to heterogeneous cultures. Though globalization can further enhance marginalization of citizens, critical pedagogy intends to empower every individual in the sense that he or she can be heard in the society.

Detrimental matters affecting the students’ education such as: -sexism and racism are depicted by critical pedagogy. The eventual intention is to augment the students’ well-being and boost their inter-relationships in order to express their excellent and humane nature and not just the pessimistic influences from the world. Creating a sense of awareness among the students, calls for a lot of input, both from the teachers and the students. To ease the load of effort involved, an atmosphere that encourages the critical scrutiny of an individual’s values and ideas as well as those of additional persons should be considered (Wink 2010). The teachers ought to be trained to handle matters beyond the classroom and to perceive students as people who can instill modifications in themselves and the society.

It is argued that critical pedagogy upholds various attributes such as: - personality of educational clout, classification and accessibility of rights, best learning atmosphere for students, determination of essential understanding and inclusiveness and ordering of membership (Klemp and McBride 2007). Reconstruction transpires when an individual’s realization is stimulated and restoration crops up in a mode that imitates humanity. Consequently, teachers have to be aware and responsive as their perception differs from that of students taught. Therefore, critical pedagogy targets to achieve student- focused education that views students from various angles.

Critical response

Though there are many success attributed to the critical pedagogy theory, the system has also faced several critics. One of the major criticisms facing this theory is that its applications only offer deconstruction with no direction. This critic comes despite the earlier unrelenting assault with regards to oppressiveness of critical theory resulting in division, diversion, confusion and illusion. The above are believed to have strong oppression influences in democratic societies. Some philosophers consider critical pedagogy as being anti-democratic as in most cases it exposes the issues in the education sector but never comes up with suggestions to deal with the issues raised.  The philosophers go ahead to claim that critical pedagogy fails to offer suggestions towards change leaving vacuums which end up being filled by education practices that are oppressive in nature (Knight and Pearl 2000).  This argument means that instead of critical pedagogy facilitating change in multicultural classroom environments, it allows anti-intellectual and antidemocratic education to persist in high schools by not coming up with a restructuring model. Critical pedagogy has also been termed as being oppressive in the sense that the teachers have given the theory the freedom to dominate the classrooms leaving some students with limited choices thus have to accept critical pedagogy as being part of the curriculum. Critical pedagogy gives the students the impression that revolution is the only means of achieving change in schools making it seem like there exist no other ways of achieving social change.

Some scholars like Maxcy (1999) believe that this theory is limited and idealistic. He argues that some critical pedagogy champions capitalize on historical figures and regard themselves as martyrs yet the fact is they never had any direct association with the system of education in United States. He justifies the above allegation by giving an example of McLaren’s who used Ernesto “Che” Guevara as a main figure of educational leadership and critical pedagogy. To Maxcy, that was being too idealistic as the education philosophies being credited to Guevara may not necessarily be from Che himself. He goes further to criticize some of figure heads in critical pedagogy who were vocal on change and social reforms yet they did not in any way act their words but urge other people to do so. Maxcy refers to critical pedagogy theory as being revisitating in crime scenes as it is based on past criticism of education and society instead of being developed on elicit and new thoughts. This approach limits its capabilities in trying to improve learning and teaching.

Critical pedagogy results in elitist mentality among students making them isolate themselves from the society (Brown 1999). This comes as a result of the theory’s aim of criticizing the society. Such a scenario of being separated from the school society may make some students to feel opposed or disconnected from being part of it. At such a point, the students will naturally view the learning issues as not their own. Also, critical pedagogy is some cases results in most teachers neglecting the students’ views as they concentrate a lot on critical pedagogy.  This is to mean that those teachers applying critical pedagogy in their curriculum may focus so much on critical pedagogy concepts that they end up being more important than its aim of reforms and social reconstruction.

Gender and race issues have also come up as some of the classroom issues which critical pedagogy has failed to address in terms of social equity (Lynn, 2004). Critical pedagogy focuses more on social reconstruction narrowing its scope to Marxist views of economic and class standards while neglecting important issues in the classroom environment such as gender equality, and racial equality. Because of the existing large disparity between gender and racial equality, the concentration on class equality in the United States has left critical pedagogy inefficient and ineffective when it comes to dealing with other issues.  The major flow in the utilization of critical pedagogy is in the way it dominates and focuses on the theory itself. Most of the philosophers and educators put a lot of emphasis on critical pedagogy itself neglecting the individuals taking part in the social reconstruction struggles. The lack of emphasis on participants can easily result in alienation among the people willing to help as they don’t feel their interests are being represented in the best ways. Moreover, the few interests represented are only those of educators and philosophers behind the theory and not the struggling parties (Brown, 1999).

Critical pedagogy has also been criticized as to be in a haste to call for reconstruction and change in locations where pedagogues don’t exist and in places where it will never reach. This is to say that critical pedagogues consider their recommendations of revolution and social reconstruction from a distance as they live other people to do the main work.  The clear conclusion is that critical pedagogy carries’ out its activities from a distance while the actual reform, reconstruction and revolution struggles are performed by others. Despite the many criticisms, such critical pedagogy critics in most cases seek the same results of democratic education, student empowerment and civic involvement (Knight & Pearl, 2000). The same as the case of its advocates, it is in support of an education system that invests in community based education and students liberating them and promotes unity in every classroom environment.      Mutuality and Diversity

Critical pedagogy does not just limit itself in reference to time and scope. It has opened out mutually to exist with postmodernism though the two are not mutually exclusive. A good example of a postmodern critical pedagogy is being witnessed in the elaborate relationship existing between a student and others from different cultures. Critical pedagogy is more inclusive in addressing some of postmodern concerns making it more effectively in addressing issues like oppression and domination in learning environments (Peters, 1999). Most of the modern literatures used in high schools have encompassed post modern thinking and critical pedagogues in their writing. In such text analogues and text used in the modern curriculum emphasize on culture and experience as well as subjectivity in trying to understand the existing cultural oppression and power. Through association with postmodernism, critical pedagogy can easily empower the voices of all the cultures represented in the classrooms by both the students and the teachers.

Modernized critical pedagogy is considered as being enriched rather than superseded as it has been expanded to accommodate even feminist pedagogical approach. The approach takes into consideration several areas such the teachers’ authority and role, the truth in the student’s feelings and experience, the epistemological knowledge claims and the cultural differences. The combination of critical pedagogy and postmodernism acknowledges the different educational approaches used by different teachers thus the two do not abandon their initial goals of empowerment and social justice.  In the modern education curriculum in United States, there are no universally accepted approaches or definitions of critical pedagogy (Peters, 1999). This is to mean that this theory in any educational discourse is constantly changing as it is being redefined and reframed.  However, there are concerns about teachers who in some ways espouse critical pedagogy concepts. It is not appropriate for any one to merely theorize this liberation practice.   In situation where teachers utilize traditional and non-liberating methods while teaching students, they end up creating anathema which conflicts directly with the aims of critical pedagogy.

The critiques that critical pedagogy has received in the past should not be ignored but considered and examined to avoid the sedating affect resulting from overproblematizing of the educational environment and the teachers role. Though the challenges are compounded through external and internal critiques, the inaction alternative is unstable.  Teachers especially in high school level are expected to react to specific context they face at work and attempt to their best to participate practically in promoting empowerment, inclusion, and engagement of students. By doing this, the teachers will be playing a big role in settling the cultural differences existing among the students as well as eliminating the difference is the several education approaches used in the curriculum. A modernized critical pedagogy leaves the students and teachers with only two options; to succumb to the existing mainstream which will result in a programmed dislike in their intellect or end up being critical pedagogues liberating themselves and the people around them who are willing to join the mainstream.

Although they exists different perspectives of critical pedagogy, they all focus on the power structure being examined in the society and try to bring out the several curriculum in multicultural classroom environment by both the students and teachers. They are all aimed at ensuring that there exists a true dialogue between the students themselves, teachers and students, and eventually the students and the society. Any critical pedagogy approach should ensure that the teachers’ sensitivity and racial awareness are enhanced by eliminating some of the osmosis approaches to liberation and education.             

The approaches have to include consensual perspective so as to have a form of education that will create and liberate critical conscious to the students helping them transform the many issues in the education sector. This can be easily achieved by adapting reconstruction framework and methodologies that are directed towards liberation and social change.  By doing this, the overarching theme of employing critical pedagogy in high schools can be easily achieved. The teachers are expected on their part to be exposed to the all the critical pedagogy approaches and concepts so as to be aware the inequalities in classrooms and ways of dealing with them without downplaying their existence. Critical pedagogy also tries to foster and create a learning environment that is community based so that the changes it effects also affect the outside community (Roberts, 2000).

Relevance in Education

Critical pedagogy as a form of education liberates folks from oppression and the universe, which tends to hinder their progress. It analytically scrutinizes the supremacy of an emancipatory advance to urban education while steadfastly grounded upon significant practices. The literature puts forward several chief sections in which lecturers should employ critical pedagogy: instruction and syllabus, mounting a view of society and developing the visions of students. Utilization of critical pedagogy in tutoring and curriculum entails the elevation of perception of students, empowering them to take control of their education (McLaren 2006). Shor proposes that education empowers through such values as problem posing, de-socializing, researching, participatory and democratic. Critical pedagogy affords the researchers and teachers with an efficient means of understanding the responsibilities of schools in issues such as class, race and the society, which is gender-divided. This process enhances the inquiring of experiences encountered by students, teachers’ philosophies, texts and phases of school policy that liberate and conserve the integrity of the society. Legitimate critical and primary critical thinking are differentiated by Ahlquist. He states that legitimate thinking involves powerful questioning of an individual’s surrounding management while critical thinking entails straightforward analysis.

Another viewpoint on the submission of critical pedagogy is that it permits students to engage in serious thinking on various subjects. Critical thinking includes: - “strong –sense” and “weak-sense” as put forward by Ahlquist. He explains that “weak-sense” thinking submits to artificial deliberation, which does not cater for substantive inquiry of probable matters while “strong-sense” thinking entails the utilization of true critical contemplation. Ahlquist further advises that the instructors should encourage their students to be involved in critical analysis of situations rather than instructing them on what to do. Critical pedagogy intends to seek humane, holistic and legitimate manifestation on the student’s part (Talvacchia 2003).

Having a student-focused prospectus and pedagogy is advantageous for nurturing the empowerment and contribution of students. This empowerment constitutes the main thoughts that characterize critical pedagogy as a hypothesis and application. Freire advocates for the students to be given authority to define themselves and express their views concerning problem solving in the society. Milner advises that “in the anticipation of accomplishing freedom, individual are disjointed in their recreation of clarity, emancipation and comprehension.

Consequently, the course of transformation should be from the individual to the community rather than from the society to the individual. Through the enlisting of critical pedagogy theory in daily operations, its application is achieved. Generally, pedagogy appliance is vital to highlight the queries about human existence and to comprehend gains that students may attain (Lissovoy 2008). The framework for the manner in which teaching is carried out, in an empowering and therapeutic approach, is presented by critical pedagogy. Students, through this technique, develop vital skills and become aware of their surrounding. In addition, teachers put into action their thoughts and skills in ensuring proper transmission of required information to the students.


The overarching subject matter of the prose is that adjustment is required and can be attained through critical pedagogy. Preservice instructors require to be presented with critical pedagogy in order to be knowledgeable about the societal inequalities and the means of tackling them while at the same time, boosting self-esteem and confidence of their students. The consensual standpoint of critical pedagogy is that it liberates and generates critical awareness, which would come from students’ involvement in matters affecting their surrounding (Hooks 2003). Critical pedagogy impacts the society positively as it places authority on students enabling them to familiarize and come up with solutions that enhance better living standards. Some individuals propose that critical pedagogy allows for tangible dialogue between teachers and students, students and community, and amongst the students themselves.

The main notion of critical pedagogy is to impact change in the society; seeking to develop and construct a more impartial, humane and hospitable place. A classroom being a fundamental part of critical pedagogy provides the space to students enabling them to acquire knowledge with ease. Teachers plat a central role in the transfer of knowledge to the students, thereby effecting deliverance with regard to cultural awareness (Hooks 2003). The realisation of community-based education that ensures change in the larger community resulting from school teachings is through critical pedagogy. Various points of view focus on the capacity of critical pedagogy to consent to influential structures contained in the society and to surface the secreted curriculum based in a classroom set up by both students and teachers.

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