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Critical Pedagogy Theory

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Winters (2005) defines Critical pedagogy as: a political project that attempts to change the power structures of everyday life, especially in cultural institutions such as those in education and the media. These changes are brought about through critique, resistance, and struggle. It aims to enable people to avoid manipulation and to empower them. Critical pedagogy is closely linked with the history of cultural studies and its democratic idea of a “long revolution.” (p. 164)
Critical Pedagogy has been described by many theorists such as Paulo Freire, Henry Giroux, Ira Shor and many other theorists. As defined by Critical Pedagogue Ira Shor (1992): Habits of thought, reading, writing, and speaking which go beneath surface meaning,
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Many teachers have been forced to take on a mainstream approach due to school guidelines, curriculum requirements, and standardized testing. Because of such strict rules that have been put into place, teachers are not providing their students with an education that allows them to critically think but rather to obtain the right answer and move along. For example, when a student is given an assignment, they are told to read the work and provide the correct answer. Critical Pedagogy says that there is not just one answer and that students should be able to provide many different types of answers based off of past experiences and individual views. Students that can connect personal experiences to the work provided will allow them to better understand the material. This type of experience for a student allows them to get to the right answer by critically thinking. In the educational system, how a teacher teaches their students and how the students learn can be debated through Critical Pedagogy. If a teacher takes on a mainstream approach, they stand in front of a class, present information, and force the student to memorize the information. A dominant approach allows students to create a more meaningful way of understanding the material through outside experiences and to understand it past what one teacher is saying it should mean. Critical Pedagogy stems from the idea that people who…show more content…
In one article, Novinger & O’Brien (2003) asks why early childhood teachers are forced to teach “largely irrelevant, fragmented, meaningless curriculum in the name of school reform a meeting state and/or national standards” (p. 3). They talk in this article about how early childhood teachers should be able to provide curriculum that includes both state-based curriculum along with pedagogical ideas and beliefs to better their lessons. Teachers can elaborate on strict curriculums by asking themselves questions from a critical pedagogues outlook and use those views to provide a detailed and more dominant lesson to allow children to have a better educational experience (Novinger & O’Brien, 2003). Until recently, early childhood education was not affected by Critical Pedagogy. Now, Critical Pedagogues believe that problems in early childhood education must be discussed. Some issues include the importance of early childhood education and who exactly the rule makers are. Our society has become diverse in many ways including culturally, socially and ethnically. Children come from various types of households which requires educators to maintain up to date practices and educational lessons that include a range of different types of children. It is very important for teachers in early childhood education to veer away from unfair educational plans that dismiss children from