Essay about Urban Education and Critical Pedagogy

Essay about Urban Education and Critical Pedagogy

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In a broad sense, the field of social foundations of education entails beliefs and values in school and society, the political economy in schools and society, and the culture of the school. There are a magnitude of social forces that affect educational policies on a daily basis such as; government, religion, family and the economy. Each of these social structures influences one another which results in many conflicts in regards to a “democratic education.” The social foundations of education do not meet the criteria of a democratic education because of certain laws or rules that are established. For example, the delegation of funds in schools is solely based on the property taxes of a specific community. Therefore, the schools in poor communities receive less funding than the schools in wealthy areas. When young people have no say in the regulations that they are bound by, then they cannot be said to live in a democratic environment or understand what it truly means to be “democratically educated.”
Henry Giroux, however, believes in a “transformative education.” “Transformative intellectuals are aware of their own theoretical convictions and are skilled in strategies for translating them into practice (Giroux, 1991).” In other words, Giroux believes that all teachers need to hold an “active role in shaping the curriculum” and be able to exercise their power or beliefs in teaching (Giroux, 1991). Likewise, Giroux discusses transformative education as a form of pedagogy which is always associated with power (Giroux, 1991). Giroux believes that critical pedagogy plays a role in transformative education. Giroux’s interpretation of critical pedagogy was shaped from the philosopher Paula Freire whose focus was on the student’s abili...

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...s towards developing critical thinking skills and the tools to strive for justice in a democracy.
As stated in this essay, critical pedagogy in urban education is a useful way to create change in our educational system. Dewy and Friere may have had different thoughts on education as a democracy verses liberated, but both believed in the role of the teacher and an open society. In conclusion, in order to create a democratic education where power is shared freely and equally, one must examine the social forces that are impacting urban schools and strive to create solutions to these issues.

Works Cited

Dewey, John. (1897). My Pedagogic Creed. School Journals,54. 77-80
Freire, Paulo. (2000). Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York. Continuum
Giroux, Henry. (1991). The Hope of Radical Education. Cultural Workers and the Politics of Education. New York. Routledge.

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