Tag Archives: critical pedagogy

Let’s ask schools to fix society’s problems

With all due respect to my comrades plthomasEdD and catwho (who also contribute to the Daily KOS “Education Alternatives” group), and the thoughtful pieces they have recently posted on the group’s list, I wish to put forward a very different thought on this issue of what are appropriate and inappropriate venues for trying to fix our society’s problems. In particular, I want to challenge their assumption that we can not “fix” schools until we first address the underlying issues of poverty and inequity that make our society dysfunctional.

Blogger catwho sums up this position I am taking issue with in their piece, “The Myth of Failing Schools”…

You cannot fix the schools until you fix the students. You cannot fix the students until you fix their parents. You cannot fix their parents until you fix society. How do you fix a broken society?

PlthomasEdD said in theirs, “Don’t Ask Schools to Fix Society’s Problems”…

First, we must acknowledge, as Traub did in 2000, “The idea that school, by itself, cannot cure poverty is hardly astonishing, but it is amazing how much of our political discourse is implicitly predicated on the notion that it can”

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Critical Pedagogy: One of Many Educational Paths

I was introduced to the educational path known as “Critical Pedagogy” by my fellow Alternative Education Resource Organization member John Harris Loflin, an activist for educational alternatives, particularly for urban, at-risk minority communities. John argues persuasively that a mostly white, privileged, middle-class alternative education movement would be benefited by finding common ground and allying with efforts in urban minority communities to challenge the conventional approach to schooling in those communities. The focus of that challenge is a curriculum, plus methods for teaching and learning known as “Critical Pedagogy”, that is designed to deconstruct the inferior position of the minority community relative to the dominant culture and identify ways to take action to change that power differential.

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