In the mind of an educator (Paulo Freire – An Incredible Conversation)

I love this talk so much since it’s obvious from the start that Paulo Freire is a deep thinker and has spent a lifetime learning and thinking about pedagogy, education, literacy, power etc. He starts off by talking about curiosity. In my opinion, curiosity is an important attitude one must embrace to succeed in life. … Continue reading In the mind of an educator (Paulo Freire – An Incredible Conversation)

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Critical Pedagogy: A Community Conversation

“Learning is a process where knowledge is presented to us, then shaped through understanding, discussion andreflection.” – Paulo Freire

Learning involves the social construct of knowledge, so guiding students to reason democratically, continually question, and make meaning from a critical analysis of everything they learn, establishes autonomy, self-regulation, purpose, and increases the awareness of students, so that they become branches of learning, rather than objects, of the world. So, this is similar to the old adage, “Be in the world, not of the world”, which relates to dispelling conformity to social norms or patterns of the world, but be transformed by the renewing and empowering of knowledge.

There are a number of racially diverse students that are part of learning communities in which cultural capital is frequently accompanied, and commonly differ from typical norms and world-views, so it’s vital to place the need of the student as primary. Critical reflection aids in placing racially diverse students needs and considerations primary through an analysis of self or critical critique of beliefs and behaviors, so it’s imperative to acknowledge the impact of your worldview and the influence it will reflect on the construction of students’ conception of self and the forming of their beliefs formed into knowledge by discussion.

What resonated most was Paulo indicated that learning isn’t necessarily dichotomous in which it’s amiss to accept one side, because knowledge isn’t restricted to solely reason, content, emotions, or fallacies, but should seek connections between understandings, interactions, and emotions. I really appreciate Paulo’s notion that teaching isn’t about transfer, but the construction of knowledge and possibilities. As educators we are tasked with identifying students’ prior knowledge and creating environments for students to construct new knowledge or add to existing knowledge, so it’s necessary for us to understand our students’ diverse world-views in effort to make their learning more meaningful as well as identify ways they are able to learn, construct, and produce their knowledge.

Learning is a self-governing process to some degree, so we should eliminate some of the reliance on the teacher to prevent authority dependence. The end goal is to empower and establish student’s ownership on their learning, so in effort to do so, a collaborative relationship should be constructed to make learning more meaningful as it applies to their cultural background, experiences, discipline, and world-views. So, this is similar to the old adage used in the advertising world, “In order to know the consumer, we have to be the consumer”, which relates to the teachers becoming learners, and the learners becoming teachers.

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The practice of critical pedagogy is valuable to students

  Critical pedagogy is a teaching method that aims to assist in challenging and actively standing up against any form of social oppression and the related customs and beliefs. It is a practice which allows students to explore a critical awareness of a certain topic.  Criticism of the established order and social criticism and a resulting action  are essential. Critical … Continue reading The practice of critical pedagogy is valuable to students

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Freshman Engineering Courses align with the critical pedagogical approach

EngE 1215 and 1216 are introductory engineering courses, having innovatively designed curriculum structure that aims to introduce students to the engineering profession. This curriculum structure aligns with almost all the principles of teaching and learning emphasized by Freire. Here I will discuss about these courses and how it engages students to learn critically. Hope the … Continue reading Freshman Engineering Courses align with the critical pedagogical approach

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