Critical Pedagogy in Practice

Critical pedagogy argues for an approach to education that is rooted in the experiences of marginalized peoples; that is centered in a critique of structural, economic, and racial oppression; that is focused on dialogue instead of a one-way transmission of knowledge; and that is structured to empower individuals and collectives as agents of social change.

This project studies the application and effectiveness of critical pedagogy in urban high school classrooms. We investigate the potential of critical pedagogy to create a more engaging and meaningful classroom practice, and explore the connection of this work to increased academic achievement. We review curriculum, pedagogy, student work, and student growth over time as a way to understand the impact of this approach to teaching. Additionally, the project director teaches a high school sociology course, where students are primarily Raza or of African descent, and provides teacher development support, qualitatively analyzing their classroom practices over a period of up to three years.

The project's focus is to:

  • Identify urban classrooms where teachers effectively employ critical pedagogyStudy the relationship between effective urban teaching and the use of the principles of critical pedagogy

  • Identify key elements of critical pedagogy that result in increased levels of student engagement, achievement, and critical consciousness

  • Collect grounded examples of this pedagogy in practice and the resultant student work and shifts in consciousness

  • Distribute examples to urban educators and urban teacher educators

Investigator: Dr. Jeffrey Duncan Andrade