The intent of this paper is to move beyond ideology in critical pedagogy and to describe practice. With a history in the work of people like Marcuse, Friere and Giroux, critical pedagogy strives to intervene in the deskilling or dehumanizing process thought characteristic of traditional schooling. But the definition of practice is vague even to well-meaning teachers, and "As a result, their emancipatory intentions sometimes translated into oppressive practices." This paper analyzes interviews with 17 critical pedagogists and finds conflicting practices and ideologies. For example, while many critical pedagogists identify as constructivists, "constructivism has no direct relationship with social justice." But for others, "Student-centeredness, which some participants perhaps oversimplified as constructivism, was mentioned most often as a central aim of critical pedagogy." The paper concludes unsatisfactorily, however, drowned in the question of whether an attempt to find a 'right definition' exposes male-dominated universalist roots in critical pedagogy, and vacillating between an opaquely objective and translucent subjectivist stance, neither of which strikes me as genuine. More articles from The International Journal of Critical Pedagogy, Volume 3, Number 3.
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