October 15/16, 07 - Agenda Time Activity 8:30 Seminar: Students go directly to Seminar Rooms to start the class. 9:45 Announcements: - Reading Assignments - Seminar Reading Groups - Quote Cards - World Religions 9:30 Break 9:50 Lecture: Chapter 4: (Cpp. 27) “Critical Perspectives on the Politics of Teaching and Pedagogy“ (Barakett & Cleghorn) & Other sources. 11:15 End of Class
Chapter 4: “Critical Perspectives on the Politics of Teaching and Pedagogy“ The Politics of Teaching: • Teachers - both commonsense and taken-for-granted knowledge. • This knowledge: - acquired - during teacher training & through their own socialization (the same socio-cultural system where they end up teaching) • The idea that schools, organized in traditional ways, are the appropriate places fro students to learn - is generally unquestioned.
Chapter 4: “Critical Perspectives on the Politics of Teaching and Pedagogy“ • Generalized belief that “we live in a meritocracy” • Meritocracy: a system of stratification based on personal achievement • where individual efforts and ability lead to higher education = society’s dominant ideology. • Ideology: - a set of beliefs and values held by a group
Chapter 4: “Critical Perspectives on the Politics of Teaching and Pedagogy“ Marx: • Ideology - a belief system that legitimates the dominant group. • A system generated and controlled by the owners of material production • The economic dominance of the ruling class controls the world of ideas
Chapter 4: “Critical Perspectives on the Politics of Teaching and Pedagogy“ Marx: • His conceptualization is valued because it grounds ideology in material experience and in observable human behaviour • Problematic - because - it implies that societal ideas and beliefs are deliberately manipulated in a calculated way so as to indoctrinate the subordinate class.
Chapter 4: “Critical Perspectives on the Politics of Teaching and Pedagogy“ • According to Marx: • Ideology serves the powerful group by presenting the powerless or subordinate groups with a definition of reality that is false • As this definition becomes part of the shared belief system it provides order to the surrounding world
Chapter 4: “Critical Perspectives on the Politics of Teaching and Pedagogy“ Weber: • Extends Marx’s notion of ideology • Ideology and control are more powerful and effective when they are cloaked in beliefs that make it appear legitimate through the educational system • One of the major roles of an education system is to disseminate the dominant ideology through the populace
Chapter 4: “Critical Perspectives on the Politics of Teaching and Pedagogy“ Gramsci’s concept of hegemony: • Shows how ideology originates and operates in a subtle fashion - a preponderance of influence Hegemonic aspect of ideology: • Arises from its ability to build social consensus
Chapter 4:“Critical Perspectives on the Politics of Teaching and Pedagogy“ 2. Appeals to a selective interpretation of the past & people’s commonsense assumptions about the world Example - “The American Dream” (myth) • The success stories of a minority of new Americans • The Puritan ethos: hard work = success!!!
Chapter 4: “Critical Perspectives on the Politics of Teaching and Pedagogy“ During the19th century: • industrialization & the institutionalization of education for all • Ideology became translated into educational values. • Reward for had work in school - translated into achievement of higher social status.
Chapter 4: “Critical Perspectives on the Politics of Teaching and Pedagogy“ Barakett & Cleghorn: • Ideology is dynamic rather than static • A living belief that is bound up and brought to life in the consciousness of the student • Shapes the student’s perception of self and society in significant ways (lenses through which life is seen) • Within the institution of the school - the dominant ideology affects and develops the consciousness of the student, shaping perceptions of their world • Education - not a distant mechanism sorting & selecting workers • It tends to operates this way because people have come to believe that his is part of the school’s task
Chapter 4: “Critical Perspectives on the Politics of Teaching and Pedagogy“ Thus Education: • Aids in the reproduction of the ideology • It reproduces social and economic inequality • Perpetuates patters of success and failure • It is unquestioned since it is considered “normal” • The primary institution for controlling ideology is the school. • This is what the authors mean by: “the politics of teaching and education”
Chapter 4: “Critical Perspectives on the Politics of Teaching and Pedagogy“ “When the institutionalized ways of doing things become part of the intrapsychic make-up of the individual, the system supports the dominant group.” Intrapsychic:being or occurring within the psyche, mind, or personalityMerriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary, © 2002 Merriam-Webster, Inc.
Teaching and Pedagogy Pedagogy: - the production of knowledge, identities, and values. “Pedagogy [refers] to the integration in practice of particular curriculum content and design, classroom strategies and techniques, and evaluation, purpose and method. All of these aspects organize a view of how a teacher’s work within an institutional context specifies a particular version of what knowledge is most worth, what it means to know something, and how we might construct representations of ourselves, others, and our physical and social environments.”
Teaching and Pedagogy • The shift away from teaching, the transmission of knowledge, to pedagogy, the production of knowledge, leads to the view that pedagogy is a form of cultural politics.
Teaching and Pedagogy • Those in power determine what others out to/may learn • Simon: “talk about pedagogy is simultaneously talk about the details of what students and others might to together and the cultural politics such practices support…. We cannot talk about teaching practices without talking about politics”
Teaching and Pedagogy • Culture not only as a way of life but as a form of production that involves relations of power and legitimization of certain meanings and experience.
Paulo Freire: 1921-1997 Philosophical Documents in Education: by Reed, R.F. & Johnson, T.W. (2000) • he practices what he preaches • offers us a utopian vision of what life should be • articulates a progressive pedagogy for attaining this desired goal • his democratic vision is grounded in the poverty and oppression that characterized his native area of Recife, Brazil.
Paulo Freire: 1921-1997 “Freire’s thought represents the response of a creative mind and sensitive conscience to the extraordinary misery and suffering of the oppressed around him.” Shaull (1972)- foreword to ‘Pedagogy of the Oppressed”
Paulo Freire: 1921-1997 • Living in abject poverty as a child, Freire experienced and understood what he later named the “culture of silence” that characterizes the dispossessed. • Culture of silence:- a culture of passivity, which is created in the classroom by teaching practices and curricula that stem from the power of the dominant class.
Paulo Freire: 1921-1997 • Victimized by the economic, social, and political paternalism of the dominant classes, the poor and dispossessed are not equipped to respond to the world’s realities in a critical fashion. • The dominant classes devised an educational system for the purpose of keeping the masses “submerged” and contained in a “culture of silence.”
Paulo Freire: 1921-1997 • Freire shared the plight of the “wretched of the earth”, • His family lost its middle-class status during the worldwide depression of the 1930’s • He realized that the “culture of silence” could and should be overcome.
Paulo Freire: 1921-1997 • Aware that the extant educational system fostered and sustained this culture of silence, Freire retained his faith in the power of a genuine education to enable and empower even the most wretched to first recognize their oppressed condition and then participate in its transformation. • To assist those submerged in this culture of silence, Freire combined theory and practice into what is best known as a “pedagogy of the oppressed.”
Paulo Freire: 1921-1997 • It is important to note that this pedagogy did not emerge full-blown out of the mind of Freire but evolved as he worked with the dispossessed of his own country. • Dialogue: An approach to teaching that is characterized by cooperation and acceptance of interchange ability in the roles of teacher and learner.
Paulo Freire: 1921-1997 • In developing a pedagogy that centres on dialogue, that is, “the encounter between men, mediated by the world, in order to name the world,” Freire remained true to his basic beliefs that all human beings merit our respect and are capable of understanding and transforming the world of which they are a part.
Paulo Freire: 1921-1997 • Experiencing firsthand the hunger and poverty that characterized Recife during the 1930’s, Freire fell behind in school and was thought by some to be mentally retarded. • Though he suffered no serious or permanent damage from his malnourishment, the experience affected him greatly. • While still an adolescent, Freire devoted himself to working among the poor to assist them in improving their lot in life.
Paulo Freire: 1921-1997 • This led to the study of law and to working as a labour union lawyer“among the people of the slums.” • In trying to help the poor understand their legal rights, Freire became involved in adult literacy programs during the late 1940’s. • Working with such programs for more than a decade, Freire rejected traditional methods of instruction, finding them much too authoritarian to be effective in teaching adults to read.
Paulo Freire: 1921-1997 • As he began doctoral study at the University of Recife, Freire read and made use of the insights of such great minds as Sartre and Mounier, Eric Fromm, Mao, Martin Luther King, Che Guevara and others
Paulo Freire: 1921-1997 • However, his educational philosophy remained grounded in these experiences of working with the dispossessed of Brazil. • Though he first articulated his philosophy of education in his doctoral dissertation, Freire continued to advocate for a “problem-posing” approach to teaching as a member of the faculty of the University of Recife and of Harvard University.
Paulo Freire: 1921-1997 • In contrast to the “banking” method of education– where one privileged to know the truth deposits it in the appropriate amount and form into the empty and limited minds of the unwashed or dispossessed • Freire advocates an education or pedagogy that enhances and expands every human being’s ability to understand and transform the world of which she or he is a part.
Paulo Freire: 1921-1997 • In teaching Brazilian peasants to read, Freire did not lecture to them. • Instead, by beginning with a concept or concepts with which they were already familiar, Freire helped the peasants understand that they too were makers of culture and they could contribute to the transformation of their own reality.
Paulo Freire: 1921-1997 • Beginning with a series of pictures “designed to demonstrate the fundamental differences between nature (the natural world) and culture (all that is created or transformed by men and women).” • Able to assist illiterates in developing rudimentary literacy skills within thirty hours.
Paulo Freire: 1921-1997 • As the peasants began to learn the symbols for the words that name concepts familiar to them, their view of their world gradually expands. • Through this process they begin to understand that “their world is not fixed and immutable,” but is a reality in process that can be transformed.
Paulo Freire: 1921-1997 • Freire’s “pedagogy of the oppressed” is more than just literacy training. • Nothing less than a liberating process that enables and empowers each human being to achieve humankind’s ontological* vocation, that is, “to be a Subject who acts upon and transforms his world…” [*Of or relating to essence or the nature of being]
Paulo Freire: 1921-1997 • As human beings regain the right to rename their worlds, individually and collectively they consciously engage in the uniquely human activity of constructing and reconstructing their own worlds.
Paulo Freire: 1921-1997 • Though Freire’s ideas are grounded in the poverty and oppression of his earlier years, the utility of his approach transcends national, class and ethnic boundaries. • According to Freire, the transforming power of words enables all of us to live fuller, more humane lives.
Paulo Freire: 1921-1997 • Caulfield (1991) explains that: • “Words,” for Freire, “have meaning only in relation to their effect on human beings and the world in which we live.” • For example, the word Chernobyl connotes much more than merely a geographic location in what was once the Soviet Union.
Paulo Freire: 1921-1997 • Many of us probably correctly associate the word with the worse nuclear accident in human history, but to appreciate the richness of such a statement, its many layers of meaning need to be connected to each person’s personal reality. • Bolger (2005) - Similar significance to the term 9/11 today! • From Freire’s point of view, it is the educator’s task to assist individuals in expanding the connection between concepts or issues of importance to them to a larger evolving reality.
Paulo Freire: 1921-1997 Caulfield suggests: In order for students to comprehend truly the meaning of Chernobyl, they would probably need to discuss among themselves (with the teacher’s help) the effects of radiation on neighbouring grasses, vegetables, animals, and people, perhaps through generations.
Paulo Freire: 1921-1997 Indeed, how could they grasp the threat suggested by Chernobyl unless they researched Hiroshima and Nagasaki; they might also inquire into the long-term effects of radiation exposure to Americans living near atomic testing sites in Nevada in the 1950’s. Only then would student begin to comprehend the significance of a statement like “Chernobyl was the site of the first serious nuclear accident.”
Paulo Freire: 1921-1997 Read & Johnson conclude by saying: “Such a progressive approach to pedagogy is a far cry form the “banking” education so prevalent in educational institutions throughout the world.”
Paulo Freire: • Concerned with social transformation & the development of libratory education • Focused on: • educational practices • the empowerment of teachers • teachers as agents of empowering students • social class empowerment.
Paulo Freire: • Freire’s work: • seen as highly political • has become the foundation for the development of a more liberating pedagogy.
Paulo Freire: Textbook • Influenced both critical and feminist pedagogists • Freire is Brazilian • His philosophy reflects the societal conditions of Brazil
Paulo Freire: Textbook • Experience comes from an impoverished society • A society with a large gap between a small, wealthy and educated elite and a large, extremely poor, uneducated peasant class • Audience with those who have experienced oppression and who are concerned with increasing inequality.
Paulo Freire: Textbook Theory of Liberation: - a view that educational practice could and should be emancipatory for all. • It is not only the people who are processed in schools but also knowledge that is selected, organized, and then processed as well
Paulo Freire: Textbook Critical Consciousness: • Individuals have the power to come to an understanding of their own situation in the world • Freire believes that teachers and students are both involved constructing and reconstructing meaning - thus are agents for transforming educational practice
Paulo Freire: Textbook His theory of liberation called for: • A focus on social change and a fracturing of the status quo • Questioning the selection and organization of knowledge • Treating of knowledge as being socially constructed
Paulo Freire: Textbook Freire’s theory of liberation called for: • Understanding why and how certain dominant categories of knowledge persist and how they are related to interest and occupational groups
Paulo Freire: • Understanding the influence of the elite’s traditions • Freire views education as a radical project for economic, political, and cultural change in which power relations are transformed