Implications of EFL Critical Pedagogy Theory, Practice, and Possibility
Presentation Outline • Part 1: Theoretical Background Progressivism Critical pedagogy-Paulo Freire ESL critical pedagogy EFL critical pedagogy • Classroom Practice
Progressivisim • John Dewey – Early 20th Century -emphasized learning through activities rather than formal curricula. -opposed traditional, authoritarian methods. -is responsible for the changes in pedagogy as emphasis shifted from the institution to the students.
Progressivism • Five Main Themes of Progressivism • Criticism of traditional education. • New understanding of the conception of knowledge. • New understanding of human nature. • Democratic education. • Development of the whole person.
Progressivism • Free schools and alternative schools- mid 20th Century • A.S. Neill’s Summerhill School- founded in 1921 http://www.summerhillschool.co.uk/
Critical Pedagogy • Paulo Freire (1921- 1997) -Brazilian educator and theorist of critical pedagogy. -Promoted critical literacy skills among the socially oppressed Brazilian farmers.
Critical Pedagogy • Fundamental Aspect of Critical Pedagogy • Traditional education presumes leaners as empty agents who receive knowledge from teachers. • Minority marginalization is due to the power imbalance in society. • Educational institutions are part of societies with uneven distribution of power, are political sites, and are not neutral, therefore tend to reflect and reproduce societal power imbalance. • Through education, learners can overcome unfavorable life situation by raising awareness of the power relations embedded in society.
Critical Pedagogy • Empowerment as an aim of Education!
ESL Critical Pedagogy -Language is not simply a means of expression or communication; rather, it is a practice that constructs and is constructed by the ways language learners understand themselves, their social surroundings, their histories, and their possibilities for the future. -When the language classroom can be a place where students understand their own identities and their own society, language learning can be EMPOWERING. -Relationship between language learning and social change is focused.
ESL Critical Pedagogy- Functions 1. Materials and approaches should be relevant to the social, political, and cultural conditions of each group of students. 2. Topics should be locally situated and should meet learner needs in the society which they live in. 3. Subject matter should provide meaningful content for lessons. 4. Discussion topics such as ecology, gender roles, changing social identity, and employment equity are valid and appropriate topics for ESL classrooms.
ESL Critical Pedagogy- Functions 5. Problem-posing and rights analysis are considered the most crucial aspect of the syllabus. 6. Awareness of the local, social, political issues promotes the participation in community, society and politics.
EFL Critical Pedagogy • Culturally inappropriate? Shin and Crooks, 2005 • Really needed for EFL students?
EFL Critical Pedagogy • Learners come from different backgrounds of gender, sexuality, social classes, and various struggles within micro-relations of power. • When the learners are indeed the elite members of the society who exercise power, critical pedagogy could serve an important role. • More reports of the actual implementation of EFL critical pedagogy are needed (Crooks, 2010).
Classroom Application • EFL critical pedagogy • adds critical flavor to the existing textbooks and everyday instructions. • educate youth to be aware of diversity, witness and experience an example of power-shifting, and hopefully take these ideas outside of the classroom. • Is a grass-roots activity with the hopeful belief that if a teacher can change the classroom, students can change the world.
Classroom Application What can we do? • Incorporate critical pedagogy for everyday lesson plans. • Don’t represent/ reproduce an inequitable society and its status quo. • Pay attention to the quality and quantity of the kind of input that the learners are provided. • Intentionally include the otherwise marginalized groups of people.
Negotiated Syllabus and Class Policy Suggested Policy Finalized Policy -After 4 absences, 5 points will be taken off from your class points. -2 tardiness equals one absence. (example from 2nd year reading and writing class, 2x90min/week) - After 3 UNEXCUSED absences, 5 points will be taken off from our class points. -2 tardiness equals one absence. -If we were late, we have to make a 2min speech in the beginning of the next class. -The following reasons of absences should be excused if we email Ayako BEFORE the class: Sickness (with a doctor’s note), extreme weather, cancelation/ delay in public transportation (provide a note from JR), and family emergencies. -For the perfect attendance, we get 5 bonus points added to the final grade.
Course Books • Controversial topics and social/ global issues • Impact Issues (Day, Shaules, and Yamanaka, 2009) • Stimulating Conversation (Goodmacher, 2008) • Cover to Cover series (Dayand Harsh, 2008)
Discussion Topics Bullying Animal Rights Nuclear Power Gender Issues Gay Rights Child Labor/ Modern Day Slavery Fair Trade GE Products
Discussion Topics • Introduction • Image/ Video/ Article/ Story
Discussion Topics • Introduction • Image/ Video/ Article/ Story • Critical Analysis What’s wrong with the picture? What kind of social power(s) do you see reflected in the picture? How does our community reproduce the power imbalance? • What can we do about this issue?
Conclusion • Although the term “critical pedagogy” is rarely mentioned in the field of ELF, there are EFL teachers who actively promote critical analysis of social issues and discussion of critical and radical topics. • This powerful theory of critical pedagogy can unite the like-minded teachers as “critical pedagogue”. • Supportive community can empower the teachers.
Conclusion “By definition, teachers are agents of change, and true education in any real, transformative sense is radical by nature. It’s our job to wobble systems, to gently incite personal revolutions within our students, and to rebel against educational practices and ideologies which lesson anyone’s change at becoming more than he or she is.
To say so in such terms is simply to put into words what all good teachers instinctively know and what most students instinctively recognize when they encounter such a teacher-- and I mean here, a teacher in any field, in or out of school, foreign or not-so foreign, with a course book or without any books at all.” ____Interview with Chuck Sandy (ELT journal, 2011).
EFL classroom can be a learning community that leads to empowerment. • EFL critical pedagogy can be a pedagogy of CHANGE.