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Page history last edited by Ghanashyam Sharma 12 years, 3 months ago

what he called the 'problem-posing' model of education, a process that involves learners in the understanding, application, and production of knowledge as it matters to their lives, situations, and needs.  Critical pedagogy is an educational approach that attempts to help students question and challenge existing social structures of inequality and domination, beliefs and practices to overcome problems and achieve intellectual and spiritual as well social and economic empowerment and emancipation. In his book Empowering Education, author Ira Shor defines critical pedagogy as “habits of thought, reading, writing, and speaking which go beneath surface meaning, first impressions, dominant myths, official pronouncements, traditional clichés, received wisdom, and mere opinions, to understand the deep meaning, root causes, social context, ideology, and personal consequences of any action, event, object, process, organization, experience, text, subject matter, policy, mass media, or discourse” (129). Some scholars argue that this concept evolved out of Paulo Friere’s philosophy of education; but there were other scholars before Friere who had laid much groundwork for the development of critical pedagogy. John Dewey (1859 - 1952), who is often considered the founder of ‘progressive’ and also ‘constructive’ education, had developed many ideas that helped define and shape modern pragmatic, student-centered, and experience-based pedagogies. Lev Vygotsky (1896 - 1934), a Russian psychologist whose work is often credited as the key source of constructivist theory of education, had contributed the idea that learners learn best from interacting with other learners and in real social situations instead of teachers' lectured input. The common constructivist practices of collaborative learning, peer mentoring, group work, and peer review all draw on this idea that students can learn through meaningful interactions with their peers, rather than solely with the teacher. Critical pedagogy, in short, is the pedagogy of socially directed and intellectually conscious education.

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Banking concept of education

A term popularized by the Brazilian philosopher Paulo Freire, ‘banking’ refers to the traditional models/concepts of education based on the view that:

  • the teacher teaches and the students are taught;
  • the teacher knows everything and the students know nothing;
  • the teacher thinks and the students are thought about;
  • the teacher talks and the students listen-meekly;
  • the teacher disciplines and the students are disciplined;
  • the teacher chooses and enforces his choice, and the students comply;
  • the teacher acts and the students have the illusion of acting through the action of the teacher;
  • the teacher chooses the program content, and the students (who are not consulted) adapt to it;
  • the teacher confuses the authority of knowledge with his own professional authority, which he sets in opposition to the freedom of the students;
  • the teacher is the subject of the learning process, while the pupils are mere objects (Paulo Friere Pedagogy of the Oppressed 58-59).


A philosophy that views learning as an active process in which learners construct their own understanding and knowledge of the world through action and reflection. Constructivists argue that individuals construct rules and mental models in terms of their experiences with other human subjects and their environments; in turn, they use those models to make sense of new experiences. Constructivist view of education involves three key concepts/beliefs:

  1. Knowledge is socially constructed; it is a social process and so learners learn best by situating the learning process in their social reality.
  2. Learning is an active process, so learners learn best by doing rather than by passively absorbing information. Some of the active learning processes include experiments, problem-solving, dialogue, and task-based learning.
  3. Knowledge is constructed from experience, so students’ prior experience is a crucial foundation to new learning.


Freire was not only a Marxist, progressive thinker but also a Christian humanist. For him, the vocation of each individual is to become more fully human, configured as an emancipation from oppression. His idea of liberatory/emancipatory education not only meant liberation from the political/economic structures of the society but also the process of humanity's historical mission to become more fully human by affirming and empowering students as "subjects of decision" (27)

Dialogical method

Mainly a Frierean concept, this approach to learning rejects the teacher’s domination of the class with lecture and therefore the banking approach to education in favor of dialogue and open communication among students and teachers. This method breaks down the hierarchical relationship between teacher and student: in this method, all teach and all learn.

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