Etymologically Informed

Pocket Quintilian

The indefatigable Greg Ashman recently penned an important post examining the claims of those who advocate “critical pedagogy” and its close cousin, that familiar contemporary buzzword, “critical thinking”. This latter formulation trips so glibly off the tongues of contemporary education wonks that it merited a prized position in PQ’s custom-made bingo card, just above Saint Ken.

It is not my intention in this post to delve into the vexed and rather tedious question of what Paulo Freire, Henri Giroux, Ira Shor and the rest actually mean by “critical pedagogy/thinking”. What is more important, in my view, is how a desire to instil “critical thinking” works out in practice, in today’s education landscape.

I have had a few chances of late to look at the “critical thinking” courses on offer at high school level, and they have left me somewhat underwhelmed. The idea that there are vested interests at stake…

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About teachingbattleground

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