Critical pedagogy as praxis / Mary Breunig. --
Breunig, Mary Catherine
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While there is a body o f literature that considers the theory of critical pedagogy, there is significantly less literature that specifically addresses the ways in which professors attempt to apply this theory in practice. Indeed, some o f the best writings of critical theorists offer little in reference to strategies that teachers might use in practice. Furthermore, many of these writings provide too little explication of what attempts are made within these educators’ own classrooms to implement the critical pedagogy that they espouse. My study was designed to address this gap. I explored the successes and challenges that critical pedagogues encounter as they endeavour to turn the theories of critical pedagogy into post-secondary classroom practices in 17 interviews and one focus group session with self-identified critical pedagogues from the Critical Educators for Social Justice Special Interest Group of the American Educational Research Association. I employed an Appreciative Inquiry framework as a means to examine several key objectives, including: 1) what are some of the ways in which professors who espouse critical pedagogy practice it within the classroom?; 2) what are some of the successes that critical pedagogues experience as they engage in forms of critical classroom praxis?; and 3) what are some of the challenges to engaging in the praxis of critical pedagogy within the post-secondary classroom? The key findings from my study include: 1) Some of the “easy” claims related to purposes of critical pedagogy need to be troubled; 2) There exists a need for ongoing articulation of “critical classroom practices” and how to implement these within the post-secondary classroom despite some of the challenges; 3) Some of the specific claims regarding participants’ success with critical praxis require further critical interrogation; 4) Approaches to research about/in/for critical pedagogy need to be troubled and complicated; and 5) Some of the critical questions that have arisen as a result of this study can serve to inform future studies.