Tag Archives: cultural politics

On Henry Giroux`s `Critical Theory and Education Practice`

Henry Giroux`s Critical Theory and Education Practice paper explains the Frankfurt School approach to critical theory and practice. After reading his paper and discussing the topics with educational colleagues to gain a better understanding, there is much I need to define for myself as an educator. Putting it into context: Firstly, I needed to keep in mind the time in history where the Frankfurt School established their thoughts. These years in Germany where exceptionally oppressive under the National Socialist control and the majority of their group was of the suppressed Jewish culture, so I asked myself how their school of thought be applied to today in diverse cultures, countries and peoples. I was relieved at the end of Henry Giroux`s paper when he wrote, `The point is that critical theory needs to be reformulated to provide the opportunity to both critique and elaborate its insights beyond the constraints and historical conditions under which they where first generated." (page 49). The Tool: School of Thought & Process of Critique (page 27) Secondly, I needed to grasp the concept of Critical Theory as a Tool, not an answer, not a practice to be applied but simply as a tool to check and balance that one group does not use education as a means of mass manipulation. As Switzerland is a direct democracy the majority of the people do purposely set curriculum objectives to meet their desires, it is transparent. This is a topic to be considered more in depth for my professional life. In the USA it is a representative society so the people have less control and must rely on the person they put into office, however they have no control over how lobbyist sway those people. Oppression? Thirdly, I felt a strong need to understand, "What is oppression and who is being oppressed in education?" In my search to define this I came across an interesting group called  The Center for Anti-Oppressive Education which opened up a new set of ideas for myself. I look forward next to reading Paulo Freire`s `From Pedagogy of the Oppressed` and I hope for new insights. References: Darder, A., Baltodano, M.P., and Torres, R. D.. (2009). The Critical Pedagogy Reader. New York: Routledge Giroux, Henry (1983). `Critical Theory and Educational Practice` in The Critical Pedagogy Reader by Darder, A., Baltodano, M. and Torres, R. (eds.) (2009) New York: Routledge. Dr. Kumashiro, K. The Center for Anti-Oppressive Education. (founded 2002 & 2006 accessed March 17, 2013). http://antioppressiveeducation.org/index.html