School, critical pedagogy and NGL

I’ve been thinking a lot about critical pedagogy. I love the work of Chris Emdin (whom I’ve talked about in a previous post). I love his passion for teaching science to students through hip hop. I really think this is so relevant!

Annelise’s fantastic blog about entitled, “Learning to Fall and Rise in the 21st Century”, encapsulates the essence of both traditional schooling paradigms and connectivism.

In relation to traditional schooling, she states:

As children I believe that their experience of being coerced to learn, rather than receiving guidance to develop into who they have the potential to be (which encourages autonomy and responsibility) contributes to feelings of powerlessness. This is particularly so in traditional schooling where learning is scaffolded to such a repetitive degree that the learners’ become dependent on the teacher, leading to passivity, or even worse, to a lack of self-confidence. When one believes that they must rely on authority to tell them what to do, they silence their inner voice and rely of the voices of others. – See more at:

This is how schools work. I teach in this. I hate this!

I hate that I’m contributing to student’s loss of voice. I hate that through the way our schools work, they don’t think. “I do, We do, YOU do”. Over and over. Thoughtless and mind numbing!

I guess tho is why I love the ideals of critical pedagogy. Where the teacher moves over and hands back the “power” to the student and becomes a learner along side them. Where students have a voice and their voice, their capital, their background knowledge and experiences frame the knowledge they share.

However, even constructivists Freire (1970) and Kincheloe (1999) have stated quite bluntly “that educators who have nothing to teach their students should look for a different profession (Gordon 2009 p.48)

I’m learning that through NGL I can give my students a voice and re-empower them to make connections with their lives and the content of our class.

Gordon, M. (2009) Toward a pragmatic discourse of constructivism: Reflections on lessons from practice. EDUCATIONAL STUDIES, 45: 39–58,


11 thoughts on “School, critical pedagogy and NGL

  1. Hi Leisha,

    Your blog’s title is what immediately caught my interest as I have a deep interest in critical pedagogy too, and am currently writing an assignment where I need to compare it to situated learning theories. Thank you for outlining why you like the theory so much.

    “Where the teacher moves over and hands back the “power” to the student and becomes a learner along side them.”

    That’s beautiful!

    Annelise 🙂


  2. Haha, yes, I’m Eleisha! Yes, I’ve been procrastinating too. Feeling overwhelmed by the amount of things to do. I also get stuck with some of the literature. I feel I need to step back a bit and rethink the concept.


    • Lol, I just vacuumed the house. 😀

      I’ve decided to begin writing with a rough argument and then build up from there. I think it is better to write something and then refine as I go along. What other theory are comparing critical theory to? I’m comparing it with situativity theory. I am thinking that a rough thesis will look like this.

      “Situated cognition as informed by critical theory enables a learning coach to guide his or her clients to transform their own lives, as it is through applying what they are learning to their real-world and then questioning what they know to be true that they will be able to make changes.”

      What do you think?


  3. Wow, that sounds great! It’s quite involved isn’t it! I feel like I haven’t given it enough time yet. I’m comparing critical theory to critical reflection. I feel like it is a good one to compare to as the concepts within it fit quite well into critical theory. But still so much work to do!!


    • Thank you, as soon as I got out my argument it was much better from there.

      You’re right, there is a lot and it looks like it will continue like this for at least another 4 weeks!!!

      When you say you’re comparing critical theory to critical reflection, are you including the other theory that your studying in your study. I’m just checking. 😀


      • Yes, I’m sure it is heaps better once you know exactly how our argument will look! Haha, yes, critical reflection and reflective practice is my other theory. So it combines quite nicely, though in a way I find it hard to keep the two identities separate seeing as they fit together neatly


      • Ok, great, and of course, I thought I would just check as I would want someone to say something just in case. 🙂

        Lovely, they do too, as to be critical you would have to reflect after experiencing it. I don’t think anyone can be critical of anything until they have lived and breathed it themselves.

        I would be interested to read it when you’re done. 😀


      • Yes, thank you! It made me check if that was actually what I was doing. I’m not sure about you, but at the moment I feel like there is so much going on in my head, I’d be struggling to tell anyone even my phone number! Lol 🙂
        I’m hoping to have my draft up by Friday. Hopefully that’s not too late.
        How’s yours going? You sound so well thought out!


      • Thank you, and i’m glad it sounds good. I can totally relate with what you’re going through, I’ve got my whole family working around me.

        Friday is great, that is when mine will most likely be ready, or at least in a draft version. I’m going up to Cairns on Friday and want to get it done before then. 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s