critical theory in education definition
feminist issue [that is] easily explained by the inherent definition of feminism. Feminism is the political theory and practice to free all women of color, working-class women, poor women, physically challenged women, lesbians, old women, as well as white economically privileged hetero-sexual women. Anything less than this is not feminism, but merely self-aggrandizement (B. Smith, 1979, quoted in Morage & Anzaldua, 1981, p. 61).
By 1991, Aronowitz and Giroux (1991) claim that Habermas sees postmodernism as “a threat to the foundations of democratic public life” (p. 61) and that, like its modernist predecessors, “Critical theory, left and right, bemoans ‘the eclipse of reason,’ the ‘closing of the American mind,’ the ‘culture of narcissism”‘ (p. 136). In other words, Habermas is too deeply rationalist, if his theory of communicative action and its dependence on rational communication are any indications. This is ironic, considering that earlier critical theorists contested the Enlightenment’s great beliefs in rationality!
“The generalization on the Internet of a more traditional concept of education centred on human interaction would facilitate participation by under-served groups and might raise the cultural level of the population at large.”
Deweyean education is fundamentally experimental and pragmatic (theory should emerge from practice), but is also based on progressive, egalitarian and democratic ideals.
Another unusual thing which happened was that when they had predicted and then measured, some looked back at their prediction and crossed it out! The children didn’t have to be correct. Somehow I don’t think they understood the relationship between predicting and measuring. If I could have done this whole lesson over again, I would have made the whole class go over the different stages together. This step by step introduction would allow the students to see that adults predict without getting the ‘right’ answer.
Tripp, D. H. (1988). On collaboration: Teachers, self assessment and professionalism. Cambridge Journal of Education , 18(3), 313-332.
Critical theory, a methodological orientation familiar in many areas of social research, has clear relevance to e-learning as one example of a field of applied research into ICTs. This relevance has been demonstrated in this paper by applying ideology critique to a number of basic and even self-evident notions and understandings in literature, and that promotes, describes and investigates e-learning. At their most extreme, these notions – of a knowledge economy; of anywhere, anytime, anybody learning; of inevitable, technology-driven change – can be understood in critical-theoretical terms as “myths.” The point of critiquing these myths, however, has not been to assail what is essential or axiomatic to e-learning or any other field, but rather, to provide a corrective: to show that economic, technical, cultural and historical conditions central to the use of information and communication technologies are complex and need to be interpreted and investigated in new, different and above all, interdisciplinary ways.
The Myth of the Knowledge Economy
Genuine participation of citizens in the processes of political will-formation (politischen Willensbildungsprozessen), that is, substantive democracy, would bring to consciousness the contradiction between administratively socialised production and the continued private appropriation and use of surplus value. 10
Critical thinking is in fact little more than the old idea of liberal education for democratic citizenship in new guise, more self-consciously informed by humanistic psychology and sited much more evidently in workplace management contexts of adult learning. Its theoretical underpinning is derived directly from such influential figures as Rogers and Maslow, and familiar psychological constructs of personal growth, authenticity, self-actualisation, self-direction, peak experiences and so on. Reflective and dialectical dimensions are constructed from an oppositional (i.e. traditionally liberal) concept of the relation between individual and society: critical thinking is a strategy of resistance on the part of individuals against over-socialisation or cultural over-determination, rationally balanced by an acceptance of the reality of existing social relations of production and power.