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Teachers, throw off the shackles of oppression

Discussion in 'Education news' started by Shedman, Oct 24, 2018.

  1. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter


    Henry Giroux wants teachers to mobilise. He wants them to rise up and launch a revolutionary movement in order to eradicate what he calls a “pedagogy of oppression” that has permeated the education system, both in the UK and in his native US. Teachers and teachers’ unions should work with parents to pressure governments to focus education on creating “informed citizens”, he says, not learning-by-rote simply to get students to pass their exams and become workforce-ready.

    “We’ve got to ditch this notion that the only purpose of education is basically to educate people for the workforce or that the most important aspect of education is learning 25 different ways to teach. That’s just silly, it’s reductionistic and it turns teachers into automatons.

    Giroux explains that a pedagogy of oppression is one that essentially “assaults” a student’s imagination. “It often emphasises memorisation; it places a strong emphasis on harsh forms of discipline; it can result in enormously unproductive and poisonous forms of racism; it usually teaches for the test,” he says. “It embraces standardisation as a measure of knowledge and it does everything it can to basically shut down any sense of curiosity and any sense of teaching students – and teachers, for that matter – what it means to exercise a degree of civic courage, to take risks, to doubt, to in some way be critically conscious of the world, to explore the full capacity of their imagination, and to open the world and themselves in a way in which they can embrace and expand their capacity to be real social-political agents.”

    And so he goes on ad nauseum. Henry, you're preaching to the converted here. We know all this stuff and never a day goes by that these issues aren't discussed over coffee (if you're lucky and have the time) in staff rooms up and down the country. The fact is that anyone in a position to be able to change the system is hamstrung by the political need to 'maintain and improve standards' i.e. keep exam and test results increasing year on year. Only when we get out of that mindset will things change.
    agathamorse and JohnJCazorla like this.
  2. nervousned

    nervousned Senior commenter

    I don't think the curriculum is educating people for the workforce. If anything it has got more abstract and academic.

    Vocational education needs to be stronger than it is. The vocational courses I taught were simply dumbed down academic courses with a vocational link, instead of the teaching of high quality vocational skills.
  3. bertiehamster

    bertiehamster New commenter

    But if we really want to change stuff we need to resign en masse. ASOSA hasn't worked, so there's no choice.
    Shedman likes this.

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