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Pedagogy as/for human development and social transformation ‘There is no way to transformation; transformation is the way’. (Paolo Freire)

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Presentation on theme: "Pedagogy as/for human development and social transformation ‘There is no way to transformation; transformation is the way’. (Paolo Freire)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Pedagogy as/for human development and social transformation ‘There is no way to transformation; transformation is the way’. (Paolo Freire)

2  There is one one right way to teach human development, no prescription about ‘what works’ for every student in all contexts.

3 Integrating content (curriculum) and form (pedagogy)  Why do we need to integrate what we teach with the way we teach it?  If we value human development and ideas from human development (dignity, agency, well being, equalities, freedom, valuable beings and doings) ought we to foster these in our own pedagogies?  How do we /are we doing this?  Is a human development pedagogy also a pedagogy of capabilities and rights?

4 What is pedagogy?  In some European languages other than English, pedagogy is paired up with didactics to describe the role of the teacher. Neither word has a direct English translation. Didactics is roughly synonymous with instructional techniques or methods, but is also used to refer to the teacher’s command of the subject matter knowledge, ability to interpret student responses, and other personal competencies. In complement, pedagogy, is more a reference to the teachers’ interpersonal competencies, and is thus used to refer to the moral and ethical – as opposed to the technical – aspects of the teacher’s work with learners. It is this sense of responsibility to learners that prompted many critical education theorists to adopt the noun pedagogy…(Davis 2004: )  Pedagogy refers to an ethical relationship between teacher and student grounded in teaching a particular curriculum.

5 But……  However, teachers and learners import biographies, hierarchies, inequalities, and power dynamics into classrooms. Inclusive and empowering dialogue and critical and ethical conversations therefore seldom just ‘happen’.  How do I/we teach in ways which foster the ethical and democratic political imagination of our students so that they are able to see the world from other points of view, understand themselves in relation to society, and grasp their own agency in relation to knowledge and action in the world?

6 Freire, reading the word and reading the world  teaching and learning are political processes  key to Freire’s pedagogy is the idea of becoming more fully human. We are ‘beings of praxis’ and hence capable of transforming the world. (Does this link his pedagogical philosophy to human development practice?)  We humanise ourselves when we engage in critical, dialogical praxis. We dehumanise ourselves and others when we actively prevent this. Knowledge and knowing is never complete and both arise from dialogue, human practice and engagement with the messy realities of life (and human development).

7 Praxis  For apart from inquiry, part from praxis, individuals cannot be truly human. Knowledge emerges only through invention and reinvention, through the restless, impatient, continuing, hopeful inquiry human beings pursue in the world, with the world, and with each other (Freire, 1998, p.68).

8 Education as the practice of freedom  ‘banking education’ is oppressive and involves transmitting or pouring ideas into blank and docile containers who then reproduce these ideas uncritically. Criticism and questioning are suppressed and alternative ways of understanding the world are not encouraged. Learners are passive spectators rather than agents in their own learning.  ‘problem-posing education’ involves learners as agents in dialogical and critical approach to education. It builds on and from the experiences of learners (but not uncritically) and welcomes questions, debate and discussion. A critical mode of being is the key pedagogical purpose and practice. Students learn to ask questions, not just to answer them. Education is something students do, rather than something that is done to them.

9  Freirean pedagogy has three key features:  learners are active participants and co-constructors of knowledge;  learning should be meaningful/purposeful to the learners;  learning should have a critical focus.

10 Dialogue and voice  Dialogue is absolutely key – a ‘culture of silence’ excludes and oppresses – speech/voice and freedom are intimately connected. Emancipation becomes the process of finding one’s own voice and this can occur only in conditions of justice and equality (even if such justice and equality is only in the classroom). It also involves coming to understand what informs other voices and knowing whose voice is speaking.

11 Critical pedagogies  Attention to history, power relations, domination, and participation in educational settings.  Conditions in society, such as forms of inequality, penetrate education; how barriers are shaped by social, economic and political obstacles to social justice and democracy  Critique of formal education as a site of reproduction of capitalism and capitalist values, but also of resistance and change  ‘Challenges us to recognize, engage and critique (so as to transform) any existing undemocratic social practices and institutional structures that produce and sustain inequalities and oppressive social identities and relations’ (Leistnya et al, 1996: 2).  Dynamic, ‘struggle’ formation of self-identity– who we are and who we learn to be.

12 Equalising capabilities and rights  Does this approach connect education to the world beyond the classroom and the institution?  Would this be a way to do social justice as we learn about social justice?

13 Sen, education, process freedom  Education has instrumental and intrinsic value, and transformative potential. Education is of intrinsic importance - being educated is a valuable achievement in itself. Having education affects the development and expansion of other capabilities so that an education capability expands human freedoms.  Process freedom: ‘Freedom is valuable for at least two distinct reasons. First more freedom gives us more opportunity to achieve those things that we value, and have reason to value. This aspect of freedom is concerned primarily with our ability to achieve, rather than the process through which that achievement comes about. Second, the process through which things happen may also be of importance in assessing freedom’ (2002).  Reasoned public discussion is central to democracy and we should seek opportunities for such discussion which includes all the members of a particular educational community

14 ……and rights  ‘A pronouncement of rights includes an assertion of the importance of the corresponding freedoms - the freedoms that are identified and privileged in the formulation of the rights in question – and is indeed motivated by that importance’ If we can agree on the importance of pedagogic/human rights we commit ourselves to giving ‘reasonable consideration to the duties that follow from that ethical endorsement’.(2004)

15 Nussbaum, education and capabilities Three central capabilities for education:  critical self-examination, (a critical perspective on our beliefs, traditions and habits, reasoning logically and testing ideas for consistency, correctness and accuracy of judgement as a democratic citizen)  the ideal of the world citizen (bound to all other human beings by ties of recognition and concern in a global world)  the development of the narrative imagination/ imaginative understanding/’training the imagination to go visiting’ (what it might be like to be in the place of a person different from oneself, to read such people’s stories intelligently, and to understand the emotions and desires that someone so placed might have)

16 A pedagogy of capability What would a pedagogy of and for capability look like? What would students be doing, learning and becoming? What would we be doing? How would we know if students’ were developing their agency and their capabilities? What would be ‘good practice’ and why?

17 Hannah Arendt argues that education ‘is the point at which we decide whether we love the world enough to assume responsibility for it and by the same token save it from that ruin which, except for renewal, except for the coming of the new and the young, would be inevitable’. She argues that teachers should not ‘strike from their [students]hands their chance of undertaking something new, something foreseen by no-one, but to prepare them in advance for the task of renewing the common world….the problem is simply to educate in such a way that a setting-right [of the world] remains actually possible, even though it can, of course never be assured’.

18 Workshop tasks: Not just how but also why 1. Discuss the three approaches of a question-based approach, case study methods and ethnographic methods. Are these examples of good practice? 2. Develop a practical pedagogical approach for some aspect of a human development curriculum discussed yesterday and today/ or take a pedagogical problem eg how to teach a diverse student group. Decide who the learners are, and come up with one or more practical ideas for teaching and assessing students’ learning and [capability] development. In discussing your approaches and methods say how these constitute good practice in relation to your educational purposes and values, and how they articulate with human development concerns for human dignity, agency, well being and freedom.

19 A pedagogy of the question  Questions scaffold learning; knowledge as constructed and co-constructed, and revisable  Questions that precede/guide reading  Questions that follow reading  Questions that organise a course/programme  Questions that focus a teaching session; are posed through the session;devil’s advocate-type questions  Questions that structure group discussions  Questions that students generate in class as discussion/group work outcomes  Listening, silences, dialogue, informed and critical argument

20 Questions  Which of these two policy measures better capture what is more important/effective for enhancing freedom?  Have people’s freedoms expanded?  What is missing in measure’s of women’s empowerment? And missing in our own context?  How do power structures impact on HD process, analysis and policies?  How free are people to migrate? How free are they to remain at home?  People who live in gated communities, or stay home rather than going out to the beach to avoid being robbed, are they making valued choices?


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