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Critical Pedagogy 4th Ed – Popcorn

Except from: Wink, J. (2010, 4/e, p.155) Critical Pedagogy: Notes from the REAL WORLD. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.


How to Do It

  • Students choose a small section from the text that they liked or didn’t like.
  • When each student has chosen, one student stands (pops up) and reads her passage. Other students listen. There are no comments or questions until each student has shared individually.
  • The first student calls a second student to stand and read. When all are finished with their individual readings, students are encouraged to share with the whole group (or in small groups) their reactions to the readings.

The Experience

First, I can vividly recall the look of relief on their faces as they realized that I was not going to call on them or talk at them. It took this group of twenty adult students about twenty minutes to choose their individual passages. It took the whole group about thirty minutes to slowly read their challenging readings. The ideas were complex, new, and threatening. There were long periods of time when everyone sat and thought about the passage before moving to the next reader. If you had walked by our classroom, it would have looked as though we weren’t doing anything. We were reflecting critically; we were thinking deeply. After the individual readings and the subsequent dialogue, Fiona, an adult student who teaches in Palestine, wrote, “It forced us to look deeply at text and decide what hit each of us most. It triggered profound, and often hidden, thoughts about why we felt one way or the other.”

Incidentally, I have done the popcorn activity on numerous occasions with the previous editions of this book; it is always lively, fun, and enlightening. I am constantly amazed at how much I have learned with this method.