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

What Has Changed Since the Previous Edition?

9/11 rocked our world. Cancer rocked my world. A Black family moved into the White House, and not to cook or clean. Whispers of Yes, we can gave hope to some; and a more critical voice came back. But will we really? Diversity and democracy are more threatened. Teachers and learners are more restricted and regulated by people in faraway places. The world is frightened by change, and the response is controlled pedagogy and controlled language, all of which leads to controlled thought. When thought is controlled, democracy is weakened. And people get mad. Ideology now trumps thought in many pockets of pedagogy. My goal is to pick these pockets apart.

Editors often warn authors not to emphasize any specific event, which is too contextually grounded to a particular time in history, as these statements will only serve to date a book more quickly. However, I am writing this during an exceptional period that affects teaching and learning. We are living during a time of rigid, top-down, mandated methods and programs. This assembly-line and corporate-business model of teaching and learning is simply not the way children learn. I have yet to know a “standard” child. We must acknowledge “the elephant in the room,” and push on with our complex understandings of how children learn and develop. Dare we hope that a more critical, caring, and creative approach will return to our classrooms so that students can discover, explore, and challenge as they make meaning? Is this truly a watershed moment in history? Are the stars finally aligned? Is there a critical mass? Only time will answer these questions. Meanwhile, if we teachers don’t speak out, who will? As I write, it feels like we are closing in on that moment of change in history, and I write with the hope that critical pedagogy will inform the coming unknown changes.

New to This Edition

  • Five chapters, instead of the eight in the previous edition
  • New stories and methods, including global learning networks
  • Expansion of the historical roots, beginning with Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle
  • A new comparison and contrast of Freire, Vygotsky, and Dewey
  • Cummins’ new Literacy Engagement Framework
  • Burke’s Generational Graphic
  • A new look at advocacy and activism

What Has Changed in This Edition
Because the world has changed, this book must change also. It will. Advocacy and activism will play a larger role. Diversity and identity will be broader and deeper as we explore racism, sexism, and classism. If ethnicity, culture, language, age, poverty, and/or ethnicity is the elephant in the room, I’ll name it. I do not mean to be annoying, nor to be soothing; I only hope that you will read a page and stare off into space as you think more deeply and take positive, pedagogical action in the classroom and in the community.

The Preface and Introduction will each be shorter. This edition has five condensed chapters, as opposed to the previous eight chapters. Each chapter of this edition ends with a reflective cycle so that readers can reflect on their own learning.

Chapter 1: Why in the World Does Critical Pedagogy Matter? will focus the rationale for critical pedagogy. Why does it matter? To what end? The tone of the book will be established with a student-created graphic that captures transformative, generative, and transmission models of teaching and learning. In this chapter, we will enter that enlightened and often uncomfortable space as we learn, relearn, and unlearn tolerance. The chapter concludes with a reflective cycle, which will also conclude each of the remaining chapters.

Chapter 2: What in the World Is Critical Pedagogy? will look at definitions new and old. Chapter 2 will have some polysyllabic words, but I will resist “unintelligible gibberish.” The purpose of the reflective section at the end of this chapter is to help readers internalize and own new understandings of critical pedagogy.

Chapter 3: Where in the World Did Critical Pedagogy Come From? will look at the history of those who generated the ideas of critically reflective teaching and learning; also, we will look at emerging voices. The historical roots of the tree that represents critical pedagogy have multiplied. In this edition we will also explore the deep taproot, Socrates, who initiated the idea of critical dialogue in teaching and learning.

Chapter 4: How in the World Do You Do Critical Pedagogy? will respond to the question that I hear most often: “Yeah but, how do you do it in an age of mandated curriculum?” In this chapter, you will find many ways of grounding your daily teaching in a more critical perspective.

Chapter 5: Where in the World Do We Go from Here? once again looks forward. It is true: I do not know the future, but together we will hypothesize and guess about the future of critical pedagogy. What might happen with critical pedagogy? As we do this, we will look specifically at the students: Who are the students of the future? In addition, we will look at the role of advocacy and activism.

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