A Review on Historical Aspects of Critical Pedagogy


  • Raj Kishor Singh PhD, Central Department of English Tribhuvan University, Kirtipur, Nepal




Critical Pedagogy, Conscientization, Power Resistance, Value Judgments, Empowerment, Critical Thinking, Skepticism, Negotiation


This paper makes a review of inventory and application of critical pedagogy in education sector, in particular, and also in general practices of critical thinking, skepticism, decision making process, etc. Critical pedagogy as a concept originated and developed in academia, for development of critical mind of learners. Education broadens the students’ views of reality. Education is transformative, bringing all kinds of changes in human mind, as well as in the society and the nation. Education makes students critical and skeptical on the issues which are frequent in their daily life. Therefore, all kinds of social, cultural, economical and political issues are solved by critical mind of the learners. Education must be democratic in nature and system. People in power make education system in their own favour, dominating the powerless people. Therefore, education is political. Those who participate in critical pedagogy resist the constraints that those in power impose on them.                    Critical pedagogy can be applied in all faculties and subjects like music, economics, mathematics, sociology, political science, English language teaching, English literature teaching, and so on. Teachers also must be qualified with the critical pedagogy approach. They must be confident with the knowledge and skills for applying Freire’s methods of teaching effectively in the classroom. They must be critical thinkers, self-reflective, culturally conscious for the pedagogical situation to enhance students’ understanding of the world.

The major purpose of this review is to point out the effectiveness of critical pedagogy in education and in general. After teachers’ role in critical pedagogy, knowledge of the language and of the world, consciousness or ‘conscientization’, power resistance, value judgments, perception of reality and truth, empowerment, transformation, decision making skills, critical thinking, skepticism, negotiation, problem posing and solving, and many other aspects of learning in critical pedagogy are explained in this review paper.


Download data is not yet available.


Aliakbari, M. & Faraji, E. (2011). Basic Principles of Critical Pedagogy. 2nd International Conference on Humanities, Historical and Social Sciences IPEDR, 17, 78-85.

Akbari, R. (2008). Transforming lives: Introducing critical pedagogy into ELT classrooms. ELT journal, 62(3), 30 –39.

Breunig, M. (2005). Turning Experiential Education and Critical Pedagogy Theory into Praxis. Journal of Experiential Education, 28(2), 106-122.

Breunig, M. (2008). Critical Pedagogy as Praxis. VDM Verlag.

Canagarajah, S. (2005). Critical pedagogy in L2 learning and teaching. In E. Hinkel (ed.), Handbook of research in second language teaching and learning. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 931–949.

Crookes, G. (2010). The practicality and relevance of second language critical pedagogy. Language Teaching, 43(3), 333–348.

Fischman, G. E. & McLaren, P. (2005). Rethinking Critical Pedagogy and the Gramscian and Freirean Legacies: From Organic to Committed intellectuals or Critical Pedagogy, commitment, and Praxis. Cultural Studies, 5(4), 425-447.

Fisher, A. (2001). Critical thinking. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Freire, P. (1970). Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York, NY: Continuum Books.

Freire, P. & D. Macedo. (1987). Literacy: Reading the word and the world. London: Routledge.

Freire, P. (1974). Education for Critical Consciousness. New York: Continuum International Publishing Group.

Freire, P. (1986). The Politics of Education: Culture, Power, Liberation. Sout Hadley, MA: Bering & Garvey Publishers.

Freire, P. (1994). Pedagogy of Hope. Reliving Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York: Continuum.

Freire, P. (1998). Pedagogy of Freedom: Ethics, Democracy, and Civic Courage. New York: Continuum International Publishing Group.

Freire, P. (2005). Teachers as cultural workers. Boulder, CO: West View Press.

Freire, P. (2014). Pedagogy of Hope. A and C Black. (reprint).

Giroux, H. (1983). Theory and Resistance in Education: Pedagogy for the Opposition. South Hadley: Bergin and Garvey.

Giroux, H. A. and Giroux, S. S. (2006). Challenging Neoliberaism’s New Word Order: The Promise of Critical Pedagogy. Cultural studies, Critical methodologies. Sage Publications, 6 (1), 21 – 32.

Gurubhaktananda, S. (2017). The Sandeepany Experience. Text 08. Sandeepany Sadhanalaya.

Kincheloe, J. (2007). Critical pedagogy and cognition: An introduction to a post formal educational psychology. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer.

Koh, A. (2002). Towards a critical pedagogy: Creating ‘thinking schools’ in Singapore. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 34 (3), 255264.

Manikandaprabhu, S. (2016). The Gurukul System of Education. Retreived from http://www.edubilla.com/blog/the-gurukul-system-of-education/

McArthur, J. (2010). Achieving Social Justice within and through Higher Education: Challenge for Critical Pedagogy. Teaching in Higher Education, 15(5), 493-504.

McLaren, P. (1988). Culture or canon? Critical pedagogy and the politics of literacy. Harvard Education Review. 58, 213 – 234.

McLaren, P. (2001). Che Guevara, Paulo Freire, and the Politics of Hope: Reclaiming Critical Pedagogy. Sage Publications. 1, 108 – 118.

McLaren, P. (2013). Critical Pedagogy: A Look at the Major Concepts. In A. Darder M, Baltodano; R. D. Torres (Eds.), Critical Pedagogy Reader (pp. 69-96). New York: Routledge Falmer.

McLaren, P. (2015). Life in Schools. Routledge.

Nixon Ponder, S. (1995). Using problem posing dialogue in adult literacy education: Teacher to teacher. Ohio, USA: Ohio Literacy Resource Center.

Pennycook, A. (1990). Critical Pedagogy and Second Language Education. System, 18/3, 303 – 314.

Shor, I. (1992). Empowering education. Critical teaching for social change. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Shor, I. (1996). When students have power. Negotiating authority in a critical pedagogy. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Shor, I. (1999). What is critical literacy? Journal of Pedagogy, Pluralism & Practice, 1(4). Retrieved from www.lesley.edu/journals/jppp/4/shor.html

Swain, S. (2016). Educational Elements and Veda. 4th Chapter. Shodhganga.

Torres, C. A. & Rexhep, J. (2011). British Journal of Sociology of Education, 32(5), 679-698.

Van Duzer, C., & Florez, M.C. (1999). Critical literacy for adult English language learners. In National Center for ESL Literacy Education. Retrieved from http://www.cal.org/caela/esl_resources/digests/critlit.html

Weiler, K. (1989). Women’s History and the History of Women Teachers. Journal of Education, Vol. 171, Number 3.

Wilson, B. (2014). Teach the how: Critical lenses and critical literacy. English Journal, 103 (4), 68¬75.




How to Cite

Singh, R. K. . (2021). A Review on Historical Aspects of Critical Pedagogy. SMART MOVES JOURNAL IJELLH, 9(1), 33–50. https://doi.org/10.24113/ijellh.v9i1.10876