A critique of critical pedagogy

Discourses and Researches

Structuralists highlight the phenomenon of cultural reproduction as the result of the structure of class power. P. Bourdieu, for example, argues that schools become a vital means for the ruling class to maintain its dominant position in the division of labor. However, the school of critical pedagogy questions such structural perspectives and address the notion that agency is the innate ability of human being. P. Freire and H. Giroux, for example, address the constructive function of education that allows student to develop their independent values and beliefs and, in turn, transform society from an oppressed form to a democratic one. This article attempts to make a critique on such constructive perspectives by spotlighting the aspect of social beliefs that tends to serve the interests of middle/upper classes.

Keywords: cultural reproduction, structuralism, constructivism, critical pedagogy, social value.

Ph.D. Tien-Hui Chiang