Shor – Can Critical Pedagogy Foster Activism in This Time of Repression

Shor, Ira. “Can Critical Pedagogy Foster Activism in This Time of Repression.” : Radical Teacher. 79 (2007): 39. Print.

In this brief article, Ira Shor explains how he uses the problem-posing method in his first year writing class in order to engage students in concrete relevant writing in a democratic classroom environment. With a class of approximate 30 working-class students from diverse background Shor facilitates a process of co-creating the course syllabus. He also uses questionnaires on the first day to determine generative themes that the students later vote on to determine  topics of inquiry. Shor begins with low stakes writing assignments and information that students already have on their selected topics. The students then proceed to research and collect data which Shor says he lets speak for itself without polemic lectures.

In the end, Shor says,

“‘Research’ here was not an abstract or ritual schmooze through steps but a disturbing process of provocative questions raised by virtually any topic in our society” (39).

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