Friday, April 19, 2013

Some Resources and Readings

This is a short article by Scott Thornbury that includes an outline of basic tenets of critical pedagogy.

He lists the following principles:
Critical Pedagogy...

1. is transformative, and seeks social change 
2. foregrounds social inquiry and critique
3. challenges the status quo and problematizes ‘givens’
4. devolves agency to the learner
5. is participatory and collaborative 
6. is dialogic 
7. is locally-situated, and socially-mediated 
8. is non-essentialist, i.e. it doesn’t reduce learners to stereotypes, but rather legitimizes individual identities 
9. is self-reflexive

And here are two entries from his blog that touch on the idea of critical practice:
Critical Pedagogy
Linguistic Landscapes

There are also a number of blogs that offer resources, ideas, activities, and thoughts on critical practices in language learning.  One of the most well known is esletc.  Though a lot of the materials seem to be aimed at highly proficient learners, there is a lot of information there that might be useful to you.
The Freire Project is another site with information, resources, and links for critically minded educators.  And here is a blog aimed at sharing lessons and activities for English learners in Turkey (some of which seem to have a 'critical' edge to them).
I encourage you to have a look around the web for other resources, idea, and activities that you might be able to adapt to your own teaching and learning settings....

Here is a guide to reading images (adapted from resources at "The Critical Thinking Consortium") that you may be able to adapt to your practice:

Explaining Images
adapted from “The Critical Thinking Consortium”

                                                            Observations                                                               Inferences
Who is in this picture? (Gender, Social Class, Sexuality, Status)

What are these people doing? / What is happening?

When was the picture taken?

Where is this? (Region, Country, Culture...)

Why is the person doing this?

We can also combine this exercise with adaptions of the “critical questions” we discussed in class: 
1)  Who took this picture?  Whose perspective does this show?  What other perspectives can we imagine?

2) Who is the intended audience?  Who will see this picture?  What will they probably think about this picture? 

3) Who is represented?  Who or what do the figures, places, and objects represent?  What might be missing from this image?  

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