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ERIC Number: ED420733
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Apr-14
Pages: 27
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Outflanking Oppression: African American Contributions to Critical Pedagogy as Developed in the Scholarship of W. E. B. DuBois and Carter G. Woodson.
Graves, Karen L.
The educational philosophies of W. E. B. DuBois and Carter G. Woodson position them as important figures in the development of critical pedagogy. At its core, critical pedagogy is a hegemonic theory that focuses on the manifestation of power in society, with particular attention to how certain cultural groups learn to accept, engage in, or resist oppression. Those who adhere to critical pedagogy believe that significant structural changes in schooling will help bring about critical democracy, individual freedom, social justice, and social change. Sharing a belief in the transformative power of education, DuBois and Woodson foreshadowed later-20th-century development of critical pedagogy. A strong commitment to African American empowerment undergirded their scholarly achievements and led them to action against social inequalities and injustice. DuBois' faith in careful sociological measurement combined with cultural and historical understanding as a means to social reform prefigures the language of possibility expressed by critical pedagogues. In addition, DuBois had considered the school as an area of struggle years before the critical theorists engaged in this philosophy. The language of possibility that Woodson brought to the public through African American history formed a core element in the African American liberation struggle. Like DuBois, Woodson believed that racism extended from ignorance, and that teaching European Americans about the African experience in America would dispel it. No scholar has described the school as the site of struggle with more force than Woodson, whose "The Mis-Education of the Negro" (1933) stands as a classic text in U.S. educational history. The legacies of DuBois and Woodson give contemporary educators historical perspective from which to think about whether critical pedagogy can really equip teachers and students to bring about social change. A lesson to be derived from the life work of both men is that the strength of critical pedagogy is found in the commitment to struggle. (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A