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ERIC Number: EJ776910
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Reference Count: 13
The "Pedagogy of the Oppressed": The Necessity of Dealing with Problems in Students' Lives
Reynolds, Patricia R.
Educational Horizons, v86 n1 p53-60 Fall 2007
Students have problems in their lives, but can teachers help them? Should teachers help? The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) act and its emphasis on standardized test results have forced school systems to produce high scores, and in turn school administrators pressure teachers to prepare students for taking standardized tests. Teachers may want to deal with students' problems, but a required curriculum emphasizing skill drills has compromised teaching time. Teachers are not free to determine what should be taught in their classrooms. Although many teachers are not comfortable with discussing students' lives in the classroom, others want to help their students solve life problems. These teachers try to modify rigid or scripted curricula to meet the needs of their students. This article discusses the work of Paulo Freire which described a method that teachers can modify to help their students. Freire's "Pedagogy of the Oppressed" challenged educators to include the lives of their students in developing literacy. To discover how teachers adapted Freire's critical pedagogy to their teaching situations, the author presented both Freire's ideas and her own explanation of critical pedagogy to approximately one hundred teachers who took her graduate reading courses over a two-year period (January 2005 to the third summer session in 2006) at Holy Family University. She conducted a survey of the fifty-four students who gave permission to use their responses. In general, the survey results revealed that to deal with problems in students' lives, teachers created lessons or units, used school units or assemblies, employed the help of guidance professionals, or adapted packaged program materials and methods. She discusses two programs used by several elementary teachers she surveyed: (1) Second Step Program; and (2) Responsive Teaching Program. Appended is: (1) Survey Results.
Descriptors: Student Needs, Federal Legislation, Teacher Responsibility, Problem Solving, Disadvantaged Youth, Teacher Role, Emotional Response, Coping, Public Schools, Social Problems, Social Influences, Family School Relationship
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
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