Critical Pedagogy

Good news! People are again searching for alternatives to the adaptation of students to the capitalist ideology!

On Friday 31 January 2020 I was interviewed about critical pedagogy in Pakhuis de Zwijger in Amsterdam, together with cultural anthropologist Theo Jansen, who coached us teachers on behalf of Nijmegen University. We explained there how and why we developed the Open Project Education concept that flourished in Wageningen (and later also elsewhere) in the 1970s and 1980s. That the concept died a soft death after about fifteen years, was mainly because our right-wing opponents got a foothold with their accusation that we indoctrinated the students on the left. In those years there was too little awareness yet that the usual education is not neutral - as the framing suggests - but imbued with capitalist ideology and so on the right. With their accusation of left indoctrination, they ultimately succeeded in preventing the concept from getting a solid material basis. The teachers who coached the students in the Open Projects had to continue to do so for a large part in their spare time in addition to their regular classes and that eventually became too much for them.

In Open Project Education we offered a counterbalance to the way in which students in the regular education system are made suspicious of each other by constantly being compared to each other, selected and confronted with distrust and catching of their errors. On the contrary, we wanted them to be able to cooperate and feel solidarity. Perhaps even more importantly, we found that instead of the crumbled curriculum content that distracted them from seeing connections between phenomena and thinking ahead, we wanted them to learn to explore the world, also outside of school, and develop an inquiring attitude. On this Site under Education everything to be found about the objectives, design and implementation of the concept Open Project Education.

To our surprise, the Critical Pedagogy is now again interested in educational concepts that offer a counterweight to the transfer of capitalist values and norms in education. At last the framing of education as if that would be a neutral activity is being broken down and new alternatives are being developed. The total interview on Critical Pedagogy is set live, part of it is in English but our contribution (17.30-47.30 min.) is in Dutch, sorry: https://dezwijger.nl/programma/de-kracht-van-kritische-pedagogiek

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