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Empowering Education

Critical Teaching for Social Change

Ira Shor is a pioneer in the field of critical education who for over twenty years has been experimenting with learning methods. His work creatively adapts the ideas of Brazilian educator Paulo Freire for North American classrooms. In Empowering Education Shor offers a comprehensive theory and practice for critical pedagogy.

For Shor, empowering education is a student-centered, critical and democratic pedagogy for studying any subject matter and for self and social change. It takes shape as a dialogue in which teachers and students mutually investigate everyday themes, social issues, and academic knowledge. Through dialogue and problem-posing, students become active agents of their learning. This book shows how students can develop as critical thinkers, inspired learners, skilled workers, and involved citizens.

Shor carefully analyzes obstacles to and resources for empowering education, suggesting ways for teachers to transform traditional approaches into critical and democratic ones. He offers many examples and applications for the elementary grades through college and adult education.

Table of Contents

Introduction - The First Day of Class: Passing the Test
1. Education Is Politics: An Agenda for Empowerment
2. Problem-Posing: Situated and Multicultural Learning
3. Three Roads to Critical Thought: Generative, Topical, and Academic Themes
4. Critical Dialogue versus Teacher-Talk: Classroom Discourse and Social Inequality
5. Rethinking Knowledge and Society: "Desocialization" and "Critical Consciousness"
6. Democratic Authority: Resistance, Subject Matter, and the Learning Process
7. Critical Teaching and Classroom Research: An Interdisciplinary Field for Activist Learning
8. Becoming an Empowering Educator: Obstacles to and Resources for Critical Teaching
9. "The Third Idiom": Inventing a Transformative Discourse for Education
Author Index
Subject Index

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