CRITICAL PEDAGOGY IN PRACTICE: A CASE STUDY FROM KERALA, INDIA
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Analysing teaching-practice offers an opportunity to answer questions like what is critical to making pedagogy democratic, what are the factors that support a teacher to be critical in her teaching? Or what restricts the teacher in being critical in her work? This paper seeks to address some of these questions by presenting the findings of an investigation into the practice of teachers who are committed to the idea of critical pedagogy. The scope of the study is limited to understanding the critical aspects that are related to the teacher’s work within the classroom. The paper analyses the theoretical arguments that are relevant to critical pedagogy in relation to teachers’ practices as they emerged during the study. The study, conducted in the South Indian state of Kerala, reveals that teacher subjectivity and schooling situations interact in a dialectical fashion to shape the nature of classroom teaching. The political subjectivity of the teachers, shaped by their close interaction with the Kerala Science Literature Movement (KSSP) makes their pedagogy critical in nature. On the other hand, the standardized curriculum and mechanically disciplined school environment continuously challenge the teachers’ efforts at being critical in their work.
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