In the previous edition of Pedagogy and the Human Sciences, DeCesare offers some thoughtful comments concerning the role of the term “critical” as it relates to the three articles in the “Teaching and Learning Amidst Diversity” section. In response to Harkins and Wells (2009), DeCesare (2009) proposes three primary criticisms: (1) "Teaching students to stand up for themselves and to listen to others does not teach them critical thinking skills;" (2) “Requiring students to actively participate in an in-class exercise does not teach critical thinking skills;" and (3) “Teaching students to understand and repeat personal experiences does not teach critical thinking skills” (p. 74). DeCesare criticized Harkins and Wells’ conception of critical pedagogy stating that it is “less about critical thinking than about what educators have recently been calling ‘active learning,’ ‘personal empowerment,’ and ‘cultural sensitivity’” (p. 77). DeCesare’s criticisms, I believe, missed the essential point of the exercise. The current paper offers a few comments of clarification to identify principles for further exploration.
Jones, B. (2012). What is the Critical Idea?: Some Preliminary Notes on Critical Pedagogy. Pedagogy and the Human Sciences, 2 (1), 59-63. Retrieved from http://scholarworks.merrimack.edu/phs/vol2/iss1/8