What Is Critical Pedagogy Good For? An Interview with Ira Shor

  • Sheila L. Macrine
Part of the Education, Politics, and Public Life book series (EPPL)


In this chapter Ira Shor discusses Critical Literacy as it takes shape inside critical pedagogy, where teachers invite students to explicitly question the status quo in the name of social justice, democratic rights, and equality. According to Shor, this approach is a “situated pedagogy” shaped by and for specific themes, locations, and constituencies—from multicultural to feminist to socialist to queer to environmental, from K-12 to college to labor and community education, from urban to rural. He adds that Freirean critical pedagogy, of course, involves practices and frameworks derived from the foundational work of Paulo Freire, whose “pedagogy of the oppressed” was a class-based practice, offering dialogic literacy programs to Brazilian peasants and workers through a problem-posing process. The challenge has always been to diversify the singular focus on social class and to reinvent the approach for other times and places outside Brazil.


Generative Theme Critical Literacy Critical Consciousness Academic Discourse Standard Usage 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Additional References

  1. L. Delpit, Other People’s Children: Cultural Conflict in the Classroom (New York: The New Press, 1985).Google Scholar
  2. T. Perry and L. Delpit, eds. The Real Ebonics Debate (Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 1998).Google Scholar
  3. I. Shor, Culture Wars: School and Society in the Conservative Restoration 1969–1984 (New York: Routledge, 1986) and (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992).Google Scholar
  4. I. Shor and P. Freire, A Pedagogy for Liberation: Dialogues on Transforming Education (Granby, MA: Bergin and Garvey, 1986).Google Scholar
  5. I. Shor, When Students Have Power: Negotiating Authority in Critical Pedagogy (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996).Google Scholar
  6. Ira Shor, “What is Critical Literacy?” Journal for Pedagogy, Pluralism & Practice 1, 4 (1999), available
  7. Ira Shor, “Can Critical Teaching Foster Activism in this Time of Repression?” Radical Teacher 79 (2007): 39–39, 2/3.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Sheila L. Macrine 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sheila L. Macrine

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations