Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Teo


  • Livia Dittmer
  • Geoff Nelson
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5583-7_324


Critical education is more than a set of strategies for teaching; it is an approach characterized by values, attitudes, and practices and can be implemented in many ways. Actively concerned with the relationship between knowledge and power, critical education provides a framework for teaching and learning that aims to build capacity in students to critically analyze social forces and act for transformation of the status quo.

Links between knowledge and power are explored through critical education in the context of values, assumptions, and practices that motivate students to question the conceptual framework guiding their own choices and actions as well as those of society. In this way students’ critical consciousness is heightened, characterized by awareness of power inequalities and injustice (Freire, 2008) and integration of one’s own beliefs about the world (Mustakova-Possardt, 2003). For example, awareness of the structural forces that systematically marginalize...

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Online Resources

  1. Critical education theory and practice. http://www.tonywardedu.com/
  2. The Paulo and Nita Freire International Project for Critical Pedagogy. http://www.freireproject.org/

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyWilfrid Laurier UniversityWaterlooCanada
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyWilfrid Laurier UniversityTorontoCanada