What is ‘criticism’? Learning from Giroux


I will summarise the literature written by Tanigawa (2005) organising Giroux’s definition of ‘criticism’.

Giroux has been trying to reconstruct the American school system, learning from Freire, who claimed to society that education should have incorporated the concepts of self-liberation and social change. He is also one of the leading exponents of ‘critical pedagogy,’ which can be seen from two perspectives: ‘Reproduction’ and ‘Resistance’.

Giroux advocates the ‘Resistance theory’, which recognises that students have the power to change the dominating systems, not only acquiring the ‘Language of Critique’ under the reproduction theory.

According to him, critical literacy enables people to critically read their personal and social world and promotes the kind of power that challenges the myths and beliefs that have structured their perception and experience.

He explains the concept of ‘criticism’ in critical literacy from the perspective of (i) the learner as an ‘action subject’, (ii) the focus on the aspect of hope through the liberation of memory, and (iii) the attention to complexity in the learning field.

Tanigawa, T. (2005). Examining the concept of “criticism” in literacy education : H. A. Giroux’s initiative. Teaching Methods Exploring8, 11–19. https://doi.org/10.14989/190311

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