The Uses of Critical Pedagogy & Similar Teaching Styles in Elementary Classrooms

Date of Award

Spring 2022

Document Type




First Advisor

Rebecca Overmyer-Velazquez


The use of critical pedagogy and similar liberatory teaching styles aim to utilize primary, secondary and higher education as a way to form collective consciousness amongst the people in order to liberate all who have been oppressed from the dispositions and consequential violence of colonialism, capitalism and the patriarchy. Influential educators like Paulo Freire, John Dewey and Bell Hooks have inspired educators, education reformers and education systems all across the globe but as found in my research, has been primarily used in praxis at the high-school and college level. Through an analysis of two literary pieces, Pedagogy of the Oppressed and Education for Critical Consciousness both by Paulo Freire, as well as a multitude of other educators it is evident that these pedagogies would be found incredibly useful within the elementary setting. Critical pedagogy, student centered teaching, place-based pedagogy and culturally responsive teaching in theory and praxis are introduced in this literature review as a way of laying out the significance and urgency of an education reform within elementary classrooms today. Both elementary school students and educators can benefit from these pedagogies as they amplify the voices and experiences from both parties and recreate the dynamic between educator and educatee of one of community understanding, care and trust which is heavily lacking throughout K-12 public school education today.

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