Expression of the Oppressed: Using Critical Pedagogy in Arts Education to Disrupt Systems of Oppression
In 1970, Freire introduced critical pedagogy in Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Since that time, critical pedagogy has been widely applied in general education and has slowly integrated into music, theater, dance, and visual arts education. Rooted in the critical examination of power, critical pedagogy is a way of critically examining how we conceptualize, navigate, and reimagine the relationship between teacher, student, and the established knowledge being taught in the classroom. Critical pedagogues argue that selectively teaching knowledge representing certain viewpoints while omitting other viewpoints fosters hegemony—dominance of one group over another—in the classroom. Such educational inequities and exclusion are tied to disaffection, social fragmentation, and conflicts. Arts education is not exempt from curricular hegemony. The longstanding practice of grounding arts education in definitions of artistic value as determined by dominant social groups makes the field resistant to critical pedagogy. By applying critical pedagogy, arts educators can break the cycle of hegemony and instead foster the principles of equity, recognition, and inclusion.
Rivers, S. Rebeqa
"Expression of the Oppressed: Using Critical Pedagogy in
Arts Education to Disrupt Systems of Oppression,"
Visions of Research in Music Education: Vol. 35, Article 9.
Available at: https://opencommons.uconn.edu/vrme/vol35/iss1/9