After reading the chapter on critical pedagogy, I found myself attracted to it, much like George. The concept of a pedagogy that unites us "by a common experiment in negotiating difference" (108), and allows students to empower themselves socially, academically, and politically seems very benefical to the writing classroom; however, how can a teacher legitimately deal with all the contradictions that are associated with this pedagogy? From my perspective, it seems more like a perspective to implement in class as opposed to an overriding writing pedagogy. Additionally, critical pedagogy seems to appropriate writing as primarily a political action, focusing on using writing as a tool for debate and argument, as opposed to other functions of writing. By favoring the political uses for writing over the creative, are teachers from the critical perspective doing students a diservice? I understand the need to empower students socially and politically; however, it seems that focusing entirely on the political would do little to fully prepare them for the professional world, as even politically active citizens must make some form of income. Again, the only way I could see this pedagogy working is if it isn't the overriding method for the whole course.
Response from Sonya I agree with you Caleb. I think the idea of a democratic classroom practice is an ideal way to bring awareness to students and encourage them to make change; however, I also agree with Smith's statement that "If writing teachers are serious about being democratic...they should honor students' professional desires to get the credentials needed to secure professional-managerial jobs" (101). Whether we agree with it or not, it is our duty to produce hirable students who fit the "mold" of the corporate world. We, of all people, know that creative writing doesn't pay the bills. Critical thinking is only something that is acceptable on your lunch break. Sad but true. If we want our students to succeed, we must do whatever it takes. Freire addressed this issue when saying "the liberatory teacher will, thus, train students yet simultaneously problematize that training - will, for instance, teach standard English and correct usage while also probematizing their status as inherently superior to other dialects of grammars" (102).