Critical Teaching Manifesto
This is my manifesto that constantly evolves as I continue to learn and grow. These are the core beliefs that shape my manifesto:
- A successful classroom relies on knowing and understanding students on a personal level.
From past experiences, students learn best from educators that take the time to get to know them past simply knowing their name. By building meaningful relationships with students, a mutual respect is created. This allows students to feel heard, safe, and respected in the classroom. This creates a comfortable space where students can be themselves and learn in suitable ways for them. I also have the responsibility to educate myself in ways that I can support every student in the classroom.
- Students have the right to be taught how to learn to become life-long learners.
“Knowledge of today will have less relevance in tomorrow’s society, and as such, students’ competence to seek, acquire, and develop new knowledge is just as important, if not more, than internalising currently available factual information. Today’s schools need to prepare for tomorrow, and educating independent self-regulated learners who believe in their own capacity to engage in continuous learning and knowledge production should be the aim of today’s society.”
~Smith et al.
As an educator, I am responsible for preparing my students for the quickly evolving world. Students need the opportunity to learn in ways that create a sense of responsibility for their learning outside of educational institutions. I can choose to teach students using inquiry activities, hands-on-learning opportunities, place-based learning, and giving students the opportunity to work towards their own goals. I will act as a facilitator of learning and give my students the tools they will need to learn in and out of the classroom.
- Anti-oppressive pedagogy is a crucial aspect of a classroom.
“In short, these studies urge educators not to ignore the differences in their students’ identities, and not to assume that their students are “normal” (and expect them to have normative, privileged identities) or neutral, in other words without race, sex, and so forth (which is often read as “normal” anyway). Rather, educators could work to learn about, acknowledge, and affirm differences and tailor their teaching to the specifics of their student population.”
A successful anti-oppressive educator, continues learning why the common-sense understandings are harmful ways of thinking for students. The process of educating myself will never end. By using an anti-oppressive approach to pedagogy it opens the opportunity for students to educate themselves to become members of society that question the current narratives. Giving students the tools they require to challenge the dominant narratives by telling more than a single story is key to changing the narrative.