18th July 2018: An Evening In Dialogue with Prof Antonia Darder Exploring Critical Pedagogy

Come along to St John’s Church Community Hall (Princes St, Edinburgh EH2 4BJ), doors open at 6pm and the event starts from 6.30pm. Come along for a bite of food, and chance to listen to and discuss critical education with Antonia …

All are warmly invited to an evening in dialogue with Antonia Darder and other fellow critical educators exploring the relevance of Pedagogy of the Oppressed – Paulo Freire’s famous book – today and how we can draw greater value from this important text. This event is free and will offer a space to engage our hearts and minds around the opportunities and challenges for critical pedagogy today as well as hearing about Antonia Darder’s new Student Guide to Pedagogy of the Oppressed.  Visiting from America, this is a unique and valuable opportunity to connect with Antonia’s thinking…

Antonia Darder
Antonia Darder

This event brings together various learning communities in Edinburgh including Critical and Alternative Methods & Ideas Network for Action (CAMINA) and Adult Learning Project (ALP) and Ragged University for an evening with Antonia Darder to explore key questions in critical education and what they mean in our lives.

CAMINA is a learning community which is made up of people who value the experience of critical education to transform lives in a variety of contexts.  It brings together individuals interested the challenges associated in practicing critical education in meaningful and sustainable ways. Through creating links they grow a community through creating connections locally, nationally and globally.


ALP is a learning community which has been active in Edinburgh for over 30 years.  Inspired by the methods and teachings of Paulo Freire, the well known activist and educationalist from South America, the community sees learning as an integral part of daily living.  Providing a home for various groups and activities, the community explores and investigates the issues important to people in a co-operative way through sharing, teaching and dialogue.


Ragged University is a project based around getting people who love what they do to share their knowledge and skills in social spaces; from that we build.  The central idea is “Everybody is a Ragged University; a unique and distinct body of knowledge accredited with their life experience and with a membership of one”.  Through sharing in social spaces a learning community is developed and ways are explored of supporting people achieving what they want to achieve. Inspired by the Ragged Schools created by communities for communities prior to universal formal education, it seeks to carry forward this tradition of sharing.



Three key questions will be examined in the evening:

  • What do we mean by critical pedagogy?
  • How is practicing critical pedagogy different in the current context compared to when Freire was writing?
  • What elements of Freire’s theory are still relavent and what elements might we question?


The schedule for the evening is:

6pm – 6:30pm: arrivals – tea/coffee – contributing our stories

6:30pm: Intro to event & Antonia (Gordon or Alex)

6:45pm: Reading the word: reading the world – meeting the text – solo work (Nicky)

7:00pm: reading the word: reading the world – meeting each other – pairs (Nicky)

7:15pm: Antonia input – speaking to the questions

7:45pm: Break for food / drink

8:15: Facilitated group discussions around the 3 questions with visual stimulus/ Antonia’s input

8:45: Groups feedback and Antonia responds, leading to a group discussion

9:15 -9:30pm: Closing comments from Antonia / Gordon / finish


About Antonia Darder

Professor Antonia Darder is a well established scholar who is known for her studies on Paolo Freire. For over thirty years she has worked to challenge the material inequalities found in various communities, in particular with regards to learning and the valuing of people in educational terms.
Having lived through poverty in East Los Angeles and experienced the challenges of being a young mother with three children, her life experience has informed her working practice as not just an educator, but also as a writer, activist, artist and public intellectual.
Bringing scrutiny to the intersecting issues of racism, social justice, learning and economies she has become known as someone who has understood and embodied the philosophy found in Paulo Friere’s work ‘Pedagogy of the Oppressed’. Her own theses and synthesis brings to the foreground the notion of biculturalism and interrelates questions of power, culture and education to issues of social justice.
“Biculturalism refers to a process wherein individuals learn to function in two distinct sociocultural environments; their primary culture, and that of the dominant mainstream culture of the society in which they live. It represents the process by which bicultural human beings meidate between the dominant discourse of educational institutions and the realities that they must face as members of subordinate cultures.” (Page 48, Culture and Power in the Classroom: A Critical Foundation for Bicultural Education)
Thus there is a prominent examination of the practice of decolonizing in her work with relation to ethics and moral issues. In all her work critical thinking occupies a central place and this relates to leadership specifically for social justice for populations moving out from under the yoke of colonial structures.
The use of critical theory and the field postcolonial studies thus yields pedagogy which is to empower socially, politically, and intellectually those communities on the outside of the hegemonic power structure of the colonial ideology.

She is author of many books including:

Culture and Power in the Classroom: A Critical Foundation for Bicultural Education

Reinventing Paulo Freire: A Pedagogy of Love

A Dissident Voice: Essays on Culture, Pedagogy, and Power

Freire and Education

The Student Guide to Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed

Some papers she has written:

Teaching as an Act of Love; In Memory of Paulo Freire

Decolonizing Interpretive Research: A critical bicultural methodology for social change

Embodiments of Public Pedagogy: the art of soulful resistance

Toward Cultural Democracy: A Framework for Understanding the Dynamics of Institutional Responses to Cultural Diversity

Poem: The Great Mother of Wails

Some Online Videos

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