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Transformative Education: Across the Threshold -Will McWhinney and Laura Markos http://www.corwin.com/upm-data/3506_1Jted03.pdf
Critical pedagogy powerpoint
The Highlander Research and Education Center in
comparison to Alabama public education
At my school, learning wasn’t particularly dialectical. It used
the children as “banks” model of education. Knowledge was
strictly a one-way transfer. Teachers provided information that,
for the most part, was not open to interpretation.
Conversely, The Highlander Research and Education Center
stresses a dialogue between educator and student. “Horton’s
Highlander Center is an exception that for more than half a
century has vesseled the development of political consciousness
and participative action skills.”*
*Transformative Education: Across the Threshold
-Will McWhinney and Laura Markos
The Goal of Education
The goal of education at Highlander is to empower
individuals to create social change, which necessarily
includes acknowledging problematic aspects of society.
Whereas my public school education, was designed
to allow students to move forward from one level of
education to another with the end goal of entering the
The public school education I received was very Euro-centric and male
centric. While token efforts, such as black history month, were made to
acknowledge diversity, the curriculum itself lacked alternative perspectives.
There were no options for ethnic or gender studies courses. Additionally,
racism and sexism were seen as problems of the past, and were not
acknowledged in so far as they affect modern society.
In contrast, Highlander focuses on having a multi-cultural educational
perspective and has historically been very involved in the fight for civil rights.
“Highlander serves as a catalyst for grassroots organizing and movement
building in Appalachia and the U.S. South.“*
Proposed Critical Pedagogical
One change I would make public education in the United States is the way sex
education is handled. I believe that as it stands currently, it is disempowering to women.
In many cases, sex education contributes to cultural norms that stigmatize sex and
evaluate a women’s worth based on perceived chastity. This contributes to rape culture,
the normalization of sexual assault in our society, and affects the way women are treated
in society as a whole. I believe that this mindset demeans and excuses or legitimize
violence against women. I would encourage a sex education program centered on
accurate information on sex and contraception presented without stigma. Models of
consent should be addressed and expanded upon, beyond just the typical caveat of peer
Additionally, most sex education in the US is heteronormative, and I believe this
contributes to the displacement of the LGBTQ community. In order to prevent this, sex
education curricula should be more inclusive of different gender identities and sexual
orientation. Doing this would normalize LGBTQ individuals and, I think, lead to a more
Transformative Education: Across the Threshold
-Will McWhinney and Laura Markos
May. 24, 2020
Critical Pedagogy, The Highlander Research and Education Center in comparison to Alabama public school