Using critical pedagogy in English education: Disjunctures between pre-service teachers’ preparation and opportunities for implementation

  • Naomi Nkealah School of Education, University of the Witwatersrand http://orcid.org/0000-0001-7953-9663
  • John Simango School of Education, University of the Witwatersrand
Keywords: critical pedagogy, English education, teacher preparation, teacher opportunity, learning to teach

Abstract

English education in South Africa has a long-standing relationship with Paulo Freire’s critical pedagogy theory. In many universities offering qualifications in education, critical pedagogy features prominently in curricula for pre-service teachers of English. These teacher students are prepared with the knowledge and skills that critical pedagogy offers to be able to teach English effectively in their classrooms upon graduation. Yet, there are multiple constraints in the school system that impede the implementation of critical pedagogy in the English classroom. These constraints range from employment shortage to lack of incentives for teachers. As a result, it becomes evident that there is a disparity between teacher preparation to teach English in critical ways and teacher opportunity to actually do so. In this article, we explore this disparity between teacher preparation and opportunity to apply critical pedagogy in the English classroom, and on the basis of that we conceptualise learning to teach as a blend of adaptive and adoptive teaching in the real-world context.

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Author Biographies

Naomi Nkealah, School of Education, University of the Witwatersrand

Naomi Nkealah is a senior lecturer in the Division of Languages, Literacies and Literatures in the School of Education at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. She is a co-editor of the book Gendered Violence and Human Rights in Black World Literature and Film (Routledge, 2021). 

John Simango, School of Education, University of the Witwatersrand

John Simango is an NIHSS-funded post-doctoral fellow in the School of Education at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. He obtained his PhD from Wits in 2020 and is currently doing research on transformative pedagogies in English education. 

Published
2023-04-01