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