Reflexivity and Critical Pedagogy


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Reflexivity and Critical Pedagogy highlights the essential nature of reflexivity in creating sites for transformative possibilities in education. The book argues that seemingly intractable epistemological inequalities are embedded within educational structures and processes and also contends that perspectives which define knowledge as a unitary truth are essentially inadequate to address current global problems. Further, it argues that people and ideas traditionally positioned outside the academy are vital to developing more effective educational interventions.

This volume stresses the influence of dominant societal discourses in creating and sustaining particular and limited definitions of knowledge. It also explores their power in delineating acceptable processes of knowledge dissemination. These discourses, whether consciously or otherwise, indwell teachers, learners and policy-makers as well as educational structures and organisations. It proposes reflexivity as the key component needed to combat such forces and one that is an essential ingredient in critical pedagogy.

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Anne Ryan, PhD (1992), Flinders University, South Australia, is Professor of Adult and Community Education, Maynooth University, Ireland. Her publications relating to critical pedagogy include 'Conscientization: The Art of Learning' in Pedagogy, Oppression and Transformation in a ‘Post-Critical’ Climate (Continuum, 2011).
Tony Walsh, DEd (2013), University of Bristol (UK), is Director of the Centre for the Study of Irish Protestantism and Co-director of the Centre for Transformative Narrative Research, Maynooth University. His publications include Writing Your Thesis: A Guide for Postgraduate Students (MACE, 2015).
"This book would be especially helpful for educators and administrators hoping to equip their students with theoretical tools and practical exercises aimed at “bringing to light dynamics of power which privilege conformity” and “revealing the normally occluded dynamics of dominant discourse”(6). It is also a resource for those who see themselves occupying hybrid spaces: those who acknowledge a multiplicity of knowledges and competing and intersecting realities and experiences, who interrogate and trespass boundaries, and, overall, who strive to “see” the water in which they swim." - Katherine Daley-Bailey (2020) Book Review. The Wabash Center Journal on Teaching, 1(1): 115.
Peter Mayo
List of Figures and Tables
Notes on Contributors

1 Reflexivity and Critical Pedagogy
Anne Ryan and Tony Walsh
2 Discourse: Some Considerations for the Reflexive Practitioner
Anne B. Ryan
3 Reflexivity and the Emotional Dimension of Adult Learning
David McCormack
4 Seeing the Wood and the Trees: Expanding the Reflexive Gaze
Tony Walsh
5 Reflexive Practice and Transformative Learning
Anne Ryan and Conor Murphy
6 Reflexivity and the Pedagogy of Surprise
Peter Hussey
7 Reflexive Learning for Active Citizenship
Michael Murray
8 Negative Capability and Epiphany Moments in Reflexive Practive
David McCormack
9 Stories, Reflexivity and the Search for Meaning
Mary B. Ryan
All educators, especially radical adult educators, who are interested in better understanding the role of reflexivity in revealing the complex forces that define the contexts for knowledge creation and dissemination.
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