The Future of the Image in Critical Pedagogy

Studies in Philosophy and Education 30 (1):37-51 (2010)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Although there is ample interrogation of advertising/commercial/media culture in critical pedagogy, there is little attention paid to the fine arts and to aesthetic experience. This lacuna is all the more perplexing given Paulo Freire’s use of artist Francisco Brenand’s illustrations for his culture circles. In this essay I will return to Freire’s original description of the relationship between fine art images and conscientizacao in order to map out the future of the image in critical pedagogy. This return to the origin of the use of images in literacy programs will highlight the interdependent nature of word and image but also will demonstrate some of the long standing misconceptions of the way fine art images function in relation to education and politics. In conclusion I will suggest that if images have a future in critical pedagogy, then this future must ultimately move beyond Freire. As an alternative genealogical anchoring point for the development of the aesthetics of critical literacy, I suggest a turn to the work of Jacques Rancière. Through his conceptualization of the “pensive image” as well as the “emancipated spectator” we can begin to understand how the fine art image can work to realize Freire’s democratic ideals without relying on Freire’s problematic formulation of the image-pedagogy relationship. In conclusion, I suggest that the philosophical model necessary to support critical literacy is not Freire’s culture circle so much as Kant’s aesthetic community now revitalized via Rancière’s own aesthetics of dissensus.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 94,517

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Paulo Freire's critical pedagogy.Ira Shor & Education Is Politics - 1993 - In Peter McLaren & Peter Leonard (eds.), Paulo Freire: a critical encounter. New York: Routledge.
The Political Angle of Critical Pedagogy: Exposing Paulo Freire’s Theory of Domination.Lj Zaphan Lamboloto - 2024 - Psychology and Education: A Multidisciplinary Journal 18 (9):903–912.
Freire re‐viewed.Sue Jackson - 2007 - Educational Theory 57 (2):199-213.


Added to PP

77 (#213,211)

6 months
9 (#455,398)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

References found in this work

Dissensus: On Politics and Aesthetics.Jacques Ranciere - 2010 - Continuum. Edited by Steve Corcoran.
On the aesthetic education of man: in a series of letters.Friedrich Schiller - 1954 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Elizabeth M. Wilkinson & L. A. Willoughby.
The philosopher and his poor.Jacques Rancière - 2004 - Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Edited by Andrew Parker.

View all 24 references / Add more references