Critical Humanistic Education
What is Critical Humanistic Education?
Simply, it’s an ongoing effort to bridge critical pedagogy and humanistic education in the ways we build learning communities.
Humanistic and values education at their best bring people in touch with their own and others’ feelings and values. We spend time getting to know students and what motivates them: Who are they, and what matters in their lives? This is hard to do in a regular 40-student classroom. While we give a lot of importance to students sharing and exploring their lives with each other, a critical pedagogy approach also encourages learners to continuously situate themselves socially, economically, and politically in broader contexts, as a member of various communities where power is more or less shaped by forces beyond their individual control. Critical humanism holds these objectives together: a constant dialectic between the individual and society, powerlessness and power, the inner and outer life of the person, the interplay of the private and the public, the personal and the political, and person to person. This approach is cultivated best in an environment where students can discuss more with each other in smaller groups.