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Bozalek, Vivienne, Leibowitz, Brenda, Carolissen, Ronelle & Boler, Megan (Eds.) (2013). Discerning Critical Hope in Educational Practices. London and New York: Routledge : book review
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Denise Wood
Paulo Freire, regarded as one of the most influential educators of the 20th century,proclaimed in Pedagogy of Hope that hope is an ontological need, which “demands ananchoring in practice” (Freire, 1994, p. 2). The kind of hope that Freire was referringto was not a naïve hope that is “subjectively idealistic” (Freire, 1970, p. 129), but rather,critical hope fostered through a radical pedagogy combining “hope, critical reflection andcollective struggle” (Giroux, 1985, p. xvii). Similarly, Giroux (2003) spoke of “educatedhope”, noting the need to combine the discourse of critique and hope in ways that leadto critical activity, and opens up the possibility for social change. Freire’s pedagogy of hopeis thus a transformative pedagogy, one that challenges didactic styles of instruction thatrelegate the student to a passive vessel to be filled with content (what Freire referred toas the “banking concept of education”, 1970, p. 74) and seeks to awaken students’ criticalconsciousness and awareness of power relations through a dialogic relationship with theteacher. Such a transformative pedagogy involves more than simply empowering students.Through their collaborative roles as “co-investigators in dialogue” (Freire, 1970, p. 81),both teachers and students are transformed. Feminist scholar and social activist Bell Hooksrefers to such a transformative approach as an “engaged pedagogy”, one in which teacherstransform their curriculum and their teaching practices to sites of resistance that challengethe biases and systems of domination that perpetuate inequalities and oppression in aneo-liberal society (Hooks, 1994).