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Liberation in Education: What Role Do Liberatory Praxis and Theory Play in Fostering Critical Thinking?

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Conference

2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Social Justice, Social Responsibility, and Critical Pedagogies

Tagged Division

Liberal Education/Engineering & Society

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

20

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/28629

Download Count

1107

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Paper Authors

biography

Yousef Jalali Virginia Tech

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Yousef Jalali is a Ph.D. student in Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. He received a B.S. and M.S. in Chemical Engineering and M.Eng. in Energy Systems Engineering. His research interests include ethics, critical thinking, and process design and training.

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biography

Christian Matheis Virginia Tech

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I serve as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Government and International Affairs in the School of Public and International Affairs at Virginia Tech. Concurrently, I serve as a Teaching and Research Associate for the Intercultural Engagement Center at Virginia Tech. My research specializations include ethics, political philosophy, and philosophy of liberation. Within these areas, I concentrate on public policy, feminism, race, migration and refugees, and similar topics.

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Abstract

The revolutionary changes in ABET EC 2000 accreditation criteria promoted the address of critical thinking in engineering curricula by emphasizing such outcomes as ethics, social and global context, communication, lifelong learning and contemporary issues in addition to technical work in design and problem solving. However, the mainstream notion of critical thinking as used in the educational settings is often connected with the conceptions of reasoning and logic. Critical thinking is often seen as a skill in line with decision making and problem solving applications. The extent and degree of success of addressing critical thinking is still under question.

Liberation as its own field of praxis and theory which has been excluded from formal education, can provide a unique contribution in changing status quo. For the oppressed to get engaged in the process of discovery and transformation, critical thinking is such a crucial component. In this paper, liberation as a program of praxis and theory will be introduced. Then considering different stages in a liberatory process, the role of critical thinking in liberation struggle will be discussed and evaluated. Finally, paper focuses on contribution of liberatory scholars and in particular Paulo Freire and Gloria Anzaldúa in addressing promising components of critical thinking such as relation, communication, and imagination. This paper aims to raise awareness regarding liberation scholarship as a resource for researchers and practitioners in engineering education.

Jalali, Y., & Matheis, C. (2017, June), Liberation in Education: What Role Do Liberatory Praxis and Theory Play in Fostering Critical Thinking? Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/28629

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