Critical possibilities: decritique, deracination, and the D.I.S.

Flores, Becky (2005) Critical possibilities: decritique, deracination, and the D.I.S. [Thesis (PhD/Research)]

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This dissertation presents the theory and practice of Decritique, a critical pedagogy for the first-year college English classroom that offers an alternative to contemporary applications of critical theory. Underscored by a philosophy of language drawn from Husserl's pure phenomenology and Derrida's deconstruction, a key characteristic of the pedagogy is delineation between re-cognition and recognition: the former actively seeking ways to re-position one's own thinking in relation to perceptions of the world; the latter endorsing existing perception. Concepts of 'respect' and 'tolerance' are questioned in Decritique, positing that they can operate as agents of oppression; instead, students engage in critical interaction and animated introspection that, in turn, opens the possibility of change. Concerned with the theory and practice of a reconceptualized critical pedagogy, the question at the core of Decritique is ways for students to reach a point of cognitive struggle leading to genuine discovery without the pain that can accompany criticism and critical self-reflection acting as a barrier to learning. Chapters One through Three examine what constitutes 'the critical'; namely, critical thinking, critical pedagogy, critical literacy, and critical care, Chapter Four discusses a reconceptualization of these criticalities, Chapter Five examines the theory of Decritique, Chapter Six presents a three-semester pilot study comparing Decritique with a pedagogy of 'caring' in both face-to-face and online learning environments, and Chapter Seven provides the study’s conclusions. Results indicate that students taught with Decritique consistently produced more writing than those taught with a 'caring' approach, demonstrated greater evidence of 'critical' reflection on essay revisions, engaged more animatedly in verbal and written discourse, exhibited a strong sense of critical camaraderie, particularly in the face-to-face classroom, and that essays averaged nearly five percent, or half a letter grade, higher. Retention and pass rates were higher in the Decritique classes and students were more likely to be satisfied with their learning experience. Implementation of the pedagogy on a wider, cross-institutional level is recommended in order to investigate the potential of Decritique as an alternative critical pedagogy for the first-year college English classroom, one that promotes reflective critical analysis of discourse with a commitment to the possibilities of praxis.

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Item Type: Thesis (PhD/Research)
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis. Transferred from ADT 24/11/2006.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Arts - No Department
Supervisors: Lee, Chris
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2007 00:42
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2016 01:26
Uncontrolled Keywords: decritique, pedagogy, egocentric, detached intellectualized space (DIS), deracination
Fields of Research : 19 Studies in Creative Arts and Writing > 1999 Other Studies in Creative Arts and Writing > 199999 Studies in Creative Arts and Writing not elsewhere classified
13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130204 English and Literacy Curriculum and Pedagogy (excl. LOTE, ESL and TESOL)

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