Anti-Oppressive Education

Anti-oppressive education is a form of education that actively challenges injustice and oppression at both the micro level of teaching and the macro level of education reform, and draws together various theoretical traditions, including critical, feminist, multicultural, queer, and postcolonial perspectives. This entry describes several central concepts in anti-oppressive education, including common sense, contradiction, and crisis.

Challenging “Common Sense”

Oppression refers to a social dynamic in which certain ways of being in this world—including certain ways of identifying or being identified—are normalized or privileged while other ways are disadvantaged or marginalized at various levels, from the individual and interpersonal to the cultural and institutional to the ideological and discursive. Forms of oppression include racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, ableism, colonialism, and other “isms.” These isms intersect and overlap, ...

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