The Development of Critical Consciousness in Adolescents Attending Urban Charter High Schools

Associate Professor Scott Seider is currently leading a four-year research study investigating the development of critical consciousness in adolescents attending six different urban charter high schools. Critical consciousness refers to how oppressed individuals critically “read” their social conditions and engage in critical reflection and action to change these social conditions. The term comes from Brazilian philosopher-educator Paulo Freire who found that the illiterate adult laborers in Brazil with whom he was working were motivated to learn to read by their desire to understand and change their oppressive social conditions. As Freire explained, these laborers desired to “read the word in order to read the world.”

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