Simplifying without eroding the complexity of critical theory, traverses the grand themes of ideology, power, alienation, liberation, reason and democracy; showing how they inform the adult education practice of fostering critical thinking and critical reflection. A lucid, accessible overview of how critical theory illuminates the contexts of adult learning and orients teaching practices. This is a sophisticated and comprehensive treatment of the power of Socratic questioning of dogmas and a prophetic witness against the conservative status quo! A must read for all seriously engaged teachers. This major contribution to the literature on adult education provides adult educators with an accessible overview of critical theory’s central ideas. Using many direct quotes from the theorists’ works, shows how critical theory illuminates the everyday practices of adult educators and helps them make sense of the dilemmas, contradictions and frustrations they experience in their work. Drawing widely on central texts in critical theory, Brookfield argues that a critical theory of adult learning must focus on understanding how adults learn to challenge ideology, contest hegemony, unmask power, overcome alienation, learn liberation, reclaim reason and practice democracy.
Research Professor. Director at Learning Change Project – Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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