A Guide to Critical Race Theory
This is an educational philosophy that studies organizations, institutions, and rules guiding power relationships. Supporters of the critical theory believe that the educational system is under the direct influence of the wealthy members of the upper class. They believe that the upper class uses their power and influence over schools to keep the lower classes in a subordinate position where they are continually marginalized.
They use their influence to produce their desired results on an issue. Proponents of critical theory use their knowledge and expertise to study social and educational structures within society and academic institutions in order to implement positive changes that will lead to the empowerment of the subordinate classes.
The critical theory gained popularity in the early 1960s during the time of Martin Luther King Jr. During this period, minority groups were working to gain representation and equal rights and opportunities. Henry Giroux and Paulo Friere, both proponents of marxism, contributed immensely to critical theory. Because of this, critical theory and marxism share similarities.
In his work, ‘Pedagogy of the Oppressed,’ Freire proposed a system of education which’s purpose would be to enlighten the masses on their social and economic conditions. This would enlighten them about their need for empowerment and inspire them to take the necessary steps to empower themselves. Giroux saw the influence education had on politics and spoke out against the use of a dominant ideology to influence politics and the economy. He used his expertise to identify the dominant ideology and do his part in creating a more equalitarian society.