Everyone has a level of intellect that allows them to perceive the world and capture knowledge through uniquely tailored glasses. Diverse perspectives on a single topic, rather than relying solely on one or a few significant points of view, I believe, can help to create a more comprehensive picture of it. The agency of each mind is a topic that critical pedagogy must address.
Critical pedagogy is not a contemporary interest; the Socratic approach suggested a dialectic method of inquiry to evolve knowledge through conversations. It utilized cross-investigation of an assertion and premise to uncover conflict or inconsistency in a reasoning process. Socrates tried to help students question domination and the theories and procedures that lead to critical consciousness. Similarly, in some traditions like some periods in Islamic intellectual tradition, “disputation” as a formalized process of scholarly discussion was a method employed for critical and didactic objectives.
In each case, the purpose had always been illustrating the superiority of reason over passion and knowledge over ignorance. The idea was that the knowledge that gains collectively is more comprehensive and provides more opportunities to democratize societies. Everyone’s voice shall be heard, and there is room for every opinion to emerge, discuss, and potentially help to develop knowledge.
In our time, the uncertainty of advances in sciences is more revealed, and the idea of absoluteness in any discovery is vanishing. We are more aware of relativity in achievements, and we took great lessons from the history of science in how any discovery can be shattered by one after. No ready answer is now accepted, and there is often an inquiry about it.
Critical pedagogy’s role is to passionately activate students’ minds to think of more interesting questions rather than surrendering passively with ready answers since, in most cases, there is no such thing as one true static answer. Many human achievements were created by questioning anomalies and interrogating new ways to look at a question. I believe the fascinating aspect of science is the personalized influencing; each person can impact its evolution with her background, perspective, and interpretation. By encouraging and valuing individual views, instructors are promoting a potential discovery towards hidden domains. Doubting is an essential step in such a process and everyone, including instructors, needs to be conscious of opportunities that doubting can bring.