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Brazilian philosopher-educator Paulo Freire defined critical consciousness as the ability to engage in reflection and action upon the world in order to transform it. A growing body of research has found that critical consciousness is predictive of a number of important academic and civic outcomes in adolescents from oppressed groups. The present mixed methods study considered the critical consciousness development of 335 adolescents (57% female, 92% African American or Latinx) attending urban secondary schools that sought to foster their students’ critical consciousness, but featured five different pedagogical approaches. We hypothesized that considering these adolescents’ critical consciousness development through a character lens would highlight ways in which different schooling models contribute differentially to their students’ development of the intellectual, performance, and civic dimensions of critical consciousness. Longitudinal analyses revealed significant differences in the critical consciousness development of adolescents attending different schooling models along these dimensions. Interviews with adolescents and field work conducted at their schools offered insight into the programming and practices that may have contributed to these differences in students’ critical consciousness development.
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- Investigating Adolescents’ Critical Consciousness Development through a Character Framework
- Springer US