'Youth amplified' : using critical pedagogy to stimulate learning through dialogue at a youth radio show

Cooper, Adam (2017)

CITATION: Cooper, A. 2017. 'Youth amplified' : using critical pedagogy to stimulate learning through dialogue at a youth radio show. Education as Change, 20(2):44-66, doi:10.17159/1947-9417/2016/732.

The original publication is available at https://upjournals.co.za/index.php/EAC

Article

In this paper I describe and analyse how critical pedagogy, an approach to teaching and learning that encourages students to reflect on their socio-political contexts, may stimulate critical consciousness and dialogue at a youth radio show. The participants, who attended four diverse Cape Town high schools and predominantly lived in poor townships, named the show Youth Amplified. Youth Amplified dialogues were catalysed by a range of materials, including documentary films, newspapers and academic articles, which participants engaged with prior to the show. Participants then generated questions, which contributed to the dialogues that took place live on air. Two central themes emerged from the radio shows. First, the values and discourses of elite schools were transported to Youth Amplified and presented as incontestable truths that often denigrated marginalised learners. Second, participants used ‘race’ as a marker of social difference to make sense of peers and South African society. I argue that critical pedagogy interventions also need to work with educators to reflect on inequalities and socio-political contexts, if such interventions are to be successful. The show illuminated that young South Africans want to speak about racialised and class-based forms of historical oppression, but that these kinds of discussions require skilled facilitation.

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