The International Journal of Critical Pedagogy

What Would Paulo Freire Think of Blackboard: Critical Pedagogy in an Age of Online Learning

Drick Boyd


The rise of online learning in higher education presents a unique challenge for educators committed critical pedagogy. While Paulo Freire formulated his ideas about teaching in a pre-Internet era, he did not object to the use of technology in the teaching-learning process. He urged educators to think critically about the use of technology and to find new ways of seeking and creating knowledge with the aid of technology. This article offers a brief review of the development of online learning. Then with the assistance of Feenberg’s Critical Theory of Technology, I analyze the practice of online teaching and learning through the lens of several Freirean concepts. Then I conclude with a series of problem-posing which guide our exploration moving forward.


Online Learning; Freire; Critical Pedagogy; Higher Education; Critical Theory of Technology

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