HomeThe Central Colleges of the Philippines Interdisciplinary Research Journalvol. 1 no. 1 (2009)

The Aim of Education, the Role of the Teacher, and the Concept of Curriculum in the Light of Critical Pedagogy: The Postmodernists’ Philosophy of Education

Ronnie Espergal Pasigui



Post-modernism is an eclectic movement that espouses a systematic skepticism of grounded theoretical perspective. Post-modernists are suspicious of authoritative definitions and singular narratives of any trajectory of events.

Variety is the characteristic of post-modern philosophy of education, although its strongest element seems to be derived from the Marxist tradition of critical theory. Henry Giroux is among the most prominent exponents of postmodern critical theory in philosophy of education. Peter McLaren has developed an ethnographic approach closely aligned with Giroux. McLaren calls this approach “critical pedagogy.” Others in the post-modern vein include Cleo Cherryholmes, who developed a post-structuralist critical pragmatism, and C. A. Bowers, who distances himself from critical theory and champions what he calls “post-liberalism.” Numerous other contributors to post-modern education could be included, such as William Stanley, who joins post-modern critical pedagogy to the social reconstructivist tradition in education, and Stanley Aronowitz, who collaboratively worked with Henry Giroux. The works of these philosophers are representatives of postmodern variety in philosophy of education.

This article deals with the aims of education, the role of teachers, and the concept of curriculum viewed from the post-modernists’ perspective, specifically, the philosophy of Henry Giroux, Peter McLaren, Cleo Cherryholmes, and C. A. Bowers.