Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines

Volume 23, Issue 1/2, Fall/Winter 2003/2004

Critical Thinking and Adult Literacy

Joseph L. Armstrong, John A. Dale
Pages 5-10

A Freireian Critique of American Adult Literacy Policy

At first glance, legislation intended to shape American adult Iiteracy programs appears egalitarian and hopeful. After a more thorough reading, the legislative objectives are Iimited, culturally biased, and largely unattainable. In order to develop coherent Iiteracy pedagogy, we explore Paulo Freire’s definition of critical thinking. From a critical theory perspective, we argue that a vocational education of learning basic skills is insufficient. Furthermore, we believe that more is needed to help adult learners beconle self-sufficient in a modern, dynamic economy. Critical thinking, as defined by Freire, along with vocational education allows individuaIs to develop their ontological right to become aware of historical and social forces.