In this article, Eric Freedman examines the extent to which critical pedagogy can be considered a democratic form of education. Comparing Paulo Freire's notion of dialogue to Jürgen Habermas's "ideal speech situation," Freedman argues that such dialogue cannot realistically occur in educational situations where the teacher remains in an institutionalized position of power. This argument opens critical pedagogy to the charge of indoctrination. The author thus proposes three ways to align the practice more closely with democratic principles. The first is to employ a democratic procedure to develop school curriculum whenever possible. The second is to present multiple, competing positions on each social issue students are to discuss. Freedman's final suggestion is to train students in a method of analyzing these competing positions that helps shed light on the causes of social inequalities.

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