I believe the following is relevant to an understanding of the critical pedagogy as education currently seems to operate under all of the above areas. Teachers are to have expertise, manage knowledge and its transfer in the classroom, and must operate with authority or some semblence of it. Also, from a strictly philsophical standpoint the epistemological question of knowlege must be known in the context of how knowledge is used, transferred, and managed in society. As a concrete example I have included a link and copied text from an article which is concerned with modern expertise and the building of sources of knowledge, in this case wiki-esque sources as opposed to say encyclopedias or the libraries of institutions of learning.Citizendium and the Problem of Expertise
The interesting thing about Citizendium, Larry Sanger’s proposed fork of Wikipedia designed to add expert review, is how consistent Sanger has been about his beliefs over the last 5 years. I’ve been reviewing the literature from the dawn of Wikipedia, born from the failure of the process-laden and expert-driven Nupedia, and from then to now, Sanger’s published opinions seem based on three beliefs:
1. Experts are a special category of people, who can be readily recognized within their domains of expertise.
2. A process of open creation in which experts are deferred to as of right will be superior to one in which they are given no special treatment.
3. Once experts are identified, that deference will mainly be a product of moral suasion, and the only place authority will need to intrude are edge cases.
All three beliefs are false.
There are a number of structural issues with Citizendium, many related to the question of motivation on the part of the putative editors; these will probably prove quickly fatal. More interesting to me, though, is is the worldview behind Sanger’s attitude towards expertise, and why it is a bad fit for this kind of work. Reading the Citizendium manifesto, two things jump out: his faith in experts as a robust and largely context-free category of people, and his belief that authority can exist largely free of expensive enforcement. Sanger wants to believe that expertise can survive just fine outside institutional frameworks, and that Wikipedia is the anomaly. It can’t, and it isn’t.
Basically for authority to work it 1) has to look arbitrary or 2) spend time it doesn't have to "get to know" its subjects. Both of these problems are "solved" in a certain sense by beauracracy as it affords to codify rules and regulations within a public heirarchy and afford access and response along a spectrum. For the teacher and for a critical pedagogy then it is not necessary that both ends of the communicative effort to transfer knowledge be interested in the same things. If I teach math, I want to transfer math knowledge but I likely need to learn how this is best done for each individual student in some way. The modern teacher, in seeing the trend to mainstreaming the exceptional student faces this more than ever. This is how we equilibrilize a situation that is at base unequilibrated. The teacher knows, and is the expert, but by an enagement of dialog where each participant gains still some knowledge, even if dissimilar, we hope to alleviate problems of abuses of power and a critical but unenlightening silence. Also, by the act of interest by the authority, by the teacher, by use of the question in regards to the student, the relationship is transformed from that of dominating teacher to subordinate student to that of a pair of teacher/learners building knowledge in a social fashion. The teacher knows more of the student and the student knows more of the subject.
There is another point stemming from a line of thought that goes back to Vygotsky and Russian Activity Theory about knowledge and information management which affords to try and bridge between the more overt and covert aspects of knowedge in the individual and society. That there needs to be an organizational move to be intent on sharing certain knowledges which those with more experience have, and those with less lack. Many businesses have specific positions for such knowledge management, indeed they cannot afford to not have the most members know the "tricks of the trade", which experience often brings but which may not be overtly distributed without a certain insight. Thus they hire a knowledge management specialist to find useful covert knowledges and make them exoteric to those members of the group which might need and make use of such knowledges.
(It must be noted the following paragraph was made in reference to the philosophy
forum where this post was initially placed but later deleted)
There were certain theorists (namely Illich but to a lesser extent Freire I believe) who though the internet and such forums as this one would afford a great teaching/learning experience. But what do we get? Ignorance is bashed. A lack of imagination is shown across the diversity of learners. And beware anyone who'd come looking for some help or guidence towards their greater body of work. "Do your own homework!" is the reply, and in fact there is a whole group whose efforts are to throw such efforts off course. I must ask how this values knowledge and how is knowledge to be valued if not in transfer?
I also meant to say that a beauracracy also affords the effect of diffusing anger at authority. Since the authority is so "spread out" over a group, and is not enforced by an individual there is a certain protection. The commoners don't usually engage with the higher ups, those with the most vestiges of power. There is also the fact that such structures often are set up so that those up the management chain aren't even functional towards solving the problems that the institution is responsible for, but are only able to respond to internal situations. For the classroom teacher there is always the possibility and actuality of a situation arising where managing a certain student is detrimental to the whole of the classroom endeavour and in this they are most often removed from the classroom and into another area of the educational system and beauracracy. They are sent to the principal and assigned to ISS or some other learning area where problems are monitored more closely and for which there is a further step of punitive action and/or counseling. Haveing seen these situations, in most cases the outcome is not what we might like in that the communicative effort is even more limited. There are some new forms, often technological ones which seek to elimate this. At the local school the At Risk program is run in a computer center where the students form an engagement with knowledge by computer and the problem of authority as seen as beheld in a living breathing individual is diffused again somewhat as well as engagement being elevated.
The end is that this forum and others like it often have neither a plan nor the overhead of organization to service the public interest in knowledge tansfer like it might. Ignorance is not seen as an opportunity to expand and strengthen the community of the knowledgeable by engagement and a plan for it. No, the general rule is a disdain shown as combative aggression. Character assasination or the baculum ad delete as a tool to have the final voice with neither any awareness that a final voice would lead to silence, nor that it lacks any sympathy for the assassins or censors own history. Who was not ignorant?
Teaching is an art, and a demanding and imaginative one. Politics as derogatory sloganeering is easy, and for the lazy mind.