The International Journal of Critical Pedagogy

Wide-Awakeness: Toward a Critical Pedagogy of Imagination, Humanism, Agency, and Becoming

Cara Rautins, Awad Ibrahim


Poetically framed around Maxine Greene’s notion of wide-awakeness and Paulo Freire’s conscientization, this paper elucidates a critical pedagogy that seeks enlightenment towards a democratic classroom community of creative imaginings, pluralism, and hope. By delving into the praxis of these two “strong poets,” among others, a critical pedagogy of imagination, humanism, agency and becoming is organically discussed and considered to ‘dialogue’ with new spaces of teaching and learning (“outside the box”), thus moving students from a mechanized (oppressive) curriculum to a more humanized curriculum of wide-awakeness. As the paper concludes, it is proposed that a democratic pedagogy which seeks to harmonize the tension between freedom and authority is necessary to foster wideawakeness and move students toward creative possibilities for a promising future.

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