Dialogic & Critical Pedagogies: An Interview with Ira Shor

Ira Shor, Eugene Matusov, Ana Marjanovic-Shane, James Cresswell


In 2016, the Main Editors of Dialogic Pedagogy Journal issued a call for papers and contributions to a wide range of dialogic pedagogy scholars and practitioners. One of the scholars who responded to our call is famous American educator Ira Shor, a professor at the College of Staten Island, City University of New York. Shor has been influenced by Paulo Freire with whom he published, among other books, “A Pedagogy for Liberation” (1986), the very first “talking book” Freire did with a collaborator. His work in education is about empowering and liberating practice, which is why it has become a central feature of critical pedagogy.

Shor’s work has touched on themes that resonate with Dialogic Pedagogy (DP). He emphasises the importance of students becoming empowered by ensuring that their experiences are brought to bear. We were excited when Shor responded to our call for papers with an interesting proposal: an interview that could be published in DPJ, and we enthusiastically accepted his offer. The DPJ Main Editors contacted the DPJ community members and asked them to submit questions for Ira. The result is an exciting in-depth interview with him that revolved around six topics: (1) Social Justice; (2) Dialogism; (3) Democratic Higher Education; (4) Critical Literacy versus Traditional Literacy; (5) Paulo Freire and Critical Pedagogy; and (6) Language and Thought. Following the interview, we reflect on complimentary themes and tensions that emerge between Shor’s approach to critical pedagogy and DP.


social justice; dialogic pedagogy; democratic higher education; critical literacy

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/dpj.2017.208


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Copyright (c) 2017 Ira Shor, Eugene Matusov, Ana Marjanovic-Shane, James Cresswell

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