Quick Thoughts on Critical Theory

Critical theory is a school of thought that promotes the idea that heavy scrutiny, by all, of the established facts of life is necessary as all facts, even those of scientific nature, are shaped by human interest. According to Friesen (2008), the goal of critical theory is to “generate alternative knowledge forms, specifically, those shaped by social interests who are democratic and egalitarian”.

Finding objective information on this subject was a considerable task as views on critical theory are highly polarised. It has often been used as a powerful tool for justifying or discrediting political ideologies. During my research on the subject, many of the videos I located on YouTube were highly critical of critical theory as it has been frequently used by those on the “left” side of the political spectrum to challenge the traditional values held by conservatives. In my opinion, this theory isn’t innately biased to one side of a political spectrum as critical analysis of claims can be used to argue against any position of belief if sufficient evidence can be sourced.

I can see connections between this topic and David’s post (2015) about the importance of frameworks that incorporate solutions from a variety of models, rather than expecting a single model alone to effectively service all organisational needs. Open and frequent critical analysis of entrenched assumptions is a necessity if the ongoing development of new, more flexible and more effective solutions are to be achieved in educational settings.


Friesen, N. (2008). Critical Theory. Ubiquity, 2008(June), 2. http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/1403922.1386860

Jones, D. (2015). All models are wrong, but some are useful and its application to e-learning. The Weblog of (a) David Jones. Retrieved from https://davidtjones.wordpress.com/2015/08/28/all-models-are-wrong-but-some-are-useful-and-its-application-to-e-learning/


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