Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Daniel, Mayra C.

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Curriculum and Instruction (CI)


The purpose of the study is to investigate instructors’ and students’ attitudes and practices towards using critical pedagogy (CP) in Taiwan. This study integrates critical theory and emphasizes the necessity of examining the historical, political, social, and language education contexts. Respondents included 68 instructors and 265 college EFL students in Taiwan. This study used mixed-methods, which combined quantitative and qualitative data collection. The quantitative data used two instruments developed by the researcher: 1) the critical pedagogy inventory for instructors and, 2) the critical pedagogy inventory for students. The qualitative data were collected through interviews with six instructors and six student-focus groups. The quantitative data were analyzed by using descriptive and inferential statistics, including item means, the independent samples t-test, and one-way ANOVA.

Data analyses the majority of instructors have positive attitudes and practices towards CP. There is no significant difference in response of instructors and students’ gender in attitudes and practices towards CP. However, using one-way ANOVA analysis, there is a significant difference in responses due to instructors’ education levels in attitudes and practices towards CP. There was also a significant difference in responses by students’ English levels and class levels in attitudes and practices towards CP. The qualitative data documents a number of instructors approved the concept of critical pedagogy, but are not often implementing these practices in their curriculum due to challenges with the students’ response and feedback. Teachers also agreed that students are usually more “listeners” or "mindful persons". When students’ ideas are contrary to the common consensus, they tend to abandon their own opinions. This habit heavily affects Asian EFL students' critical thinking processes.

In conclusion, there is work still needed to enhance CP in Taiwan which consists of 1) encouraging teachers to engage in critical praxis and engender the success of CP, 2) raising teachers’ CP knowledge through professional development, such as CP seminars and practical workshops, 3) suggesting school administrators and policymakers to create a learning environment in which students are freer to offer their opinions and pose questions. From the teachers’ points of view, they face some challenges to engaging students in critical dialogue in the classroom: 1) To express their opinions, students need to be prepared to engage critical praxis, 2) A large-sized class always results in little time for students’ dialogue and sharing of experiences, and 3) students’ lack adequate levels of English language communicative skills and training. Students at the beginning and intermediate levels need to improve their vocabulary and communicative skills to develop their language abilities. Finally, Taiwanese educators, researchers, administrators and policymakers need to engage in inquiry and learn about CP before they can integrate these into educational goals and values.


198 pages




Northern Illinois University

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