Henry Giroux, the celebrated guru of critical pedagogy, should go back to school.  --  Consider these remarks from a 2007 interview:  "I mean I think the thing about Paulo that has never failed to not move me was the extraordinarily richness and originality of his interventions.  It's one thing to read his work, as, you know, we all did, and to recognize the obvious -- I mean, I mean, an assemblage of ongoing brilliant insights.  But to be around him and to -- there was a spontaneity coupled with a humility unlike I must say anything I have ever seen among a major intellectual."  --  Consider what Giroux accomplishes in only three sentences.  --  In the first sentence, a true gem, not only is Giroux redundant ("I mean I think"), verbose (the words "I mean I think the thing about" are entirely unnecessary), ungrammatical ("the extraordinarily richness"), and pretentiously Frenchifying ("his interventions"), he also manages to say precisely the opposite of what he means:  intending to comment about something in Freire that has never failed to move him, he instead says it has "never failed not to move" him!  --  The next sentence is not quite so egregious, merely exhibiting repetition ("I mean, I mean") and flawed diction (if "insights" are "ongoing," they constitute "vision"; "assemblage" should only be used for concrete objects).  --  But Giroux's third sentence concludes with a jewel of linguistic ineptitude:  "among a major intellectual."  --  Among requires at least three individuals; ordinary mortals sometimes use it instead of between, which requires two; but to use among with a noun in the singular requires genius.  --  What's striking in the video is that Giroux never betrays the slightest awareness that he is massacring the language.  --   O tempora o mores! ...



By Joe L. Kincheloe

December 7, 2007


A dialogue between Joe L. Kincheloe, Canada Research Chair in Critical Pedagogy and Henry A. Giroux, Global Television Network Chair in Communication Studies.

Production Team
Giuliana Cucinelli
Dr. Shirley R. Steinberg

Special Thanks To
Susan Searls Giroux

Produced for The Paulo and Nita Freire International Project for Critical Pedagogy