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University of Wyoming

Critical Theory


The problems that arise out of our current level of thinking cannot be resolved with our current level of thinking. N Einstein

The more aware we are of our basic paradigms, maps, or assumptions, and the extent to which we have been influenced by our experience, the more we can take responsibility for those paradigms, examine them, test them against reality, listen to others and be open to their perceptions, thereby getting a larger picture and a far more objective view.

N Stephen R. Covey


Critical theory is crucial to understanding adult learning theories. Following are definitions, a discussion of Habermas? view of knowledge (the most influential critical theorist), an explanation of how new social movements arose from critical theory, and some social and political questions about education. This information came from a term paper written by Kathleen Kirsch, an advanced doctoral student in our program who graciously agreed to share this with us. This information will be used in our online chat.