Joe Kincheloe Essay

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Joe Kincheloe is the Canada Research Chair in Critical Pedagogy at McGill University, where he has founded with his partner, Shirley Steinberg, the Paulo and Nita Freire International Project for Critical Pedagogy. Kincheloe is regarded as having been a formative influence upon the development of critical pedagogy over the past two decades, during which time he has used critical complexity theory to explore the manner in which pedagogical acts are constructed out of the social, cultural, political, economic, and cognitive dimensions of experience.

An eclectic scholar with a diverse array of interests and a prodigious outpouring of books and essays on a wide variety of topics broadly related to the generation of emancipatory educational research, Kincheloe is a leading expert who has helped to shape fields such as critical qualitative research methods and epistemology, critical multiculturalism, subjugated and indigenous knowledge studies, curriculum theory, media pedagogy, and cultural studies.

A major focus for Kincheloe has been the creation of what he terms “postformal” thinking and inquiry. Kincheloe’s postformalism mounts a bricolage of multiple research methods and transformative critiques of the conditions that have given rise to a Newtonian/Cartesian paradigm of scientific objectivity and positivism, on one hand, while also politicizing naturalistic accounts of cognitive development that he feels create reductive and hegemonic psychological structures in education, on the other hand. Some of his recent book-length work includes Critical Constructivism Primer (2005), Critical Pedagogy Primer (2004), Teachers as Researchers: Qualitative Inquiry as a Path to Empowerment (2nd ed., 2002) and The Post-Formal Reader (with Steinberg and Hinchey, eds., 1999).


  1. Horn, R. A. (1999). Joe L. Kincheloe: Teacher-as-researcher. Educational Researcher, 28(4), 27–31.

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