(De)colonizing Critiques: Critical Pedagogy, Currere, and the Limits of the Colonial Mentality


  • Rafael V. Capó García The University of British Columbia


Curriculum, coloniality, autobiography, currere, critical pedagogy, postmodernism


Currere, which literally means ‘to run the racecourse,’ embraces a lived curriculum rooted in our subjective experiences. Currere allows us to trace our life history by salvaging memories our subconscious has refused to forget. This “complicated conversation” with oneself reveals moments and experiences we have taken for granted and helps us see why we are the way we are, and why we are not who we say we are. As a critical pedagogue in Santurce, Puerto Rico, I have always seen education as a vehicle for social justice, but in the process, I have left many of my assumptions unquestioned. How can critical pedagogy and its unencumbered “I” benefit from autobiographical writing? Can currere aid critical pedagogues avoid messianic complexes and address the invincibility of their high-browed, top-down, hierarchical approach to education? Through the use of currere’s regressive writing, I explore my colonial tattoos and the roots of my critical pedagogy. I suggest that autobiographical writing through currere offers a way to address the incongruence of critical pedagogy and adequately address the “I” of ideology. Currere allows critical scholars to analyze moments in our lives we have taken for granted; why we remember them reveals hidden facets of our personalities and our life’s histories. It reveals the concealed causes of our assumptions about life and the oppressive internal structures that inform our subjectivity. Currere allowed me to uncover the unerasable brandings of colonialism which are constant reminders to me and others that my incalcitrant independentismo, critical pedagogy, and existentialist approach to life are very much rooted in the coloniality of my being; they are badges I bare as I walk along the racecourse.

Author Biography

Rafael V. Capó García, The University of British Columbia

I am doctoral student at the University of British Columbia's Department of Curriculum & Pedagogy. My M.A. is in History, and my research interests include decolonization, coloniality, participatory action research, and critical pedagogy.





Cultural Studies and Curriculum