The Global Home of Critical Instruction Pedagogy
  • Critical Instruction Pedagogy is Founded on the Natural Science of How the Human Mind Thinks and Learns. It provides, for the first time, the means to achieve comprehension of new and revisited subject matter while simultaneously developing in all learners, disciplines, and languages the ability to think, read, listen, write,  speak, observe, and compute critically.
  • However, it is Roteism Instruction That Continues to Define the Profession. It is Centuries-old and Firmly-Entrenched the World Over in Teacher Education, School and College Classrooms, Textbooks, and Reform Programs. Roteism instruction continues to deny and prohibit the conscious human mind’s innate ability to engage the world and its subject matter critically. It uses no critical reasoning processes with which to comprehend subject matter and to think, read, listen, write, speak, observe, and compute. Therefore, roteism instruction inherently leads to the defeat of the very essence of teaching. That essence is: Achieving comprehension of new and revisited subject matter in the context of developing critical language-literacy in all learners – teacher educators, school and college faculty, and students.
  • The Profession Must Minimize the Use of Faculty and Student-defeating Roteism Instruction in Teacher Education, Professional Development, School and College Classrooms, and Textbooks. Prepare, Practice, and Learn with Critical Instruction Pedagogy. Learn How Here.
Dr. Victor Maiorana

Victor P. Maiorana, PhD. Originator and author of three books on Critical Instruction Pedagogy. 

  • Reform of Teacher Education and School and College Classroom Instructional Practice Will Continue to Struggle Unless Self-Defeating Roteism Practice is Minimized.
  • Roteism Practice Can No Longer Define the Profession. Stakes for Democracy and World’s People too High. Preparation and Practice Must Move to Literacy-based Critical Instruction pedagogy.

Roteism instruction denies subject matter comprehension and critical literacy development because it provides no reasoning process by which to lead students to think, read, and write critically. In consequence, roteism practice is self-defeating for teacher educators; school and college faculty and students; and textbook authors. It is through mind grammar-based critical instruction that weak roteism practice can be minimized. Read a review of one of Dr. Maiorana’s recent books on critical instruction here.

Based on award- winning research, Dr. Maiorana’s work is distinguished by his origination of the conceptual, developmental, and procedural means of a core body of knowledge for critical instruction. This core – long missing from teacher education, school and college classroom practice, and textbook writing – includes the means to gain comprehension of new and revisited subject matter while simultaneously developing in teachers and students the ability to think, read, and write critically. In all of teaching time, this is the first time such simultaneity has been achieved. Read more….


Why Roteism Instruction Does Not Belong in the 21st Century

Why Roteism Instructional Practice Fails Teachers and Students

Roteism instruction was useful in earlier ages. It was also the only instructional alternative for engaging new and revisited subject matter. Its continued use in the digital age as the primary means to engage subject matter with students is destructive of teaching, learning, and critical language-literacy development. If the profession at all levels and in all disciplines is to have any serious long-term impact on its own effectiveness and student achievement, then the use of roteism instruction must be minimized greatly. The profession must move to employ a now available alternative: the preparation and practice of critical instruction pedagogy in teacher education, school and college classrooms, and in textbooks based on Dr. Maiorana’s Core Body of Knowledge for Critical Instruction.

The world is now digitally, financially, and socially interconnected. It is also at ideological, cultural, and social war with itself. The major challenge for all learners – teacher educators, teachers, students, and citizens – is to formally and explicitly learn to think, read, and write intentionally, objectively, and consequentially. This applies to engaging new and revisited subject matter topics whether in class or out. Yet, around the globe, the world’s largest profession continues to be the least prepared to meet its major challenge. Instead, it continues to foster and practice roteism instruction in teacher educations programs, in school and college classrooms, and in  textbooks.

The profession’s universal practice of roteism fails teacher educators, school and college faculty, and students because it disengages and deadens the human being’s critically disposed mind. Being non-critical in its process, roteism inherently defeats comprehension of subject matter and development of critical thinking, reading, and writing abilities when engaging new and revisited subject matter.

Roteism instruction is ages-old and universally practiced at all levels. It is the instructional community’s weak and default mental process for engaging subject matter. The cognitive basis of roteism practice is serialism. Serialism is the discussion of subject-matter facts and ideas one after another without connecting and integrating them critically. Therefore, it inherently denies teachers, students, and textbook authors from assembling critical, whole, and true views of subject matter.

In classrooms and textbooks all facts and ideas are treated at the same static, one-dimensional, crystallized level. Serialism is not a critical reasoning process for engaging new and revisited subject matter.  Therefore, it inherently denies comprehension in students and the contextual development of critical literacy abilities. The result is rote learning.

In the digital 21st century, information flow has moved from the speed of sound to the speed of light. The ability to grasp ideas and information critically is now essential in classrooms, on the job, and in life. Roteism practice must be minimized greatly. The profession must now be defined by critical instruction.


~ Research Report ~

Strong Evidence Shows Profession Does Not Practice Critical Instruction

Strong Evidence of Roteism’s Failure

A research report in Fixing Instruction (Maiorana, 2015), provides strong evidence of roteism’s failure and the lack of critical instruction and learning when engaging new and revisited subject matter. The evidence is in school and college classrooms, is pointed, credible, and spans generations. Here are examples of the evidence from the research report.

Paul, Elder, and Bartell (1997b) interviewed teacher-education and arts and sciences college faculty at 38 public universities and 28 private universities in California. Although 89% of faculty claimed critical thinking as a primary instructional objective, they found only a small minority (19%) could give a clear explanation of what critical thinking is and only 9% of the respondents were clearly teaching for critical thinking on a typical day in class. A significant percentage of all faculties were unable to provide credible answers on how they promoted critical thinking when discussing subject matter. They could not [explain] … what constituted basic patterns associated with analysis and reasoning.

Seventy-five percent of the teacher educators were unlikely to elaborate on how to integrate critical thinking (and therefore, critical reading and writing) when engaging regular course subject matter. The study revealed a lack of knowledge on the part of teacher educators regarding critical thinking and its application to subject matter.

Maiorana’s research report contains similar evidence for K – 12 faculty; as well as for school and college students.

Students need to learn how to comprehend new and revisited subject matter critically. Roteism instruction blocks this. In addition, and just as importantly, roteism instruction blunts and deadens development of critical language-literacy. Critical instruction nurtures both and develops both in all learners, teachers and students. Based on the evidence, roteism practice cannot continue to define the teaching profession and the great toll it takes on student achievement. To read the research report, click here.

How to Own the Essence of Our Profession: Instruction

For expert practice, a profession requires practitioners to own, (1) a common language of practice, (2) foundation principles and skills for practice, and (3) related operational standards.

Instructionally, these three required core elements for critical instruction have never existed in the teaching profession. This is why roteism practice continues to define the profession.

That just about anyone with mere content knowledge (It’s not what you know, it’s what you can explain critically), can be admitted into a classroom to practice roteism is the reason for these statements: (a) “We must discard . . . the widespread sentiment that there are large differences in effectiveness between traditionally certified teachers and uncertified or alternatively certified teachers” (Kane, Rockoff, and Staiger, 2007, p. 671; reporting on research conducted by faculty members at Harvard, Columbia, and Dartmouth), (b) “Offering expiring incentives for late career teachers to retire does not harm student achievement on average” Fitzpatrick and Lovenheim, 2012, p. 31), and (c) “We did not find any single . . . institution that consistently realized deeper learning [as opposed to rote learning] for all of its students” (Mehta and Fine, 2014, p. 1; reporting the results of conducting a four-year investigation of instructional practices in 30 high schools across the country.

There is additional, long-standing, and consistent evidence that teacher educators, and therefore teachers, are not prepared to engage in critical instruction. The evidence comes from a variety of studies and reports including A Nation at Risk – National Commission on Excellence in Education (1983) and on up through and beyond Measures of Effective Teaching Project (2012), and Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (2013). A discussion of these and seventeen other reports appears in chapter 6 – Evidence of How the  Issues Block Critical Instruction and Learning in Fixing Instruction (2015). 

The foregoing means that Instructionally, we do not own the profession. Anyone with content knowledge can be admitted to practice roteism in classrooms. This is because the preparation, certification, and assessment processes do not address how to explain critically (i.e., provide instruction for) new and revisited subject matter while contextually developing critical language-literacy abilities in all students. This is because the profession does not practice with (1) a common language of instruction; (2) foundation principles and skills for critical instruction; and (3) operational instructional standards for language-literacy including critical thinking, reading, listening, writing, speaking, observing, and computing. Dr. Maiorana’s core body of knowledge for critical instruction directly addresses and provides solutions to these three key issues that are the hallmark for professional instructional practice.

Here is the way we can own the essence of our profession. 

This site and its resources are dedicated to an expert instructional future grounded in the preparation and practice of a core body of knowledge for critical instruction. Classrooms can now be led by teacher educators and school and college faculty who are instructional experts able to explain new and revisited subject matter while concurrently developing critical thinking. reading, and writing abilities in all students.