If These Blackboards Could Talk: The Crit Classroom, a Battlefield

9 Charleston Law Review 305 (2015)

29 Pages Posted: 13 Sep 2017 Last revised: 6 Jul 2022

Date Written: 2015


Law professors have specific ideas of what type of learners and legal professionals law students should be, but law students also have an ideal law professor. When these aspirations and ideals do not match each other, conflict ensues in the classroom. As a Crit professor, I have constantly longed for students who would appreciate the value of a critical education instead of discarding it as a futile exercise or describing it as a political agenda that has no room in the classroom. Many times, I have faced the students' rejection of the discussion of critical scholarship, the inclusion of non-canonical narratives, or the use of critical pedagogical strategies. Those moments of confrontation have been unpleasant, disruptive, and, in some cases, hard to manage. As a result, I have always tried to keep conflict to a minimum as a way to enhance learning. However, as a Crit professor, I started pondering whether that was the best approach. That led me to reflect on what was the best formulation of the classroom for a Crit professor that would allow me to effectively teach the law and at the same time serve my transformative agenda. Is it that of a laboratory? That of the classical agora? Or, for a Crit-professor, should the classroom indeed be a battlefield? The following is my modest attempt at answering these inquiries by looking at the challenges that critical educators face each day in the classroom and their particular needs. More importantly, it is an invitation to ponder as a community of teachers our didactic practices and whether they are in sync with our political, pedagogical, and social stances.

Keywords: Crit pedagogy, Legal education, Higher education

Suggested Citation

Rosario Lebrón, Aníbal, If These Blackboards Could Talk: The Crit Classroom, a Battlefield (2015). 9 Charleston Law Review 305 (2015), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2677336

Aníbal Rosario Lebrón (Contact Author)

Rutgers Law School ( email )

Newark, NJ
United States

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