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“Critical Race Theory” is all the rage these days. Between February and June of 2021, Fox News used the term nearly 1300 times. In the past two months, more than 20 bills have been proposed intending to ban Critical Race Theory from K-12 classrooms, while countless op-ed’s have been published taking positions on all sides of the issue. And yet, it still is a term with a slippery definition that very few people, regardless of position, agree upon. 

Today’s blog, Critical Theory or Common Humanity? The Case for a Liberal Approach to Social Studies Education co-authored by Sam Merrick, a social studies teacher, and Samantha Hedges, a scholar of the politics of education and the Heterodox Academy K-12 Program Manager, discusses the role and meaning of Critical Theory in the K-12 classroom, as well as its relationship to viewpoint diversity. 

The episode includes an exclusive interview with co-author, Samantha Hedges.

To engage deeper with these ideas, check out our related posts:

  1. A Rhetoric of Common Values by Erec Smith
  2. Why Universities Must Choose One Telos: Truth or Social Justice by Jonathan Haidt
  3. Why K-12 Needs Viewpoint Diversity Now by Will Reusch

For comments and questions email

This episode was hosted by Zach Rausch. The artwork was inspired by the piece and was created by Lexi Polokoff. You can follow her on Instagram @lexipolokoffart

The views of the authors do not necessarily reflect the view of Heterodox Academy.