Nowadays, the exercise of neoliberal and neoconservative policies worldwide has not left the education unaffected, since the content and objectives of which attempted to be restructured in the direction of the priorities set by the market. In these critical circumstances, the contribution of educational and other social schools of thought that defend and highlight the humanitarian nature of education is determinant. Among these, Critical Theory, which played an important role in influencing indirectly the educational theory and philosophy of education, contributed to the shaping of the radical current of Critical Pedagogy. This article summarizes, firstly, the content of Critical Theory and Critical Pedagogy and, subsequently, the outline of the educational thinking of one of the most important contemporary critical pedagogues, Peter McLaren, through the exam of certain fundamental points of his theory. It is, finally, found out that, despite all the inherent contradictions and limits of Critical Pedagogy, the role this educational movement can play in the awakening of society through the critical civil education is decisive in a crucial era like the one we live today, where education is forced to no longer serve the needs of society but those of the market.