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Enacting Transformative Education


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I presented this at the Conference for Social Justice and Equity (Richard Stockton College, New Jersey) in 2011.

Published in: Education
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Enacting Transformative Education

  1. 1. Enacting Transformative Education Kurt Love, Ph.D. Central Connecticut State University Annual Meeting of the Conference for Equity and Social Justice March 26, 2011 - Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
  2. 2. ThinkingConvergent Thinking -All paths lead to a single destination. This is rooted in abelief that there is only one “Truth.”Traditional Liberal/Progressive scaf Truth Thought fold New Truth scaffol d ThoughtThought Thought
  3. 3. ThinkingDivergent Thinking -Explore many paths in authentic settings with questionsthat have no predetermined answer. Transformative New NewThought Thought Relationship Critical Communities Info Questioning New NewThought Thought Relationship
  4. 4. Divergent Thinking & Transformative LearningDivergent thinkingcontextualized incommunity providesstudents to not onlylearn “basic” skills, butalso opportunities fordemocratic discourse,participation andcontributions to theworld in which theylive.
  5. 5. What is Transformative Learning?Learning is a processof changing one’srelationships withher/his community,which consist ofinterconnections withnature and society.
  6. 6. What is Transformative Learning?Assumptions: • Information is diverse, culturally grounded, and a representation of a value system (knowledge/power relationship). • Learners are constantly investigating their own locations (positionalities) in relationship to culture, ideology, power structures, technology, and nature. • Learners are constantly investigating processes in community (via the content areas) that perpetuate hegemonic relationships
  7. 7. Transformative Education❖ An umbrella term that includes various pedagogies (i.e. critical, feminist, ecojustice, queer, aesthetic, indigenous, etc.)❖ Fully transformative education exists at the intersection of human rights, sustainability, and imagination
  8. 8. Transformative Pedagogies❖ Critical pedagogy ❖ Red Pedagogy❖ Feminist pedagogy ❖ Peace education❖ Queer pedagogy ❖ Holistic education❖ Ecojustice pedagogy ❖ Aesthetic education❖ Indigenous education ❖ Place-based education
  9. 9. Power & EducationPower-Over Power Power-WithDomination Nature Ecologicalover nature, sustainability,social injustice, human-naturedocile & connection,oppressed Education social justice,student students engaged in creating social Community and ecological justice
  10. 10. TEACHER-AS-MEDIATORMain target is not a predetermined answer Students are not facilitated or scaffolded to the “right” answer Students are not discovering what the teacher already knows and calls “truth”
  11. 11. TEACHER-AS-MEDIATORMain target:Divergent thinking in a context of community of diverse voices Students critically question information in curriculum using various lenses of analysis Examples: critical social theory, critical race theory, feminism, ecojustice, queer theory, indigenous theory) Students investigate authentic and/or unresolved issues, knowledges, histories, and practices in community (local through global) Teacher mediates so that students can do authentic research based in communities
  12. 12. “Thick Description”Superficial Mainstream Message These two might set up a binary Null Message These two Relationships generally show a complexity not Tensions binary “packaged” Deep info
  13. 13. Community Involvement Stage 1 Researching the Community❖ Interviews ❖ Ethnography (family, friends, members of (cultural thick description) organizations, leaders, veterans, artists, scientists, lawyers) ❖ Participatory Research (reporting on their experiences)❖ Observations (the mall, school, sporting event, ❖ Demographic Research (census, state school dance, playground, on the dept websites) internet via social network sites, environment) ❖ Literature Research (local newspapers, internet)❖ Case Study (focus on one person, group, location, ❖ Field Trips as sites for all of these ecology)
  14. 14. Community Involvement Stage 2 Action in the Community❖ Art Exhibits ❖ Theatre of the Oppressed (Art show, public art, instillations, (Forum theater, rainbow of desire, eco-art, murals, street art, “guerrilla image theater, legislative theater) art”) ❖ Reports & Publications❖ Poetry Slams (Writing to local newspaper, having a journalist present, BOE meetings,❖ Critical Performances community groups, WWW) (Plays, musicals, choir pieces that rework and recontextualize texts or ❖ Documentary Film existing pieces) (Local issues, local attitudes, local projects, film festival)❖ Video Game (Social or Eco-themed) ❖ Habitat for Humanity House
  15. 15. Mary M. Hooker Environmental Studies Magnet School❖ PK - 8, 400+ students (currently), 600+ students (max)❖ Students from Hartford, East Hartford and surrounding suburbs❖ Theme-based, interdisciplinary learning experiences❖ $1.2 million Magnet School Assistance Program federal grant (3 years)❖ Currently redesigning curriculum, professional development, supporting teachers directly in classroom ❖ Critical literacy and ecojustice primarily
  16. 16. Mary M. Hooker Environmental Studies Magnet School ❖ Overall approach taken to-date: ❖ Applied for grant (administrators and professors) ❖ Started with a core theoretical lens: ecojustice (professors) ❖ Reexamined themes through ecojustice theory & presented to administrators (professors) ❖ Presented new themes and core theoretical tenets to administrators (professors) ❖ Teachers provide feedback of their experiences, frustrations, and desires in faculty meetings with administrators
  17. 17. Mary M. Hooker Environmental Studies Magnet School ❖ Professors: Kurt Love (co-director), J. Joss French (co-director), Helen Abadiano (literacy)
  18. 18. Aloha & Haole
  19. 19. Aloha & Haole Aloha “Together, we breathe the sacred breath”A consciousness that we are inescapably interwoven witheach other and the earth.What we do to each other and the earth, we do to ourselves.
  20. 20. Aloha & Haole Haole “One who is without sacred breath”A consciousness that does not include an awareness that we areinescapably interwoven with each other and the earth.A consciousness only of self and an ignorance of one’s energetic andspiritual impact. Often comes with little or no understanding ofspirituality or the purpose of one’s soul (soul loss).
  21. 21. Mary M. Hooker Environmental Studies Magnet School ❖ Major goals (April 2011 - Oct 2013): ❖ Meet teachers individually to understand their vision (April 2011) ❖ Integrate teachers’ visions with ecojustice and critical literacy: workshops and professional development (April 2011 - Oct 2013) ❖ Redesign curricula from all subject areas to fit themes and theoretical framework (April - Sep 2011) ❖ Make strong community-based partnerships to support authentic learning experiences for each subject area and grade level (April 2011 - Oct 2013)