Next Generation of Critical Pedagogues:Insights to Transform Schools and Society Kurt Love, Ph.D. Central Connecticut State University Annual Meeting of the Conference for Social Justice and Equity March 26, 2011 - The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey email@example.com
What is Transformative Learning?Learning is a processof changing one’srelationships withher/his community,which consist ofinterconnections withnature and society.
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
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”
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
“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
“Thick Description”❖ Avoid binaries (including the binary relationship between mainstream and null content)❖ The “Who” matters: Students should be able to articulate knowledge and understandings from diﬀerent social, cultural, and political frames.❖ Include null content, relationships and tensions.❖ Relationships are the ways in which the actions and discourse of various groups aﬀect and interact with each other, who beneﬁts, who is privileged, who experiences oppression, who is burdened❖ Tensions are the ways in which speciﬁc groups could be disproportionately burdened by change, even change that initially seems like it is motivated by social justice concerns
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)
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
Clash of the Pedagogies❖ Bowers vs. McLaren (2004 & 2005)❖ Bowers (2004, 2005) argued that critical pedagogy is anthropocentric and destined to create double binds that further enclose nature❖ McLaren & Houston (2005) argued that Bowers romanticizes a noble savage and has political amnesia❖ Greunewald (2005) stated that we can beneﬁt from both McLaren’s and Bowers’ work, but that we should start by recognizing that they are arguing with two diﬀerent units of analyses, which provides the tensions and disagreements (and negative attitudes?)
Units of Analysis❖ Critical pedagogy = Socioeconomics❖ Ecojustice pedagogy = Cultural commons❖ Feminist pedagogy = Patriarchy❖ Queer pedagogy = Social norms❖ Aesthetic pedagogy = Social imagination❖ Red pedagogy = Indigenous sovereignty❖ Peace education = Conﬂict resolution❖ Place-based education = Local knowledges, local voices, cultural commons
Units of Analysis & Practice❖ Teaching about Charles Dickens’ Christmas Carol❖ Critical Pedagogy with Socioeconomics ❖ Critically examine how capitalists oppress community members❖ Ecojustice Pedagogy with Cultural Commons ❖ Critically examine how capitalists divide a community, insulate themselves, and undermine reciprocity among community members❖ Aesthetic Pedagogy with Social Imagination ❖ Investigate the spiritual transformation of a human being who identiﬁes as a capitalist
Thick Description ofA Christmas Carol Using a Critical Lens❖ Mainstream curriculum = Ebenezer Scrooge changes from a self-centered old miser to a caring person because of the spirit of Christmas❖ Hidden curriculum = Individualism, Privilege, Aﬄuence, Industrialization, Capitalism, Hegemony, Passivity❖ Null curriculum = Critique on capitalism and Christmas is used merely as a context to have that critical exploration❖ Relationships = Voices of the various characters describing the consequences of the social structure that Scrooge perpetuates❖ Tensions = Dickens advocates for a “better” capitalism with moral and ethical treatment, but he does not describe a reality whereby capitalism is dismantled or one with a signiﬁcant shift of power. Also, Bob Cratchet is a character that embodies hegemony.
Thick Description ofA Christmas Carol Using an Ecojustice Lens❖ Mainstream curriculum = Ebenezer Scrooge changes from a self-centered old miser to a caring person because of the spirit of Christmas❖ Hidden curriculum = Individualism, Privilege, Aﬄuence, Industrialization, Capitalism, Hegemony, Passivity❖ Null curriculum = Critique on capitalism, the isolationism of capitalist behaviors and mindsets, and the devaluing of community relationships that focus on nurturance and reciprocity. Christmas is used merely as a context to have that critical exploration.❖ Relationships = Voices of the various characters describing the consequences of the an isolated community or a minimizing of cultural commons that Scrooge perpetuates.❖ Tensions = Dickens describes a community in the end that is more connected because the person with the most privilege decided on it.
Thick Description ofA Christmas Carol Using an Aesthetic Lens❖ Mainstream curriculum = Ebenezer Scrooge changes from a self-centered old miser to a caring person because of the spirit of Christmas❖ Hidden curriculum = Individualism, Privilege, Aﬄuence, Industrialization, Capitalism, Hegemony, Passivity❖ Null curriculum = Personal transformation occurred because of Ebenezer’s forced experience of having to see the perspectives of others as well as to see the burdens that his decisions have on people throughout the community❖ Relationships = Voices of the various characters describing the consequences of the material poverty and emotional turmoil that Scrooge perpetuates❖ Tensions = Dickens advocates for a shift in consciousness, but it only comes because of supernatural beings guiding Scrooge
Community InvolvementStage 1 with A Christmas Carol❖ Interview workers, day laborers, middle managers, CEOs, business professors, social workers, etc.❖ Observe people in a workplace, identifying patriarchal practices, class elitism, materialism, and interpersonal relationships overall❖ Research treatment of workers in various contexts❖ Case study of entry level workers❖ Attend a performance of Ebeneeza by the HartBeat Ensemble❖ Personal narratives of people who live in homeless shelters, rely upon soup kitchens, and/or often feel crushed by a capitalistic society❖ Investigate relationships in one’s community that seem to be strained by practices of capitalism creating more isolation, insulation, and individualism❖ Interview people who do charity work during the holiday season
Community InvolvementStage 2 with A Christmas Carol❖ Perform a play that is a more contemporary version of A Christmas Carol that incorporates critical views of capitalism in their own communities❖ Have a ﬁlm festival exclusively of student-made ﬁlms that present excerpts of A Christmas Carol as it connects to their own communities❖ Have a poetry night with a theme of capitalism and Christmas❖ Have a choir perform “Christmas carols” with the words rewritten to question social issues as connected to capitalism