Developing critical professionals to deal           with difference:From working with students to working            with ...
How to change a course from one provided for students to one for higher               educators?2011/11/30
The Community, Self and Identity Project;          An Inter-institutional, inter-disciplinary        teaching & research c...
As a group of higher educators, we were concerned about the history of minimal inter-professional and inter-institutional ...
The Community, Self and Identity Course2011/11/30
Community mappingStep 1Draw a picture/map of your home and neighbourhood  including the resources that are there.Step 2Ide...
Engaging with participatory learning       and action (PLA) techniques2011/11/30
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Critical TextsAnthias & Yuval-Davis   Lugones     Dominelli2011/11/30
Different Views of Higher Education                             Taylor & Fransman (2004:6)2011/11/30
What/who informed our practice?2011/11/30
The pedagogy of discomfort2011/11/30
Davidson’s (2004) decentring the                 academic self• ‘Decentring’ refers to an academic who  interrogates the a...
Running courses through CHEC2011/11/30
First iteration of the course• Looked at the module in PGDHE• Collaboratively refined it• Thought focus on publication/wri...
Map used in Higher Educators                  course2011/11/30
First iteration of CSID course               PLA workshop UWC 20102011/11/30
Second iteration of course• More focused on theory• Responses to each other’s PLA – general• Read pedagogies of discomfort...
Community map 20112011/11/30
http://blogs.sun.ac.za/hopefulpedagogiessu/Here is Michalinos’ contribution:Pedagogy of discomfort has been first used and...
Megan Boler’s contribution to the blogBecause of power differences between educatorand student, a student may witness raci...
Guest lectures: Remix        Company
Guest lectures: localartist: Bernie Searle      TELL ME YOUR RACE THEN I WILL          GIVE YOU OUR IDENTITY
Performing poetryGabeba Baderoon      Diana Ferrus
Reflective essays•   We need to ask many questions in developing course for staff professional    development. “Are educat...
Reflective essays• While the blogs were engaging, they were in essence a  cognitive and intellectual exercise in theoretic...
Conclusions• Educators have nuanced view of difference, engage  with theory in sophisticated ways and are themselves  expe...
Publications from the projectCarolissen, R., Bozalek, V., Nicholls, L., Leibowitz,B. Swartz,L. & Rohleder, P. (2011) bell ...
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V bozalek and b leibowitz presentation

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This is a presentation delivered at HELTASA conference in the Eastern Cape, South Africa on changing a course on Citizenship, Difference and Social Inclusion from one which focuses on students to one which is constructed for lecturers

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  • Going through our own process of training was similarly an intense and emotional experience for all of the participants, leaving many feeling vulnerable and exposed. Team members came out of that workshop with very different feelings, varying between feeling traumatised, enlightened, frustrated and invigorated. Not all agreed about the workshop, or about its resolution, as one team member commented in an interview in the third year of the project: You know there were different perceptions of how the training was seen … and I think it was important that we did speak face-to-face, and that we did write things about it, but I noticed that there is quite a silence about it, that we haven’t really gone back to any depth, and I’m wondering why and whether we will …. This comment demonstrates that although the team have come a long way in learning to deal with uncertainty and discomfort, it has not reached a point of full resolution of dealing with the difficulties associated with talking about difference and diversity. One possibility for the difficulties associated with the training, is that the safe space that the team had created for its members did not “protect” them from interacting on matters of diversity, with individuals outside of that space.  Treacher (2001), a mixed race teacher who addresses issues of ethnicity in the classroom, writes that to be on ‘uncertain and shaky ground’ when talking about matters of race and ethnicity is ‘the only place to be’ (pg.325). These intensely and communal experiences assisted us to strengthen our sense of solidarity and to consolidate the team as a collaborative community of enquiry. It allowed us to focus our combined energies on making the final year of the course a more successful one. This was not unlike the experiences of many of the student groups, where despite finding the learning process challenging, they developed a sense of common purpose. Thus the team members were mirroring some of the processes that we were expecting the students to undergo, and were trying to “practice what we preached” to the students.  Team members expected to gain intellectually from planning the course collaboratively and across disciplines, but not to the extent that they did gain. In a series of interviews conducted with team members towards the end of the second year of the project, one team member reported, “I envisaged the thing as more teaching, I didn’t realise we would think so much”. Working together and across disciplines was also difficult, as another team member indicated that she experienced “stepping out of my comfort zone”. Another team member, who is a very experienced lecturer and researcher, and a head of department, said in an interview, “I don’t feel quite so out of my depth so often … which is a good thing …it is nice because I’m learning”.  The beneficial impact of participating in the project was described by team members variously as: having our knowledge bases and sources of expertise broadened; having our understanding of theoretical as well as interpersonal issues deepened; and finally, team members experienced having their professional identities as teachers and researchers validated. It is fair to say that the team members, like the students, gained from learning through conditions of uncertainty. Team members had become aware that the experience of learning across boundaries was an intensely emotional one for students, but had not realised how emotional learning in an uncertain terrain would be for us too. Trowler (2008:110) refers to Dirkx on the emotional nature of learning: “The process of meaning making ... is essentially imaginative and extrarational, rather than merely reflective and rational.”
  • We perceived this as having negative consequences for teaching and learning, as students and educators have limited opportunities to experience and explore difference in relation to themselves and their curricula. In the absence of such plurality of perspectives, inter-institutional and interdisciplinary stereotypes remain unchallenged. We thus decided to embark on a teaching and learning research project across two HEIs (University of the Western Cape, UWC, and Stellenbosch University, SU) and three human service disciplines in the Western Cape. The team consisted of educators in psychology, social work, occupational therapy and an educational specialist.
  • To this end, we designed a curriculum that provided opportunities for students to engage with each other's narratives and professional discourses. The outcomes that we developed for the course were that students would be able to i) gain an understanding of their own and each others' raced, gendered and classed histories and the ways in which this impacted on their professional identities; ii) interrogate personal, disciplinary and institutional hegemonies and assumptions and iii) develop counter-hegemonic constructions regarding their respective disciplines and institutions. We realised that it would not be sufficient merely to facilitate contact between students but that learning activities for critical interactions and conversations between students would have to be designed. Participatory Learning and Action (PLA) techniques as learning activities provided an experiential mode to begin conversations around notions of 'community', 'self' and 'identity'.
  • Anthias and Yuval-Davis (1992), Colombo and Senatore (2005), Dominelli (1992), Lugones (1998), Phelan (1996) and Wiesenfeld (1996).
  • Davidson's notion of decentring which he proposes is made possible through encounters with difference across discipline and we would add, institution and social identities. This means that all participants (educators and students) are required to analyse their individual positioning in relation to disciplinary, social and institutional identities. One of the most illuminating findings was the extent to which educators themselves tended to essentialise difference and make assumptions about the meanings of difference for students (Leibowitz et al. 2010a; 2010b; Swartz et al. 2009). Educator and student reflexivity is therefore central to the pedagogic process in this course.
  • The courses were all based on Megan Boler’s and MichalinosZembylas’s notion of a pedagogy of discomfort which demands that everyone, irrespective of their identity or their privilege or disadvantage, interrogate their own assumptions regarding their cherished values and beliefs
  • Guest lectures were given in the second contact session, by variously: a peace activist from Israel/Palestine, an author on race and difference, the remix dance company which used a combination of abled and disabled dancers to “perform” difference.
  • In most instances, the guest lectures were catalytic and led to deepened and more engaged dialogue about issues of difference and identity. They provided for more visceral experiences for students. Interestingly one of the more theoretical and direct discussions about race, was the least successful.
  • V bozalek and b leibowitz presentation

    1. 1. Developing critical professionals to deal with difference:From working with students to working with educators Vivienne Bozalek Brenda Leibowitz Ronelle Carolissen2011/11/30
    2. 2. How to change a course from one provided for students to one for higher educators?2011/11/30
    3. 3. The Community, Self and Identity Project; An Inter-institutional, inter-disciplinary teaching & research collaboration between:• Vivienne Bozalek (Social Work Dept, UWC)• Ronelle Carolissen (Psychology Dept, Stellenbosch University)• Poul Rohleder (Psychology Dept, Anglia Ruskin University• Lindsey Nicholls (Occupational therapy Dept, Brunel University)• Leslie Swartz (Psychology Dept, Stellenbosch University)• Brenda Leibowitz (Centre for Teaching and Learning, Stellenbosch University)And Linda Biersteker (ELRU), elearning team UWC and facilitators UWC and Stellenbosch
    4. 4. As a group of higher educators, we were concerned about the history of minimal inter-professional and inter-institutional contact between students from psychology, social work and occupational therapy, particularly across historically advantaged and disadvantaged institutions in South Africa. 2011/11/30
    5. 5. The Community, Self and Identity Course2011/11/30
    6. 6. Community mappingStep 1Draw a picture/map of your home and neighbourhood including the resources that are there.Step 2Identify and label three things that you would like to change in relation to your experiences (could be physical or relate to attitudes, social issues). Put these in order by choosing to give the one you feel is most important the most tokens.Step 3 Share in your group, explaining your picture/map and the reasons for wanting things to change. 6
    7. 7. Engaging with participatory learning and action (PLA) techniques2011/11/30
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    33. 33. Critical TextsAnthias & Yuval-Davis Lugones Dominelli2011/11/30
    34. 34. Different Views of Higher Education Taylor & Fransman (2004:6)2011/11/30
    35. 35. What/who informed our practice?2011/11/30
    36. 36. The pedagogy of discomfort2011/11/30
    37. 37. Davidson’s (2004) decentring the academic self• ‘Decentring’ refers to an academic who interrogates the assumptions of his or her own discipline through engagement with perspectives of other disciplines.• we would add institution and social identities to this (Bozalek et al., 2010)• Importance of interrogating our own assumptions (Leibowitz et al.,2010, 2011)• Decision to focus on higher educators2011/11/30
    38. 38. Running courses through CHEC2011/11/30
    39. 39. First iteration of the course• Looked at the module in PGDHE• Collaboratively refined it• Thought focus on publication/writing would appeal• Little engagement with theory• Little effort to write• Sensitivity about own experiences of teaching• We took part in the exercises• Used learnings and feedback to plan second course2011/11/30
    40. 40. Map used in Higher Educators course2011/11/30
    41. 41. First iteration of CSID course PLA workshop UWC 20102011/11/30
    42. 42. Second iteration of course• More focused on theory• Responses to each other’s PLA – general• Read pedagogies of discomfort• Blog postings• Guest lecturers – McKinnon and Carrim facilitating dialogue in classroom• Performance poetry• Presentation of own practice digitalised as well• Reflective essay2011/11/30
    43. 43. Community map 20112011/11/30
    44. 44. http://blogs.sun.ac.za/hopefulpedagogiessu/Here is Michalinos’ contribution:Pedagogy of discomfort has been first used and theorized by MeganBoler in her landmark book Feeling Power (1999). Then, Megan and Ihave made an attempt to further build on her earlier analysis byemphasizing the role that discomfort plays in teaching and learningabout ‘difficult’ issues such as racism, oppression and socialinjustice. For me, pedagogy of discomfort still remains a powerfulpedagogical tool able to produce action, because teachers andstudents can utilize their discomfort to construct new emotionalunderstandings into ways of living with others—the ultimate visionof this pedagogy, in my view.(Michalinos Zembylas) 2011/11/30
    45. 45. Megan Boler’s contribution to the blogBecause of power differences between educatorand student, a student may witness racism inthe actions or words of a fellow student, or inthose of her teacher, but be unable to challengethe teacher to undertake his own pedagogy ofdiscomfort. Here is where co-teaching andcreating allies that work together as educators ina classroom offers opportunities to model, forthe students, how people can challenge oneanother constructively to address internalizedbeliefs and values that need to be brought tolight. 2011/11/30
    46. 46. Guest lectures: Remix Company
    47. 47. Guest lectures: localartist: Bernie Searle TELL ME YOUR RACE THEN I WILL GIVE YOU OUR IDENTITY
    48. 48. Performing poetryGabeba Baderoon Diana Ferrus
    49. 49. Reflective essays• We need to ask many questions in developing course for staff professional development. “Are educators in Higher Education able to deal with whatever repercussions result from disrupting the ‘sameness’ (Boler and Zembylas, 2003) or ‘rainbow nation’ myths by using pedagogies such as the ‘pedagogy of discomfort’ to force or encourage students and educators to question these seemingly safe myths ? It is much easier to talk about celebrating difference and drawing on difference to enrich understanding of each other, to create an environment of citizenship, inclusion and difference in this manner, than to seriously explore the power relations between students and educators, and between different student groups and communities.• This course has at least given me some different theoretical frameworks and concepts to present to other educators in our Faculty to discuss and hopefully use for teaching about democracy, social inclusion and difference. This terms in themselves need to be discussed as an alternative or complement to talking about diversity. I have no illusion that this will be easy, but it is a necessary step to take and already there is some enthusiasm for looking at new ways of teaching about these sensitive subjects.2011/11/30
    50. 50. Reflective essays• While the blogs were engaging, they were in essence a cognitive and intellectual exercise in theoretical debate and logical argument. What was missing for me was an intimate space to translate our readings into face to face exchanges which put into play affective features that have tremendous potential for transformation.• There was not enough space to share emotion or to evoke what Grossberg (1997) coined as the ‘economy of affect’ (cited in Zembylas, 2007). Anger, for example was not expressed yet should have been an important aspect of acknowledging disadvantage. Aristotle’s moral anger (Boler, 1999) is an important catalyst for opposing injustice in a society where individuals are taught to tame this emotion2011/11/30
    51. 51. Conclusions• Educators have nuanced view of difference, engage with theory in sophisticated ways and are themselves experts in the field• Less visceral experience of difference than students – more intellectual• What worked with students will also work with lecturers – need indepth engagement across differences with theory to analyse• Difficulties of being positioned as lecturers and students while all higher educators• Performance and guest lecturers highly valued• Have learnt valuable lessons in each iteration2011/11/30
    52. 52. Publications from the projectCarolissen, R., Bozalek, V., Nicholls, L., Leibowitz,B. Swartz,L. & Rohleder, P. (2011) bell hooks and the enactment of emotion in teaching andlearning across boundaries: a pedagogy of hope? South African Journal of Higher Education,21(5):157-167.Bozalek, V., Carolissen, R., Nicolls, L., Leibowitz, B., Swartz, L. & Rohleder, P. (2010) Engaging with Difference in Higher Education ThroughCollaborative Inter-Institutional Pedagogical Practices. South African Journal of Higher Education 24(6): 1023-1037.Carolissen, R., Rohleder, P., Swartz, L., Leibowitz, B., Bozalek, V. (2010). “Community psychology is for poor, black people”: Challenges in teachingcommunity psychology in South Africa. Equity and Excellence in Education, ,43(4):595-510.Bozalek, V. & Biersteker, L. (2010) ‘Exploring Power and Privilege with using Participatory Learning and Action Techniques’ Social WorkEducation, 29(5):551-572.Leibowitz, B., Bozalek, V., Rohleder, P., Carolissen, R., & Swartz, L. (2010). “Whiteys Love to Talk About Themselves”: Discomfort as a pedagogy forchange. Race, Ethnicity and Education, 13(1):83-100.Leibowitz, B., Bozalek, V., Carolissen, R., Nicholls, L., Rohleder, P. & Swartz, L. (2010) Bringing the Social into Pedagogy; Unsafe learning in anuncertain world. Teaching in Higher Education, 15(2):123-133.Swartz, L., Rohleder, P., Bozalek, V., Carolissen, R., Leibowitz, B., & Nicholls, L. (2009). “Your mind is the battlefield”: South African trainee healthworkers engage with the past. Social Work Education, 28(5):488-501.Rohleder, P., Bozalek, V., Carolissen, R., Leibowitz, B., & Swartz, L. (2008). Students’ evaluations of e-learning as a tool in a collaborative projectbetween two South African universities. Higher Education, 56(1), 95-107.Rohleder, P., Swartz, L., Bozalek, V., Carolissen, R., & Leibowitz, B. (2008). Community, self and identity: Participation action research and thecreation of a virtual community across two South African universities. Teaching in Higher Education, 13 (2), 131-143.Rohleder, P., Swartz, L., Carolissen, R., Bozalek, V., & Leibowitz, B. (2008). “Communities isn’t just about trees and shops”: Students from twoSouth African universities engage in dialogue about ‘community’ and ‘community work’. Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology, 18(3), 253-267.Bozalek, V., Rohleder, P., Carolissen, R., Leibowitz, B., Nicholls, L., & Swartz, L. (2007). Students learning across differences in a multi-disciplinaryvirtual learning community. South African Journal of Higher Education, 21(7):812-825.Leibowitz, B., Rohleder, P., Bozalek, V., Carolissen, R., & Swartz, L. (2007). “It doesn’t matter who or what we are, we are still just people”:Strategies used by university students to negotiate difference. South African Journal of Psychology, 37(4), 702-719. 2011/11/30Rohleder, P., Fish, W., Ismail, A., Padfield, L. & Platen, D. (2007). Dealing with diversity in a virtual learning community across two South African universities.South African Journal of Higher Education. 21(7):893-918.

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