Recently, I was invited by the Futures Initiative and HASTAC to offer opening remarks for a year-long conversation, The University Worth Fighting For, a year-long project designed to tie student-centered, engaged practices in our classrooms to larger issues of institutional change, equality, race, gender, and all forms of social justice. Here is an excerpt from my remarks:
What would a classroom look like if it were designed not to reproduce traditional hierarchies of privilege and power, but instead to produce justice and equity? Would it begin with a privilege checklist, or with everyone sharing their preferred gender pronouns? Would there be a values statement in the syllabus, or would you ask students to draft a class constitution? Would someone be assigned to take progressive stack to ensure that marginalized and excluded voices get to drive the conversation? What would you ask students to produce in order to demonstrate what they have learned? Would you ask them to produce it alone or together, and why? Who would read, evaluate, and provide feedback on their work?
Recently, I had the opportunity to collaborate in drafting a set of questions to help digital humanists think about designing their teaching and research in ways that might help produce social justice. This got me thinking, what would a similar list look like for pedagogy? What questions can we ask ourselves to work not just towards an equitable classroom, but a more equitable world?
Important practitioners of critical and creative pedagogy, included in the suggested readings and viewings for this conversation and in the resources and references cited below, invite us to think about how our teaching and learning practices relate to conditions of inequality and injustice beyond the classroom. This discussion is intended to take up the challenge.
You can read the full post and contribute to the conversation here.
On March 10, 2015, I co-lead a public workshop on student-centered pedagogy with Michelle Gabay and Hallie Scott. Read the full recap here.
Mapping the Futures of Higher Education
Session Plan – March 10 – Student-Centered Pedagogy
Room 9206; Livestreamed at bit.ly/FuturesED-live
A workshop for innovative classroom practices focusing on collaboration, crowdsourcing, and experiential learning. What does peer learning look like across disciplines? What are the risks and rewards of a student-centered classroom? Join the Futures Initiative seminar, “Mapping the Futures of Higher Education” and members of the student-centered pedagogy group for a workshop on bringing peer learning techniques into the classroom.
- Ranciere, Jacques. “An Intellectual Adventure.” The Ignorant Schoolmaster: Five Lessons in Intellectual Emancipation. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1991.
- Rogers, Carl R. “Questions I would ask myself if I were a teacher.”
- Davidson, Cathy. “Project Classroom Makeover.” Now You See It. New York: Penguin, 2011.
Optional additional reading
HASTAC – The Pedagogy Project
- What student-centered approaches to learning do you use in the classroom?
- What questions and concerns do you have about student-centered pedagogy?
1) Develop your understanding of student-centered classrooms and decentered teachers
2) Design a student-centered activity for your class
3) Crowdsource best practices
Introductions (5 min.)
Brief CUNY history – Open Admissions and Collaborative Learning (5 min.)
- 1965-1970 two main factors leading to open admissions
- Increased government aid for underprepared students
- Political pressure from community: black and Puerto Rican students shut down South campus of City College to demand that the school reflect the racial and ethnic diversity of the New York City Public school system
- It is estimated that at City College the class size increased from 20,000 in 1969 to 35,000 in 1970
- Influx of students who may not have gone to college otherwise
Read the full recap here.