Bridgewater State University Teacher-Scholar Summer Institute
Engaged Pedagogy, Curriculum and Praxis: Race, Ethnicity and Gender
Joyce Rain Anderson, Assistant Professor of English, Coordinator of US Ethnic Studies, Office of Institutional Diversity Faculty Associate
Sarah Wiggins, Assistant Professor of History, Coordinator of the Women and Gender Studies Program
Sabrina Gentlewarrior, Acting
Director of the Office of Institutional Diversity
Brief Description of Theme
Participants in this pedagogical theme will discuss theory and research addressing how to effectively attend to issues of race, ethnicity, and gender in their pedagogy and course materials. Discussion will also focus on a range of discipline-specific engaged teaching/learning techniques that will allow students to deepen their understanding of material regarding race, ethnicity, and gender.
As a result of participating in "Engaged Pedagogy, Curriculum and Praxis," participants will:
Enhance their general and discipline-specific knowledge regarding race, ethnicity and gender content issues in their teaching;
Deepen their awareness of how to utilize racial, ethnic, gender and other identity development models to support the teaching/learning process;
Critcially examine existing and potential engaged student learning opportunities that will allow students to put into practice their discipline-specific learning regarding race, ethnicity and gender.
Revitalize at least one course each with attention to issues of gender, race, ethnicity in course content, process, and/or curriculum.
Accomplishing these outcomes
Large and small group discussions, reflective writing, self-directed study, and support by the track facilitators will all be used to help participants expand their self awareness and knowledge base regarding culturally inclusive teaching and scholarship. Participants will read material that relates to the overall theme, and chapters from a central text will be used each day to supplement the morning workshop. For the main text, we have chosen bell hooks' Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom due to the author's ability to confront the many aspects covered in our theme. As a basis for rethinking pedagogy around issues of race, ethnicity, and gender, Teaching to Transgress "addresses common themes that surface again and again in discussions of pedagogy, offering ways to rethink teaching practices and constructive strategies to enhance learning (10). hooks challenges readers to pursue "openness" within the classroom and to envision education as "the practice of freedom". Such language speaks directly to our efforts to support and recognize diversity among our students and faculty, along with incorporating issues of diversity within course content. She dares educators to fully challenge and care for their students. hooks draws on critical pedagogical concepts and encourages educators to understand how socio-cultural forces influence the teaching and learning process, allowing students and teacher to work together to not only remediate the influence of inequities in the classroom, but help redress them in society.
Two additional texts will be used to inform afternoon workshops, and will be provided to participants to read as desired. Identity development of diverse populations: Implications for teaching and administration in higher education (2003) by Torres and colleagues, offers an in-depth review of the theoretical and empirical literature regarding the identity development process experienced by students and educators. Grounded in intersectionality theory, this text offers readers an opportunity to enhance their knowledge regarding how each individual's unique constellation of social locations and lived experiences can influence the teaching and learning process. Educators can use this information to modify their pedagogical strategies and optimize the likelihood that course material is being taught in ways most likely to be well-received by students.
The storytelling project: Learning about race and racism through storytelling and the arts (by Bell, L., et al., 2008) is a curriculum focused on helping students critically examine the constructs of race and ethnicity. As pointed out by the authors, however, this curriculum can be used to help students enhance their understanding about multiple social constructions that both organize and constrain societal interactions. Each of these texts have been chosen due to their applicability to a wide range of disciplines and participants' varying levels of understanding of critical pedagogies. In addition to general reading for all participants, facilitators will use participants' application materials in order to choose readings specific to each applicant's discipline and course to be focused on during the institute; these readings will be posted on blackboard for participants' use.
Fulfilling Institute goals and BSU Strategic Goals
This pedagogical theme will reflect BSU's strategic plan as it will support participants in even more effectively teaching every student (goals # 1-3), with a focus on issues of diversity (goal # 4), while helping participants become more expert in offering their students engaged learning opportunities that support social justice in the region (goal # 5) around issues of race, ethnicity and gender. In so doing, participants will deepen their sense of community with one another as they define the next goals they have for their development as educators and enhance their already well-developed teaching skills. In addition, participants will have an opportunity to discuss scholarship ideas and projects they are interested in that focus on these pedagogical themes.
Facilitators' experience in faculty development
All three co-facilitators have experience participating in the development and implementation of faculty/librarian professional development as part of their duties at BSU. Drs. Anderson and Gentlewarrior co-facilitated the Culturally Inclusive Pedagogy theme at the 2010 Summer Institute. Dr. Wiggins organized a faculty development workshop in the spring 2010 semester led by Gail Cohee of Brown University titled, "Feminist Pedagogy and Praxis: Intersecting Identities in the Classroom".
hooks, b. (1994). Teaching to transgress: Education as the practice of freedom. Routledge: London, England. (NOTE: additional materials will also be provided to participants for optional reading)
Last Modified: March 30, 2011