Two professors, Delores Liston who teaches at Georgia Southern, and Regina Rahimi, who teaches at Armstrong State University, just published a book dedicated to teaching educators how they can infuse their courses with “social justice concerns.”
The book, Promoting Social Justice Through the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, published by Indiana University Press, teaches that educators should use both “critical pedagogy” and “transformative practice” in their courses in order to promote social justice.
Critical pedagogy, they say, refers to “a variety of perspectives that encourage learners to think critically,” including “multiculturalism, postmodernism, deconstructionism, constructivism, black feminist thought, critical race theory, and critical race feminism.”
The theories listed must then be implemented through “transformative education” or “transgressive practice,” both of which refer to the “use of critical pedagogy to engage students in the ‘practice of freedom,’” Rahimi and Liston note.
Along with the central belief of uplifting students is recognition of the young students “lived experience.” The oppressed, the two professors argue, “know their own social locations,” and therefore have “epistemic privilege” that gives them access to unique forms of information.
Therefore, it is unfair for the teachers to assume that the students do not know anything.
“The role of the teacher is not to deposit bits and bytes of knowledge into students. Rather, teachers must recognize their role as one as one of mentor, even peer, on the journey towards greater justice in society,” the pair write.
Along with their other teachings is the idea that feminism should be woven into the classroom.
“I have studied the problematic forces of conservatism, capitalism and racism, and have found that integrating feminism with spiritual and poetic language can generate practical solutions,” she writes.
“My goal is to participate as a teacher-educator in re-forming the American cultural consciousness through teaching courses in philosophy, ethics and feminism,” Liston added.