A Pedagogy of Community: Teaching Critical Social Theory

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Transformations: The Journal of Inclusive Scholarship and Pedagogy

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The key argument of this article is that a pedagogy that centralizes community-based learning in critical social theory courses fosters analytical skills beyond such courses and beyond the undergraduate classroom. Based on a gender and sexuality studies course where the content is critical social theory in nonwestern context, this article describes three strategies that facilitate community-based learning. These strategies draw from equity-based teaching as advocated in multicultural education theories, and in the salience of community as advocated in feminist, multicultural, critical pedagogy, and social justice education theories. As the outcomes discussed illuminate, this pedagogical model supports students with limited prior experience with or access to learning methods associated with reading and writing and, in general, learners of critical social theory. The pedagogy is applicable to theory-based courses in a range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary fields and contributes to the demystifying and decolonizing of theory from charges of elitism and/ or irrelevance.


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