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Article

Ethical Literacy Education  

Jessica Zacher Pandya and Maren Aukerman

Ethics, broadly conceived, concerns the moral principles that guide what humans do, and the branch of knowledge related to moral principles. Ethics goes beyond simply what is, and endeavors to lay the groundwork for what should be; every pedagogical decision, including whether, what, and how to teach literacy, rests implicitly or explicitly on moral principles. The moral principles of educators and those charged with developing and supporting literacy education matter profoundly for educational decision-making. Relatedly, the issue of justice (social, redistributive, recognitive, representative) is an inescapable one in education, where children’s lives, futures, and flourishing are routinely determined by choices made by those with power. Some of the central ethical principles that may be taken from discussions of ethics and social justice into the specific realm of education include: ahimsa and satyagraha; human relatedness; a moral relationship to place and to non-humans; varied conceptualizations of love; respect for individual freedoms, including the freedom of human flourishing; equality of opportunity; and mutual respect for the multiplicity of differences that exist among people. There are three areas of inquiry that may help educators and researchers examine the moral principles at stake in instructional decision-making about literacy. First is the issue of how, or to what extent, literacy development should be conceptualized as an ethical goal. If it is conceived as an ethical goal, we should ask whose notions of development count, who has access to literacy, and who is included and excluded are all critical questions. Literacy goals should then also be seen as socio-culturally, contextually, and individually contingent. Second is the issue of how literacy teaching may be a pathway to support students in be(com)ing ethical individuals, and/or in transforming society itself to become more ethical. If literacy is understood in this way, ethical individuals should be willing and able to think deeply and carefully about ethics, use print and other media critically and with discernment, and take action in the service of making the world more just. Finally, the act of relating ethically to others (as teachers and students, as readers and writers) in the literacy classroom must be theorized. We must consider treating texts and authors in ethical ways, and consider ethical dialogue as a literacy pedagogy, and honor divergence in interpretation and composing. The intent is not to provide definitive answers, but to indicate some of the ways in which such questions and possible answers may complicate and expand views of literacy education.

Article

Challenging the Nature—Culture Binary Through Urban Environmental Education  

Marijke Hecht

Environmental conditions facing our local and global communities in the early 21st-century demand an urgent shift in education toward fostering healthy multispecies communities through stronger relationships between human and more-than-human beings. Environmental education, which has long pushed for interdisciplinary pedagogies that connect people and place, is well positioned to serve this aim. However, for the field to continue to develop and meet the challenges of the 21st century, it needs to address its roots as an outgrowth of science education where entrenched Eurocentric perspectives, such as human exceptionalism and the persistence of a nature–culture binary, are pervasive. These perspectives contribute significantly to the ongoing extraction of natural resources and degradation of habitats, which are tied to pressing environmental issues such as climate change and biodiversity loss. For environmental education to effectively impact learning in ways that lead toward a lasting protection of people and the planet, the field must be more critical of its roots and practices. Urban environmental education, which takes place where the majority of people live globally and in landscapes where humans and more-than-human beings are in close proximity, has the potential to challenge existing practices and continue to grow the field. Rethinking the nature–culture binary and the insistence on human exceptionalism are necessary for transformational improvements to the local landscape and planetary health. Two existing approaches that can support field-level change are critical place-based and Indigenous L/land-based pedagogies, which are drawn from different traditions but both support the transformation of relations between human and more-than-human beings. However, this requires an interrogation of if and/or how non-Indigenous scholars might take up Indigenous philosophies and pedagogies respectfully and ethically.

Article

Interpreting and Using Basil Bernstein’s Sociology of Education  

Henry Kwok and Parlo Singh

For four decades, Basil Bernstein developed a distinct and original contribution to the sociology of education. Despite his death in 2000, Bernstein’s theories still attract attention, not just in the United Kingdom, but all over the world, beyond Anglophone academic circuits. Yet, his work is sometimes regarded as too theoretical with minor significance to current educational issues and problems. Is Bernstein’s sociological theory relevant to the challenges of the 21st century? How should his work and research approach be understood and better utilized? While not claiming an orthodox interpretation, we do suggest that three crucial principles should underpin any engagement with t Bernstein’s theory for educational research. First, the researcher’s encounter with a specific problem in empirical reality is pivotal. Concepts which carry sociological sensibilities should be assembled around the problem. Second, while Bernstein has developed a bewildering array of concepts, it is better to use them lightly, for the sake of a more accurate description of complex, open, dynamic social systems such as education and schooling. Third, the gaze of Bernstein’s sociological theory is relational not only towards the object of inquiry but also to other theoretical frameworks. This relational gaze means that the theory can be used to dialogue with other theories as well as open dynamic social systems. Such relational capacities enable the theory to grow through the refinement and extension of existing concepts and the introduction of additional concepts. Three examples of research drawing upon these principles are provided as an illustration.

Article

Grounding Indigenous Teacher Education Through Red Praxis  

Jeremy Garcia, Valerie Shirley, and Sandy Grande

Red Praxis centers Indigenous sovereignty rooted in epistemological and ontological orientations to place—to land. Applying Red Praxis requires teachers to understand, in greater detail, the ways in which settler and Indigenous ontologies represent not only different but also competing ways of being in the world. Red Praxis asks teachers to reconceptualize an intellectual space that reaffirms, reclaims, and (re)stories our relations to land as a decolonial practice and pedagogy of refusal. Red Praxis calls for Indigenous teachers and community educators to ground teaching in decolonial practices and aims to regenerate a sense of hope in rebuilding Indigenous communities. The exigencies of Red Praxis can be found within Indigenous teachers’ application of critical Indigenous theories and ongoing acknowledgement and protection of our relationship to land—the origin for our claim to exist as Indigenous peoples. In doing so, Red Praxis is about creating curriculum and enacting pedagogy that makes evident and mitigates the impact of settler colonialism on Indigenous communities’ knowledge systems and ways of being. Red Praxis is an extension of Sandy Grande’s theory and model of Red pedagogy. Grande proposed the pedagogical framework of Red pedagogy to rethink the ways in which teaching can confront the challenges Indigenous communities face in the 21st century. Red pedagogy is about critically analyzing the material realities resulting from the settler colonial project and creating decolonial spaces of resistance, hope, self-determination, and transformative possibility in Indigenous education. In addition to addressing structural issues, it is important for Indigenous teachers to address what is taught in schools—the curriculum—as well as how it is taught—pedagogy—as key factors in revitalizing and transforming Indigenous education.

Article

Collaborative Teacher Inquiry for Inclusive Education  

Sarah Schlessinger and Celia Oyler

Taking an inquiry approach for professional learning in support of inclusive education is both pragmatic and powerful, although it has certainly not been the norm throughout much of teacher education in North America. Much research in inclusive education has focused on teacher beliefs and practices, school structures, and service delivery models, and such foci often position teachers as technicians, implementing outside experts’ ideas about “best practices,” thus marginalizing educators as mere consumers of research and methods, rather than developers, designers, and architects of inclusive practices. To foster full participation and membership of all learners in their classrooms, teachers often engage in trial and error, puzzle solving, and creativity, to build productive and participatory communities of learning. Although consciousness, criticality, and questioning are the foundation of an inclusive stance, awareness alone does not necessarily generate practices of critical inclusivity. The work of moving recursively from framings (ideological and affective) to specific, embodied practices requires continuous action and reflection, which is well supported by practitioner inquiry. The practice of inquiry requires that teachers engage in persistent, reflective work; take risks; and use failures as points of departure for new learning and teaching approaches. The content of the inquiry, when focused on capacity and inclusivity, has the potential to work against the dominant discourses that marginalize and exclude particular students and populations, whereas the process of inquiry can position teachers as creative, intellectual problem-solvers, thus working against the dominant discourse of teachers as technicians. Inquiry for inclusivity is most often taken up as a collaborative practice, supporting educators to make their problem-solving public, gaining both friendly critique and affirmation. The collaborative inquiry group can also serve as a space for ideological and affective clarification, as striving to design teaching and learning for inclusion involves challenging many of the norms of schooling, including individualism; meritocracy; competition; and sorting, leveling, and ranking students.

Article

Ideology and Education  

David Backer

“Ideology” has fallen out of favor as a term of art. Terms like “equity,” “bias,” “gap,” “discourse,” “norm,” various “isms,” “consciousness,” “experience,” and “policy” tend to appear in scholarly and mainstream education dialogue when it comes to social-political practices. Yet the term is important both historically and for the present day. After its first formal usage in the 18th century, intellectuals produced several concepts of ideology. Ideology transformed from a science of ideas to propaganda; from critiques of truth and falsity to necessary strategy; from a focus on consciousness to a focus on practice. These transformations impacted educational research, particularly in the postwar period during a renewed emphasis on schooling’s social context. Revisiting the various concepts of ideology, particularly ideology as a practice, is valuable for educators and scholars today.

Article

Reforms of Education in Nordic Countries  

Jens Rasmussen

Educational reforms have become the normal condition of education, and educational reforms will come ever more frequently due to rapid and accelerated changes to the world in which we live. Reforms are always concerned with anticipating the future due to the belief that education can be done better in and for the future. When pedagogy orients itself towards the future, demand for a solid basis for its decisions becomes pressing. Therefore, trend analysis has become an industry that seeks to establish an (you might say) uncertain certainty about an uncertain future as a basis for reforms in and of the educational system. In its orientation towards the future, education seems to be in a process of transformation into new combinations of tradition in the sense of normative, philosophical considerations and evidence for what works in education and for ensuring that students can achieve their best, which is the purpose of teaching and education.

Article

Thinking Pedagogy for Places of the Relational Now  

Valerie Triggs

The work of American artist, educator, and researcher Elizabeth Ellsworth is profoundly influential in many fields of study, including social policy, architecture, feminism, mass communication, media, education, and art activism. In education, Ellsworth’s insights and ideas about knowledge and pedagogy challenge the view of student education in terms of mental activity and processes of growth promoted by modern psychology. She problematizes knowledge and learning by connecting them to moving bodies, offering radical insights regarding how human embodiment affects activities of teaching and learning and how places of learning implicate bodies in pedagogy. Ellsworth claims knowledge to be always in the making and pedagogy as a force that is already at play in the world, driving experience and sustaining the human prospect. Ellsworth challenges art education by actively questioning knowledge and reality as already made, arguing instead that both are multiple, and can and must be challenged so that society can respond and engage with discursive and material spaces of classroom and daily life practices that changing times, spaces, and bodies engender. Drawing from a wide variety of disciplines, including contemporary art and media design, Ellsworth urges education to orient to the pragmatics of aesthetic experience and the rich indeterminacy of time in moving bodies and demonstrates the potentialities in responding to the anomalies of teaching even while allowing them to be undecidable. In calling for pedagogic efforts that liberate matter from constraint, her work has inspired many varieties of new materialisms currently coming to the fore in curriculum studies. Ellsworth emphasizes the practice of thinking that pedagogy offers, which engages the aesthetic to neutralize binary thinking. She argues that even in attempts to act against oppressions, easy polemics oppose victims to perpetrators; unity is based on sameness; and an “us-ness” versus “them-ness.” Methods appear unproblematic in their use of rationalistic tools, and there are incapacities or refusals to acknowledge one’s own implication in the information and practice that assume exemption from becoming oppressive to others. Instead, Ellsworth advocates thinking in which dynamic and relational unities move through each other, always emerging as something un-predetermined. Her work carries a clearly articulated sociopolitical agenda for design of pedagogic circumstances whose anomalous and “impossible” natures are the actual places in which difference has the flexibility to differ, and students of difference can thrive.

Article

Conversation in Education  

Emile Bojesen

Conversation is a topic of burgeoning interest in the context of educational theory and as a prospective means for conducting empirical research. As a nonformal educational experience, as well as within the classroom, or as a means to researching various aspects of educational practice and institutions, research on or through conversation in education draws on a range of theoretical resources, often understanding conversation as analogous to dialogue or dialectic. Although only brought into this research context in the early 21st century, the philosopher who has engaged most extensively with conversation is Maurice Blanchot (1907–2003). His text, The Infinite Conversation, originally published in French as L’Entretien infini in 1969, responded to and took forward many elements of what would go on to be described as poststructuralist or deconstructive thought. Blanchot’s notion of conversation (in French, “entretien”) is distinct from those reliant upon philosophical conceptions of dialogue or dialectic. Itself the subject of philosophical research, Blanchotian conversation has been interpreted variously as either not sufficiently taking into account the ethics of Emmanuel Levinas, or else expanding beyond its more limited scope. Some of these interpretations stress the ethical and political implications of conversation; however, none engage specifically with its educational implications. Blanchotian conversation allows for contradicting and contrasting thoughts to be voiced without being brought to shared consensus or internal resolution. Its “lesson” is not only in the thought that it produces but also in the ethical relation of sincerity, openness, and non-imposition that it develops. Unlike some recent applications of conversation to educational context, Blanchotian conversation does not re-entrench the subject to be educated but rather deprioritizes the subject in favor of the movement of thought and the ethical “between” of conversation itself. This notion of conversation has corollaries in political thought, notably with Jacques Rancière’s understanding of “dissensus” and Karl Hess’s thought of an “anarchism without hyphens,” as well as the politically informed educational ideas of Elizabeth Ellsworth and the educational practice and research of Camilla Stanger.

Article

Intensifying Multicultural Education Through Critical Pedagogy, Antiracism, and the Need to Unschool  

John E. Petrovic and April Caddell

Multicultural education was born of racial and ethnic minority groups’ struggles to have their experiences, cultures, and ways of life recognized in dominant institutions. In schools, it means teaching the cultures, histories, values, and perspectives of different cultural groups, especially those of historically marginalized peoples. Since this approach can take perniciously shallow forms, educators have sought to incorporate the ideals of critical pedagogy and antiracism to inform a practice of “critical multicultural education.” Critical pedagogy rejects claims that knowledge is politically neutral and posits education and teaching as political acts. Informed by critical theory, critical pedagogy seeks to awaken students to the social, cultural, political, and economic milieu in which dominant forms of knowledge are constructed and through which power functions. A goal of critical pedagogy is for students to understand the way that injustice manifests and is reproduced and, ideally, to engage in praxis—critical reflection and action—toward societal transformation. Antiracist scholarship has sought to switch discussion of race and racism away from minority groups and, instead, to analyze white racism and whiteness as integral features of dominant institutions. It connects to critical theory in several ways, foremost of which is the position that racism was born of capitalist social relations. Like critical pedagogy, antiracist education seeks to understand, reveal, and counter structural forms of oppression. As such, antiracist education can be more widely presented as anti-Xist education, that is, antisexist, antiableist, antiheterosexist, and so on. In other words, the importance of antiracist education, as informed by critical race theory, lies not only in centering issues of race and racism. Black feminist scholars, for example, also point to the concern of the “intersectionality” of race, class, gender, and other sites of oppression. Lastly, unschooling also links to critical theory to the extent that traditional schooling represents and promotes the opposite of freedom and critical self-reflection. From a Marxian standpoint, unschooling understands the material reality of schools as manipulative, not convivial, and as reproductive of the status quo, not transformational. Compulsory, competitive schooling, according to this view, undermines learning and, instead, focuses on production, consumption, and spectation. Unschooling, instead, puts the power, responsibility, and, importantly, freedom for learning in the hands of the learner. Born of and informed by a number of different social movements (civil rights movements; women’s liberation, gay, and lesbian rights movements; indigenous rights movements; etc.), critical multicultural education, then, stands as multiculturalism plus both collective and individual empowerment for responsible, critical engagement against structural forms of oppression.

Article

Cyberculture and Education in Latin America  

Rocío Rueda Ortiz and Alejandro Uribe Zapata

Particularly since the turn of the new millennium, the field of cyberculture and education in Latin America has undergone significant development. Interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary studies have focused on the rise of a novel sociotechnical network, the product, on the one hand, of advances in information and communications technology, computing, and a broader reach of the internet, and, on the other hand, of the diverse appropriations of these advances by individuals and collectives. In general, the research questions addressed in this field analyze the continuities and transformations in areas such as the creation, circulation, and legitimization of information and knowledge inside and outside the educational institution; the forms of socialization, communication, and construction of individual and collective identities; and the modes of citizen participation, all of which have been catalyzed by the new technological ecosystem. In an initial stage, this field was marked by national and international policies of incorporating information and communications technology into education and, as a result, by the discussions on access to this technology, the digital divide, and the scope of technological infrastructure. This first stage was criticized for an instrumentalist and determinist emphasis on statistics regarding computer access and use in education that ignored the diverse and unequal processes of social and cultural appropriation of these factors. In a second stage of critical cybercultural studies, efforts were made to overcome technological determinisms, understanding information technologies not as something completed, closed, or definitive, but rather as part of the process of humanization—in other words, as devices that are transformed through interaction with individual and collective subjects, just as these latter reconfigure themselves to the extent that they interact with the former. What is highlighted here, on the one hand, is that the processes are heterogenic and sometimes contradictory in respect to what this sociotechnical interaction produces in the subjectivities; and, conversely, that imagination and invention are inherent to the technical objects. The human artifacts are thus not simple instruments mechanically joined to the social and cultural life of people. A third stage envisions challenges and new fields of research and creation in the production of knowledge arising from the peculiarity of Latin American educational, social, and cultural problematics. In particular, there is an emphasis on the need to include in an interrelated way intergenerational dimensions of race, gender, region, and social class in order to analyze the different and unequal forms of inclusion and appropriation of technologies. Similarly, studies begin to appear on “Commons” and “Commoning” as new ways of producing and sharing knowledge, as do grassroots educational proposals from the decolonial, situated feminist perspective calling for an intercultural dialogue on and recognition of indigenous, peasant, and Afro-descendant knowledge, worldviews and lifestyles that have appropriated technologies in diverse ways and for different purposes in the region.

Article

Hospitality and Higher Education  

Amanda Fulford

In the 21st-century landscape of higher education, there is increasing consideration given to documenting, managing, and regulating practices of teaching and learning in the university. In particular, there has been an emphasis on what students can expect of their experience of studying at university, and of the expectations around contact time with academic staff. This has led to the development of metrics that assess teaching intensity and value-for-money. Such developments anticipate certain modes of being with students, ones that tend to give scant attention to what it is to be in a relationship of mutual hospitality with another person. While we can think of hospitality more broadly in different educational contexts, especially in terms of moves toward an ethics of hospitality, there is also a space for thinking about a pedagogy of hospitality, especially as it may be realized in contemporary higher education. Here, hospitality is experienced in the pedagogical moment—through conversation with others in which we are invited to welcome alterity. This reading of hospitality is richly illustrated in the American philosopher and essayist Henry David Thoreau’s celebrated work, Walden. Examples from Thoreau’s work show how the concept of hospitality may open up other ways of thinking about what it means to be with students in the contemporary university, and what possibilities for mutual education this concept may help realize.

Article

Assistive Technology to Enhance Inclusive Education  

Dianne Chambers

Schools, teachers, and students are increasingly able to access and apply assistive technology to enhance inclusion within mainstream classrooms. To ensure that a classroom is truly inclusive, the teacher and other professionals involved in supporting children with disability using assistive technology require appropriate knowledge and skills to bring potential to reality. There are many successful examples of assistive technology successfully embedding into the practices of inclusive setting, but there is still some way to go to ensure this is a seamless approach. There are many benefits and difficulties associated with adopting assistive technology to support students with disability, particularly in developing countries. While the challenges may be great, the potential for assistive technology to impact significantly on the educational, social, and recreational outcomes for students with disability in inclusive classrooms is immense.

Article

Curriculum Wisdom and Educational Leadership  

Daniel J. Castner, Jennifer L. Schneider, and James G. Henderson

Curriculum wisdom was developed by curriculum theorists in the United States and has roots tracing back to Ancient Greek wisdom traditions as well as the European Enlightenment. Curriculum wisdom envisions educators as lead professionals for democratic ways of living. As such, it is a pedagogically grounded approach to curriculum development and leadership and is an aspirational, ethical vision for empowering contemporary educators. To support this vision, the essay introduces two interdependent scaffoldings. Curriculum workers engage in 3Ds—deliberation, discipline, and democracy—for the purposes of developing holistic 3Ss—subject, self, and social—understandings. Rounding out the essay is a discussion of a fourfold problem-solving process for democratic curriculum development and leadership.

Article

Revolutionary Critical Rage Pedagogy  

Peter McLaren and Petar Jandrić

Revolutionary critical rage pedagogy was first introduced in Peter McLaren’s 2015 book Pedagogy of insurrection: From resurrection to revolution. It is aimed at development of heightened recognition of the deception perpetrated by those who write history “from above,” that is from the standpoint of the victors who have camouflaged or naturalized genocidal acts of war, patriarchy, settler colonialism, and other forms of oppression as necessary conditions for the maintenance of democracy. Revolutionary critical rage pedagogy is carried out not only in educational institutions but throughout the public sphere. Its broader social aim is both a relational and structural transformation of society that cultivates pluriversal and decolonizing modes of democratization built upon a socialist alternative to capitalist accumulation and value production.

Article

Dialogic Pedagogies  

Christine Edwards-Groves

Dialogic pedagogies, contrasted with more monologic approaches to teaching, constitute a broad field of study concerned with classroom talk and interaction and its influence on student learning, knowledge building, and disciplinary competence. Classroom talk and interaction matter, and what constitutes their efficacy in the dialogic classroom has been the subject of intense research across the globe for many decades. In particular, research interest lies in the role and influence of teacher’s and student’s routine interactional work for facilitating student learning, engagement, and participation. Spanning several decades, the detailed and systematic study of the nature of classroom talk in lessons has intensified, with attention being drawn to ways that dialogic approaches to pedagogy can enhance learning through changed teacher–student exchange patterns. In many ways, focusing on classroom talk, and the patterns of interaction that support it, may seem to be a relatively trivial idea, in that teachers at all levels routinely engage in talk in their pedagogical interactions with students. But herein lies the central issue: Talk and interaction is so commonplace that its purposes, its power, and its position in pedagogy is taken for granted, and it is rarely a focus of deliberate professional reflection, critique, and development. Thus, in the main, classroom dialogue is frequently underplayed as fundamental to efficacy in practice, and so its centrality for teaching and learning drifts into the background. It is in this vein that dialogic researchers across the globe have sought to give prominence to classroom talk and interaction beyond its everyday taken for grantedness. Drawing on a range of theoretical, methodological, and analytic paradigms, classroom talk and interaction is foregrounded as it relates to pedagogical dialogism. Proponents of dialogic pedagogies make a strong case for renewing an emphasis on classroom talk and interaction through identifying, describing, representing, and changing lesson talk through more dialogically enriched lesson practices. Taken together, the research argues for sustained emphasis on the dialogic, directing educators to the efficacy of everyday encounters in classroom lessons by focusing on the nature and influence of dialogicality, how it works—and what it affords—in the everyday unfolding of teaching and learning. In ranging educational contexts, it has been shown that a dialogic sensibility emerges when teachers and students explicitly attend to and manage the lesson talkscape, where their pedagogical dialogues are learning focused and a shared responsibility. Proponents of dialogic pedagogies argue for the promotion of “academically productive discourse” by focusing on the impact of opening up the communicative space in classroom discussions in ways that promote student engagement and participation. Yet against a burgeoning body of work from diverse national contexts, research traditions, and analytic approaches heralding its merits, it seems more restrictive discourse structures and more limited discursive opportunities have prevailed in classrooms across the world. In fact, as some researchers have indicated, changing the nature of talk in lessons has proven to be difficult as typical patterns of talk appear to be resistant to change. Ultimately, enduring issues concerning methodology, scalability, focus, and impact on dialogic practice provide grounds for increased larger scale and longitudinal research.

Article

Critical Digital Pedagogy in the Platform Society  

Earl Aguilera and Christina Salazar

The term “critical digital pedagogy” has been used to describe a broad range of approaches to teaching and learning rooted in critical theory, digital cultural studies, and the liberatory education promoted within schools of critical pedagogy since the 1960s. References to critical digital pedagogy began to appear in published scholarly literature in the early 2000s as a response to the expansion of neoliberal ideologies and policies in an age of proliferating digital and networked technologies. These shifts in technological, economic, and social organization have since become collectively described as the “platformization” of society, driven by processes such as datafication, commodification, and algorithmic selection. In response to concerns about the neoliberalization, dehumanization, and platformization of education specifically, the emergent field of critical digital pedagogy has coalesced into a community of educators, designers, and theorists with an international scope, though the majority of published scholarship originates from the United States and the European Union. While the approaches and methods that the proponents of critical digital pedagogy engage with are varied, three broad families of practice include critical instructional design, humanizing online teaching and learning, and digital ungrading. Following earlier traditions of critical pedagogy, practitioners in the field of critical digital pedagogy find themselves grappling with critiques of their approaches as overly politicized, ideologically driven, and pragmatically limited. Open issues in the field include the expanding role of machine learning and artificial intelligence, the role of political activism beyond the classroom, and the addressing of intersections between race, class, and other dimensions of identity within a critical framework.

Article

Twenty-First-Century Learning Spaces and Pedagogical Change  

Jill Colton

Twenty-first-century learning spaces are designed to enable students to develop the skills and dispositions required for uncertain and transformed futures. They are characterized by flexibility and openness, with architectural and technological features that allow for variable arrangements and digitally enhanced learning. Flexibility is achieved through the provision of features such as sliding doors, moveable furniture, open spaces, and smaller breakout rooms, which may be used by teachers and students in different ways. The flexibility and openness of these spaces are considered to enhance the collaborative, self-directed and inquiry- or project-based learning that are regarded as crucial for an education that prepares students for work and citizenship in the 21st century. The integration of networked digital tools and applications is a key aspect of 21st-century learning spaces and of the pedagogical changes that shape and are shaped by these spaces. Sociomaterial theoretical perspectives offer a way of interpreting and analyzing 21st-century learning spaces in relation to pedagogical change. The flexibility of these spaces is implicated in the flexibility of pedagogical approaches, and the opportunities for movement and varied arrangements in physical and digital spaces are correspondent with the self-managing, digitally literate learner. Links between learning spaces that are flexible, open, and digitally networked and the pedagogies enacted in those spaces have been the subject of empirical studies in Australia, the United Kingdom, Europe, Scandinavia, the United States, and New Zealand. These studies illustrate the importance of considering theoretical perspectives in research that investigates pedagogical change and learning space design.

Article

Islamophobia and Education  

Rahat Zaidi

Islamophobia is a term used to describe society’s phobic reaction to a certain religious or ideological group. Historically, the coined word Islamophobia has been manipulated into various constructs, which pose a microcosm-macrocosm challenge for educators over whether or not the education system can act as a platform for better understanding what is currently transpiring in the world. It is in the classroom that educators and students can grapple with the sociophobic situation and pull apart the two sides of Islam and phobia. In the classroom there are learning opportunities that can foster critical new understandings about why social phobias exist and challenge, through an antiphobic curriculum, the fear and indifference of otherness. New and higher levels of immigration in the Western world, rising tensions in non-Muslim populations, and the baggage of history have brought us to a critical turning point. Educators can respond positively and constructively to this challenge and opportunity and help to steer the course. Although Islamophobia is present in many countries worldwide, assimilationist policies vary from country to country. Nonetheless, individual countries, including the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, Australia, and in those in Western Europe, have their own takes on Islamophobia. Since 9/11 there has been significant agreement among scholars that societal changes can be constructed through the systematic employment of specific curricular initiatives. These initiatives call into question the traditional trajectory of how the sentiments of Islamophobia can be successfully countered in the classroom to reduce sociophobic tensions and increase cultural and linguistic awareness. This can happen through culturally sustaining pedagogy, whose primary objective is to embrace literate, linguistic, and cultural pluralism in the school system. Education has tremendous power to challenge phobic perspectives and move beyond the traditional realm of what has historically been the norm in the classroom.

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Relational Pedagogy  

Mary Jo Hinsdale and Ann-Louise Ljungblad

One could easily argue that the pedagogy of relation is not new: a genealogy of the approach would send us back to the ancient Greek philosophers. However, in recent years relational pedagogy has been taken up in novel and ever-deepening ways. It is a response to ongoing efforts at school reform that center on teacher and administrator accountability, based on a constraining view of education as the effective teaching of content. In this view, methods, curricula, and high-stakes testing overshadow the human relationship between teacher and student that relational pedagogy theorists place at the center of educational exchanges. When relationships are secondary to content, the result can be disinterested or alienated students and teachers who feel powerless to step outside the mandated curriculum of their school district. Contemporary relational theorists offer an alternative vision of pedagogy in a concerning era of teacher accountability. Internationally, teachers experience challenging educational environments that reflect troubled social histories across differences of socioeconomic class, race and ethnicity, gender, and ability status. Climate change, civil and economic instability, and war add global pressures that bring immigrant and refugee students into classrooms around the world. In the United States, histories of slavery, genocide, and indigenous removal continue to resound through all levels of education. Putting the teacher-student relationship at the heart of education offers a way to serve all students, allowing them to flourish in spite of the many challenges we face in the 21st century. Relational pedagogy is inspired by a range of philosophical writings: this article focuses on theorists whose work is informed by the concept of caring, as developed by Nel Noddings, with the critical perspective of Paulo Freire, or the ethics of Emmanuel Levinas. Although these approaches to ethical educational relations do not necessarily mesh together easily, the tensions among them can bear fruit that informs our pedagogy. After outlining the theoretical contours of relational pedagogy, we will turn to more recent empirical work in the field. New studies help us understand how to turn theory into classroom practices that will benefit all students.