The classroom, with all of its limitations, remains a location of possibility. In that field of possibility we have the opportunity to labor for freedom, to demand of ourselves and our comrades, an openness of mind and heart that allows us to face reality even as we collectively imagine ways to move beyond boundaries, to transgress. This is education as the practice of freedom. (bell hooks, Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom, p. 207)
Open Pedagogy is not a magical panacea for the crises that currently challenge higher ed. That being said, we both feel that Open Pedagogy offers a set of dynamic commitments that could help faculty and students articulate a sustainable, vibrant, and inclusive future for our educational institutions. By focusing on access, agency, and a commons-oriented approach to education, we can clarify our challenges and firmly assert a learner-centered vision for higher education. (Rajiv Jhangiani and Robin DeRosa, Open Pedagogy, last paragraph)
Based on our synchronous discussion yesterday, we know there are parts of STEM-H that are difficult to reconcile with critical pedagogy. How do we apply this pedagogical theory to lab (which we will discuss further tomorrow)? How do we scale it up to 400 or 1000-person classes without #EdTech and without spending immense amounts of personal time on our classes? How do we deal with TAs that we need to train in critical pedagogy who actually make our lives harder if we require more time to train with them? And how do we convince our colleagues that the aspects of critical pedagogy actually can be applied to the STEM-H classroom?
I can visualize possible experimental answers for some of these, but for others I'm just lost. Renée's (@rlink on Discourse) story during the synchronous discussion about training less than enthusiastic (and egotistical) first year graduate student TAs to interact with students is particularly perplexing and worth contemplating further. And I thought I had it bad with apathetic and systematically underprepared students who are scared to take my class. My suspicion is that baby steps are the way to go for all of these issues but that really depends on context.
When I first was introduced to critical pedagogy, I couldn't necessarily see how to apply it to my large classes. So, I chose to apply it in my smaller classes and in my life. I used it in my labs where I knew my students by name already. I used critical pedagogy in meetings with my collaborators and colleagues. I used it at ACS National Meetings when I ran symposia. The more I used it in these other contexts, the more I could visualize how to use it in my larger classrooms.
Some of the possible answers to some of the questions I outlined above may lie in open pedagogy.
Open pedagogy is different from just using open educational resources (which are awesome, but not really what we're discussing here). Open pedagogy takes the idea that students can be knowledge creators in a public forum and puts it to use in the context of your STEM-H content. The options can range from empowering students to write public reflective blogs detailing their learning journey in class or wikipedia articles on their favorite unknown scientist to creating living textbooks and lab manuals. The possibilities are endless, even in STEM-H classes, and our imaginations (along with the considerations above) are our major limitation.
We have a synchronous meeting today at 1pm MDT/3pm EDT. The Zoom link is under the Synchronous Sessions chat in Discourse or in your email. Please join us as we chat about what we've learned thus far. The chat yesterday was very engaging, with lots of input and differing perspectives. A recording will be made available on my pedagogy YouTube channel (it's where the vidcasts have been). The recording from yesterday (which is unlisted) is here.
In terms of the synchronous session yesterday with Maha, here are the links I promised I would share:
Bali, M., Caines, A., Hogue, R. J., DeWaard, H. J., & Friedrich, C. (2019). Intentionally equitable hospitality in hybrid video dialogue: The context of virtually connecting [Online Article]. eLearn Magazine.
World Time Buddy - https://www.worldtimebuddy.com/
Virtually Connecting - http://virtuallyconnecting.org/
Also, we have a Hypothes.is article for annotation today and it's here. It is an article written by Maha Bali, Rajiv Jhangiani, and Catherine Cronin and they are going to chime in here and there with their comments as they are able. Just for context, the vidcast is with Robin DeRosa, who co-wrote the Open Pedagogy article that we will read today with Rajiv.