4 Pedagogy and Social Justice

Mary Cornish

It is inspiring to be part of the CPLC.  I feel energized and intellectually engaged by participating in this collaborative learning experience with so many dedicated colleagues.  I have benefitted from every reading and resource I have accessed, as well as numerous, meaningful conversations with others.  Collectively, these opportunities are encouraging me to think more deeply about how to better support and promote learning. They have also led me to critically examine what I teach, how I teach, and why.

A wide range of themes explored in the CPLC have interested me.  One, however, is especially intriguing: open pedagogy as social justice.  Before the CPCL, I had a very narrow understanding of “open education.” I thought it was mostly about accessing free educational resources and teaching with technology. Honestly, it was not something that I have been particularly motivated to do.  I am technophobic. However, seeing open pedagogy as a means for promoting social justice was a huge “aha” moment for me.

I feel strongly about promoting equity and social justice.  It is important to me, to my field of early childhood education, and in the courses I teach.  Social justice is a compelling reason for me to want to use open pedagogy.  It is also a strong motivator to push me to acquire new skills and technological tools that I need in order to do be able to teach in this way.  I have a lot to learn.  I am committing to professional growth in this area. For me this is going to be a very steep learning curve, pushing me way outside of my comfort zone. Thankfully, the CoLab and colleagues who are already engaging in this work are there to offer resources and support.

I don’t know, yet, the specific skills, tools, practices, and strategies I will acquire and adopt this year. I still need to figure that out.  However, I do know that my learning experience will make me a better educator.  I will not only be developing my capacity to use open pedagogy, I’ll also be engaged in challenging, meaningful, collaborative learning about teaching.  This is exactly what I want my students, future teachers, to do and experience. I plan draw upon my own learning journey to model risk-taking and make “learning how to learn” visible to students.  I believe that my learning experience will also help me to be a more empathetic educator.

 

graphic interpretation of this essay by Julie Fagan
created by Julie Fagan

 

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