Identity and Pedagogy in a University Context: A study of student experiences and critique in the work of anti-racism in education
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AbstractA considerable amount of work has been written on race and education in the British context since the 1960s. This work has largely focused on policy issues, curriculum development and teacher training. This work has been important largely for developments in multicultural education in the school context. In Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), the teaching of race related modules and courses have flourished since the 1980s (Jacobs 2006). This interest, however, has not translated into work on praxis, that is, anti-racist teaching practices that aim to improve the situation that students and teachers face when challenging racism. This PhD study by publication begins to redress this by exploring student experiences and classroom dialogue. It adopts an interpretist methodological perspective and uses participant observation and interview methods. The observations and interviews are drawn from my classroom teaching, specifically, my modules dealing centrally with race and racism. Most of the writing around race and HEIs focuses on institutional matters rather than those that seek to enable praxis. The original contribution to knowledge advanced in this critical commentary and my published works submitted here is that it underlines the importance of anti-racism as it emerges organically within classroom engagement and exchange. Anti-racist practice, I claim, becomes fundamental to the learning process, where student experiences are first considered within the teaching process. This study focuses on students' learning experiences as found in my second and third level modules on the Sociology degree on which I teach at Wolverhampton University. My publications examine students' perspectives on racism as they arise in class. They explore student identities as they are experienced and classroom interaction. In this endeavour, I focus on the ways that Critical 5 Theory and Feminism and Critical Pedagogy can challenge students' prior perspectives on their identities and those of others. This work seeks to add to analyses of the ways that racism currently operates and could be challenged in HEIs. It argues that it can be challenged through more fully developing anti-racist educational practices that must engage with debates about ethnicity and identity in education, as discussed in Section One. This is because students’ lived experiences are core to an understanding of how racism impacts on students' lives. This commentary advances the argument that anti-racist debates in HEIs that organically evolve from classroom teaching and learning are paramount to the work of anti-racist education in HEi, because lived experience is seen to be powerful material that can counter mainstream discourse on racism. What is distinctive about my model of anti-racist teaching and learning practices is my anti-racist practice. This informs my academic work with students and encourages them to reconsider their thinking in classroom teaching and learning. The use of Critical Race Theory and Feminist theoretical and methodological approaches and Critical Pedagogy is central to my anti-racist teaching practices in HEis.
PublisherUniversity of Wolverhampton
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionThesis of Published works submitted to the University of Wolverhampton for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy