Proposal Title

SESSION 3.3: Education as a Means of Witnessing the Voices of the Oppressed and Oppressors: Becoming Survivors by Proxy

Presentation Type

Individual paper

Location

IB 1020

Start Date

4-5-2019 2:15 PM

End Date

4-5-2019 3:45 PM

Abstract

In this presentation, I explore the pedagogical framework that informed my approach to co-teaching a combined Introduction to Sociology and Introduction to English class with Dr. Fred Ribkoff entitled, Education as a Means of Witnessing the Voices of the Oppressed and Oppressors, at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. I narrate our journey of educating by means of witnessing as a discourse of fostering the difficult conversation of how to establish global and local epistemological spaces through which ethnically, religiously, nationally, sexually, and racially diverse students in British Columbia can collectively engage in formulating de-colonizing and anti-oppressive knowledge that stems from and is inclusive of various forms of human suffering, inequality, and resilience. In organizing this course, we drew upon a socio-empathic imaginative approach, which requires students to historicize their lives and the lives of others by viewing them in the context of structural relations and power struggles. We conceptualized the course as a journey through which students become witnesses by proxy in order to develop praxis orientated theories of social justice with the overall objective of becoming survivors by proxy. To achieve this goal, we reversed the conventional manner of structuring a university course in the Social Sciences and Humanities. Rather than focusing on theory first, or simultaneous with the voices of the oppressed as secondary or framed by theory and experts' knowledge, the victims of oppression and their oppressors spoke directly to students, uninterrupted and without the interjection of theorists or “experts”, whose analyses we only introduced during the second half of the course. By turning the conventional pedagogical model on its head and giving primacy to the voices of everyday persons--survivors of, for example, systemic racism and sexism--as sources of knowledge, students were able to formulate their own anti-oppressive standpoints as both witnesses and survivors by proxy.

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May 4th, 2:15 PM May 4th, 3:45 PM

SESSION 3.3: Education as a Means of Witnessing the Voices of the Oppressed and Oppressors: Becoming Survivors by Proxy

IB 1020

In this presentation, I explore the pedagogical framework that informed my approach to co-teaching a combined Introduction to Sociology and Introduction to English class with Dr. Fred Ribkoff entitled, Education as a Means of Witnessing the Voices of the Oppressed and Oppressors, at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. I narrate our journey of educating by means of witnessing as a discourse of fostering the difficult conversation of how to establish global and local epistemological spaces through which ethnically, religiously, nationally, sexually, and racially diverse students in British Columbia can collectively engage in formulating de-colonizing and anti-oppressive knowledge that stems from and is inclusive of various forms of human suffering, inequality, and resilience. In organizing this course, we drew upon a socio-empathic imaginative approach, which requires students to historicize their lives and the lives of others by viewing them in the context of structural relations and power struggles. We conceptualized the course as a journey through which students become witnesses by proxy in order to develop praxis orientated theories of social justice with the overall objective of becoming survivors by proxy. To achieve this goal, we reversed the conventional manner of structuring a university course in the Social Sciences and Humanities. Rather than focusing on theory first, or simultaneous with the voices of the oppressed as secondary or framed by theory and experts' knowledge, the victims of oppression and their oppressors spoke directly to students, uninterrupted and without the interjection of theorists or “experts”, whose analyses we only introduced during the second half of the course. By turning the conventional pedagogical model on its head and giving primacy to the voices of everyday persons--survivors of, for example, systemic racism and sexism--as sources of knowledge, students were able to formulate their own anti-oppressive standpoints as both witnesses and survivors by proxy.