Critical Pedagogies: Equality and Diversity in a Changing Institution
Interdisciplinary Symposium at the University of Edinburgh, 6th Sept 2013
Professor Heidi Safia Mirza (University of London)
Professor Joyce Canaan (Birmingham City University)
Critical pedagogies challenge the notion that knowledge and teaching methods can be value-neutral. Our relationships within academia reproduce or negotiate those of society as a whole, and the classroom itself works as a microcosm of wider social structures. In our classrooms and lecture halls we negotiate the same interactions, oppressions, intersections and transformations as in the world beyond academia. In the context of changing institutions as well as public life, issues of equality, diversity and inclusiveness in the classroom become more and more imperative. Critical pedagogy is conceptualised as an inherently crossdisciplinary praxis, encouraging and fostering discussion and development around issues of equality and diversity.
With the increased marketisation and commodification of higher education in the United Kingdom, now more than ever we need to consider the ways in which we learn and teach, both as university educators and as members of communities. Neoliberal policies and philosophies reduce education to a commodity, something to be purchased as part of one’s individual capital in the job market, creating the notion of the student as consumer rather than as learner and knowledge-producer. However, as scholars and educators such as Paulo Freire, bell hooks and Jacques Rancière have demonstrated, the ‘banking concept’ of education works to denigrate rather than to empower students and learners.
This one-day interdisciplinary and crossdisciplinary symposium aims to open up discussions regarding teaching in our changing institutions, investigating how our roles as both teachers and learners are continuously challenged and negotiated. Gathering researchers and educators from across the disciplines, we will engage in critical discussions on issues of equality, diversity and access to resources, as well as examine the role of the University in the community and in public life. The symposium will be vital in the creation of a platform for discussion and strategising around issues of equality and diversity within higher education, in order to share pedagogical approaches and foster a network of scholars who engage critically with teaching and pedagogy, formulating strategies for teaching in a changing institution.
Possible topics may include but are by no means limited to:
• Teaching / learning about privilege in a place of privilege; ‘Unlearning privilege’; Critical thinking; Antiracism and anticolonialism; Decolonising methodologies; Institutional whiteness; Teaching and disability; Teaching and gender; Feminist pedagogies; Intersectionality;
• Locating the classroom; Transformational spaces; Student-teacher relationship; Dialogic teaching; Teaching within and beyond the classroom space; Teaching and community; Teaching as activism; Social engagement and accountability; Virtual learning environments; Inclusiveness and exclusion;
• Effects of neoliberal policies and philosophies in institutional life; Diversity and equality policies; Neoliberalism and pedagogy; Education as commodity; Student as learner and / or consumer; Teaching as value-neutral.
We welcome proposals for papers of 15-20 minutes from established scholars, postdoctoral researchers, postgraduate students, independent researchers and educators from various backgrounds. We also welcome alternative formats for presentation, such as workshops or other dialogical arrangements (please note your suggested time format for this on the proposal, if different from the 15-20 minutes paper time format). Proposals should be no more than 300 words, in .doc format, and should include a brief 50-word biography. Please submit your abstracts no later than 1st April 2013 to firstname.lastname@example.org