Radical Pedagogy

Radical Pedagogy (2014)

Volume 11 Issue 1

ISSN: 1524-6345





Leaning In: A Student’s Guide to Engaging Constructively with Social Justice Content


Robin DiAngelo, Ph.D.

Department of Education

Westfield State University

Westfield, MA USA

E-mail: rdiangelo@wsc.ma.edu


Özlem Sensoy, Ph.D.

Faculty of Education

Simon Fraser University

Burnaby, BC Canada

E-mail: ozlem@sfu.ca



Abstract

     As educators who teach social justice education, we often struggle with student resistance to new and challenging critical frameworks. In this essay, we address students directly and offer guidelines for constructive engagement. These guidelines address common barriers such as: lack of intellectual humility, conflating opinions with informed knowledge, relying on anecdotal evidence, inattentiveness to positionality, and valuing grades over comprehension. The essay includes vignettes and examples that illustrate each of these guidelines, as well as a glossary and discussion questions that can be taken up in class.

      Keywords: social justice education, learning strategies, student
                      resistance