Radical Pedagogy
Radical Pedagogy (2017)

Volume 14 Issue 1

ISSN: 1524-6345




Buy Your Opportunity: An Experiential Consciousness-raising Workshop Addressing Economic Inequality and Meritocracy



Jonathan Kodet

Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology

University of Kentucky, USA

E-mail: jdko224@uky.edu


Dia A. Mason

Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology

University of Kentucky, USA

E-mail: dama233@uky.edu



Abstract

     The purpose of this article is to present a consciousness-raising educational initiative intended to (a) raise critical consciousness of privilege/oppression, social dominance, and meritocracy myths as they all relate to economic inequality; and (b) provide participants with the opportunity to experiment with social change strategies. This 4-hour experiential workshop consists of one group cohesion-building activity, one empathy-building activity, and a simulation recreating a four-tiered social class society (e.g., upper class, middle class, working class, economically impoverished). Theories involved in the workshop’s design (e.g., social justice, social dominance, critical pedagogy, experiential education, and social identity development) are briefly addressed, the workshop is described in detail so educators may utilize it, and previous preliminary evaluation research is reviewed. Process observations are also presented from one particular workshop involving sixteen university undergraduate students.

     Keywords: economic inequality, social justice, privilege/oppression,

                       meritocracy, simulation