Emancipatory pedagogies in a grade 11 social studies classroom
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This study aimed to uncover the incorporation of transformative pedagogies into the social studies curriculum. This educational approach aims to educate students about a variety of forms of oppression based on race, gender, sexuality, class, ethnicity, and culture, through the use of dialogue to uncover the students' understanding and personal experience with these concepts. This study examined the impact of discussing these topics in a grade 11 class of 22 White students (of various cultural, ethnic, and religious backgrounds). The teacher, Kelvin, and two of his students were interviewed and his class was observed on four occasions over a 2-week period. Based on the data I collected, I argue that a range of emancipatory teaching approaches should be used in critical classroom discourse. These different approaches emphasize the importance of critical thinking, the ability to recognize and combat oppression, the understanding and respect of different cultures, and the ability to recognize the impact of gender and sexuality on the past and present. These are life skills that extend beyond the curriculum (Freire, 1970; Giroux, 1988; hooks, 1994). This study fills a theory to practice gap in the research literature on transformative practice within Canadian contexts. The findings are important for several reasons. Firstly, they illustrated how the teacher's ideology and personal history affect hislher teaching and learning philosophies and approach to teaching. This has implications for the overall classroom environment, what students learn, and how teachers are trained. Secondly, this study provided a glimpse of what transformative pedagogy could look like from a pragmatic standpoint and demonstrated the complexity of using these multiple approaches in the classroom.