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    Vassar College
  Jan 18, 2018
Catalogue 2017-2018
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EDUC 353 - Pedagogies of Difference: Critical Approaches to Education

1 unit(s)

This course continues the on-going work of raising awareness around difference, equity and social justice - particularly as they relate to race.  In Pedagogies of Difference, we go beyond reflection of oppressive societal structures to build skills and engage pedagogy to interrupt oppression in its many forms, with an emphasis on aggressions within our own community.  The primary goal of this course is to prepare students at Vassar to productively, honestly and ethnically engage their peers in dialogue about and across racial difference.  Students experience and participate in a number of activities used to raise awareness around social identity, consider how they might facilitate such activities, work on facilitating around triggers (their own and those of others) and learn how to put together a workshop to facilitate. 

There are two prerequisites for Pedagogies of Difference: EDUC 235 - Issues in Contemporary Education  and EDUC 255 - Race, Representation, and Resistance in U.S. Schools  (or a similar course).  In Education 235, you began the study of both the content and process necessary for facilitating dialogues across difference.  In Education 235, students explored how and why students experience schools in vastly different ways and how these differing experiences result from inequitable treatment (and lead to inequitable outcomes).   Thus, you began preliminary study of the content of focus in Pedagogies of Difference.  In this course, students also begin the study of pedagogy, teaching for perhaps the first time.

The second prerequisite for Pedagogies of Difference is Education 255 or another semester-long course that focuses on race and racism.  In Education 255, you continued the study of both the content and process necessary for facilitating dialogue across difference (with a focus on racial difference, in particular). In Education 255, we attempted to set a foundation in race theory, studying different racial theoretical frameworks (with a focus on critical race theory).  Students also engaged in courageous conversations about race and racism, pushing themselves to stay on their learning edge (in their risk zone). Colette Cann.

Prerequisite(s): EDUC 235  and EDUC 255  or permission of the instructor.

Not offered in 2017/2018.

One 3-hour period.

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