Using Radical Pedagogy to Promote Social Justice in Higher Education

Achilleos, Jess (2023) Using Radical Pedagogy to Promote Social Justice in Higher Education. In: Social Justice in Multicultural Settings. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle upon Tyne, pp. 176-194. ISBN 1-5275-1269-X

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Youth Work and informal education are founded on the principles of anti-oppressive practice focusing on transformative action (Jemal and Bussey, 2018) to counteract social injustice (Crooks, 1992) based on the belief that society does not afford all people the same opportunities. This inequality is exacerbated by societal institutions and structures such as traditional education settings and practices (Freire, 1970; Butters and Newell 1978) creating the need for progressive educators, like Youth and Community Workers, to address the oppressions induced and enforced by society to create change and equality (Chouhan, 2009; Thompson, 2016). Informal education provides the means for transformative action, its focus on association and experiential learning (Smith, 2013) through conversation encourages diligence, critique and an enquiring mind (Freire, 1998) from the educator and the learner. This process of ‘raising critical consciousness’ (Freire, 1972) enables participation in democratic processes, promoting empowerment and social change. The Youth and Community Work academic team at Wrexham Glyndŵr University (WGU) have been piloting a research project that brings together students, academics, and professional staff with a view to raising critical consciousness of personal, structural and cultural oppression by sharing their lived experiences and research on topics relating to race, sexuality and gender, disability and ableism. The project is called “The Conversation: Creating Change One Voice at a Time” and is made up of webinars, a narrative library and evaluation. This chapter will demonstrate how Youth Work methodology can be applied to effect change in Higher Education Institutes (HEIs). Specifically, it will show how informal education pedagogy can be applied as methodology to address structural oppressions by creating a bottom-up approach to transformational action that challenges unseen and unknown inequalities at a personal and cultural level (Thompson, 2016). The chapter will offer finding from the research pilot and offer a way for university communities to work together to promote social justice in organisations and how transformational action does not have to be led from the top down (Ledwith, 2020).

Item Type: Book Section
Keywords: Radical pedagogy, informal education, Youth Work, social justice, Higher Education, anti-oppressive practice, critical consciousness, transformational action, association, experiential learning.
Divisions: Social and Life Sciences
Depositing User: Hayley Dennis
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2023 17:24
Last Modified: 30 Oct 2023 12:59

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