ERIC Number: EJ1083806
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 47
Engaging Students in Autobiographical Critique as a Social Justice Tool: Narratives of Deconstructing and Reconstructing Meritocracy and Privilege with Preservice Teachers
Boyd, Ashley S.; Noblit, George W.
Educational Studies: Journal of the American Educational Studies Association, v51 n6 p441-459 2015
This self-study involves instructors of a Social Justice in Education course at a large university who engaged preservice teacher education students with assignments intended to solicit their critical self-reflection and to facilitate an awareness of themselves as sociocultural beings. Our work responds to the continued need to involve preservice teachers in experiences that foster critical consciousness and cognizance of their own socialization. For the assignments, students were first asked to describe key moments in their educational experience in the form of a multimedia submission and reflection. After a semester of critical discussions and readings, students were then asked to revisit their initial projects and critique those using course concepts. In addition, they were prompted to include plans for themselves as future social justice educators. In this article, we analyze those student submissions, and we find that many reached new conclusions about social justice topics such as race and gender, critiqued personal and social artifacts, and recognized the connections between privilege and meritocracy. Despite the limitations in class size and structure, we affirm the potential value of a multistage autobiography assignment. We also explore instances of student resistance, wherein students avoided the assigned task and our requirement for self-reflection. We conclude by offering implications for teacher education and posit considerations for future adaptions of the assignment, including the necessity to engage students in opportunities to take social action and to move beyond critique.
Descriptors: Preservice Teachers, Autobiographies, Criticism, Social Justice, Assignments, Reflection, Educational Experience, Student Projects, Multimedia Materials, Resistance (Psychology), Preservice Teacher Education, Self Evaluation (Individuals)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A