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ERIC Number: EJ1165957
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1183-1189
Moving from Chasm to Convergence: Benefits and Barriers to Academic Activism for Social Justice and Equity
Rose, Barbara
Brock Education: A Journal of Educational Research and Practice, v27 n1 p67-78 2017
There are many natural links between academic work and activism that can be used for social justice and equity, but remain underdeveloped in higher education. Using the concept of liminality and the inclusion of personal voice that is central in Scholarly Personal Narrative methodology, this article explores academic activism in multiple ways. First, a series of "purposeful conversations" with educators at the University of Malta suggest that the level of self-affiliation with activism is influenced by academic discipline and the presence of impactful successes related to activism. Challenges within academic activism include devaluing activism within academic structures, and balancing the roles and actions of academic, activism, and personal lives. Second, benefits of activism in student learning are described, including (a) using synoptic learning as a curricular organizing concept for intellectual development, equity, and social justice and (b) exploring activism as a robust organizing concept for student learning across disciplines. Third, systemic barriers (e.g., maintenance of privilege) and anti-activism as moral high ground (e.g., activism as dangerous, too radical, narrowly appropriate, and unnecessary) are identified using two examples of curricular approval processes at a Midwestern university. Fourth, strategies to disrupt barriers to academic activism suggested by these results are presented.
Brock University Faculty of Educatino. 500 Glenridge Avenue, Saint Catharines, ON, L2S 3A1 Canada. Tel: 905-688-5550 ext. 3733; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Malta
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A