Critical Pedagogy Enacted in the Gay-Straight Alliance: New Possibilities for a Third Space in Teacher Development

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Abstract

Critical pedagogy, combined with partnerships with adults at school, enabled the Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) advisor to create the foundation for reflective, activist-oriented learning at one Midwestern high school. Underreported in current literature, the use of critical pedagogy in school clubs and/or organizations has broad implications for teachers and teacher educators. Informed by the tenets of critical multiculturalism, this study draws on ethnographic fieldwork from one school year and in-depth interviews with students and the GSA advisor. Data reveal that the GSA advisor's unique conception of critical pedagogy is characterized by expanding students' knowledge, facilitating students' activism, and encouraging students' reflection on significant interactions with peers and family. The author concludes that these pedagogical practices play a key role in creating a long-term GSA, where engaged student learning combined with activism promote a "third space" in teacher development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)266-275
Number of pages10
JournalEducational Researcher
Volume42
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2013

Keywords

  • case studies
  • diversity
  • gay/lesbian studies
  • in-depth interviewing
  • qualitative research
  • social justice
  • social studies education
  • student development
  • teacher education/development

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