Promoting Equity and Justice Through Pedagogical Partnership

Promoting Equity and Justice Through Pedagogical Partnership

by Alison Cook-Sather, Mary Katharine Woodworth Professor, Department of Education

Faculty and staff in higher education are looking for ways to address the deep inequity and systemic racism that pervade our colleges and universities. Pedagogical partnership can be a powerful tool to enhance equity, inclusion, and justice in our classrooms and curricula. These partnerships create opportunities for students from underrepresented and equity-seeking groups to collaborate with faculty and staff to revise and reinvent pedagogies, assessments, and course designs, positioning equity and justice as core educational aims. When students have a seat at the table, previously unheard voices are amplified, and diversity and difference introduce essential perspectives that are too often overlooked.

In particular, the book contributes to the literature on pedagogical partnership and equity in education by integrating theory, synthesizing research, and providing concrete examples of the ways partnership can contribute to more equitable educational systems. At the same time, the authors acknowledge that partnership can only realize its full potential to redress harms and promote equity and justice when thoughtfully enacted. This book is a resource that will inspire and challenge a wide variety of higher education faculty and staff and contribute to advancing both practice and research on the potential of student-faculty pedagogical partnerships.

Presenting a conceptual framework for understanding the various epistemological, affective, and ontological harms that face students from equity-seeking groups in postsecondary education, Promoting Equity and Justice Through Pedagogical Partnership applies this conceptual framework to current literature in partnerships, highlighting the promise of partnership as the way to redress these harms.

The authors ground both the conceptual framework and the literature review by offering two case studies of pedagogical partnership in practice. They then explore the complexities raised by their framework, including the conditions under which partnerships themselves may risk reproducing epistemic, affective, or ontological harms. Applying the framework in this way allows them to propose strategies that make it more likely for these mediations to be successful.

Finally, the authors focus on the future of pedagogical partnership and share their perspectives on new directions for inquiry and practice. After summarizing the overarching themes developed throughout the book, the authors leave the reader with a set of questions and recommendations for further inquiry and discussion.

Publication Date: 
June 24, 2021