This summer, I (Christine Kerrol Chung ’24) worked with Professor Osman Nemli in the Philosophy Department on a project called “Philosophies of Pedagogy”. The purpose of this project was to critically understand the nature of education, including its purpose and execution, before moving on to adapting theory into practice by shaping Professor Nemli’s pedagogy in future classes.
We began by reading some key writing in the field of pedagogy. Particular attention was given to bell hooks’ “Teaching to Transgress”, Paulo Freire’s “Pedagogy of the Oppressed”, and Bettina Love’s “We Want to Do More Than Survive” on engaged pedagogy and abolitionist teaching. We also explored the philosophical origins of education through Plato’s “Laches”, and “Meno”, as well as Jacques Ranciere’s “The Ignorant Schoolmaster”. Through biweekly discussions, Professor Nemli and I became heavily inspired by hooks, Freire, and Love’s abolitionist teaching approach.
I then analyzed Professor Nemli’s past CEQs to look for trends in his pedagogy that can be shaped by our readings. A current finding is that although students become inspired by the material, there is a desire for key concepts to be further fleshed out instead of focusing on individuals.
Applying theory to practice, Professor Nemli and I developed two draft syllabi that considered this feedback and engaged pedagogy. We decentered the cult of the individual from syllabi by structuring the content based on key concepts rather than a canonical figure. This was inspired by Ella Baker’s abolitionist approach to protests. We then created assignments that encouraged students to critically engage with the pedagogy of the class; for example, a peer editing assignment where students can have the space to write about the merits/drawbacks of peer editing.
Going forward, Professor Nemli and I will co-write a paper on Credentialism in the USA, which is currently in the research stage.