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Minding the Obligation Gap in Community Colleges and Beyond

Theory and Practice in Achieving Educational Equity


Jeremiah J. Sims, Jennifer Taylor-Mendoza, Lasana O. Hotep, Jeramy Wallace and Tabitha Conaway

It is difficult to find justice-centered books geared specifically for community college practitioners interested in achieving campus wide educational equity. It is even more difficult to find a book in this vein written, exclusively, by community college practitioners. Minding the Obligation Gap in Community Colleges and Beyond is just that: a concerted effort by a cross-representational group of community college practitioners working to catalyze conversations and eventually practices that attend to the most pressing equity gaps in and on our campuses. By illuminating the constitutive parts of the ever-increasing obligation gap, this book offers both theory and practice in reforming community colleges so that they function as disruptive technologies. It is our position that equity-centered community colleges hold the potential to call out, impede, and even disrupt institutionalized polices, pedagogies, and practices that negatively impact poor, ethno-racially minoritized students of color. If you and your college is interested in striving for educational equity campus-wide please join us in this ongoing conversation on how to work for equity for all of the students that we serve.

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Chapter Four Minding the Pedagogy Gap



Minding the Pedagogy GapJEREMIAH J. SIMS

In the aggregate, this book argues that there is a gap in critical research into community college education for poor enthno-racially minoritized students of color (PERMSC). This is especially true where pedagogical considerations are concerned. Therefore, this chapter draws on a course, I developed and co-taught with and Dr. Tabitha Conaway, entitled: Critical Pedagogical Perspectives on Instructional Design. For most of participating community college faculty, staff, and administration, this course represented their first exposure/analysis on literature and research on justice-centered teaching and learning. Unlike K12 education, with few exceptions, community college faculty are not required to complete coursework on teaching and learning (i.e., pedagogy) prior to teaching. For us, this is a glaring gap—or what we refer to in this book as the “Pedagogy Gap”. This section, then, will provide a theoretical analysis and review of extant theory on teaching and learning to invite readers/practitioners to distill theory down into pedagogical practice (praxis).

Like the preceding sections, there will be end of chapter considerations and questions that seek to encourage and equip faculty, specifically, with the necessary tools to interrogate and later reimagine their pedagogical practices. In the subsequent chapter, Chapter Five, we will include data from pre/post surveys, in class work, and focus group interviews drawn from the course taught by Sims and Conaway. In addition to an analysis of data drawn from this course, we will provide ←77 | 78→case studies that speak...

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