Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Educators’ Insights on Culture Shock, Identity and Pedagogy
Chapter 4: Toward a Pedagogy of Social Justice
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TOWARD A PEDAGOGY OF SOCIAL JUSTICE
Ryder, a 46-year-old white male, was an assistant professor of English at a Midwestern university at the time I conducted his interviews. For his Peace Corps service Ryder taught English in forms 1–4 (basically ninth–12th grade) at a rural boarding secondary school in Kenya from 1987 to 1990. He also stayed on in Kenya an additional year and taught on his own. Later, after returning to the U.S. and completing a master’s degree, he taught English in a college preparatory program for a large oil company in Saudi Arabia for approximately 6 years. Although his teaching in Saudi Arabia was unrelated to the Peace Corps, we talked about some of those experiences and I have included references to his experiences teaching there in this study.
I met Ryder in his university office, which was small and sparsely decorated except for a few bookshelves filled to capacity, a few older-looking rolling chairs that squeaked loudly every time we shifted our weight in them, and a handful of gifts from students and colleagues. For example, there was a braided ornament from a Chinese student, a small paper bag decorated with a face so it could be used as a hand puppet, which was a gift from an American student at Halloween, and an international-looking letter holder given to him ← 119 | 120 → by a world-travelling colleague. There was also a “jumbo-sized” pink eraser still in...
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