The Multicultural Theatre Project and «Minority» Literature
Chapter 9. Arts-Based Critical Pedagogy: Strategies for the Classroom
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ARTS-BASED CRITICAL PEDAGOGY
Strategies for the Classroom
Traditional assessment tools like an exam, a research paper, or an in-class quiz cannot fully capture the scope of affective maturation and deep liberatory learning, although I do not doubt that this kind of “magic” happens in the classroom, even if it is sometimes behind our backs. I have had to learn to trust my students to make meaning of their educational experiences when and if they can. Yet I am often astounded by the complex journeys some of our students have traversed with grace and sometimes survived through sheer will; and, over the years, I have only been privy to some of their stories by happenstance—that is, when “something” during the course of class discussion provokes critical reflection and a student dares to share. I noticed that students often reflect on material personally and share anecdotally after I give them permission to do so. This kind of dialogical encounter is valuable and allows students to connect with course material in profound ways.
To formalize this phenomenon, I assign the option of responding to a percentage of weekly reading assignments through some form of the arts (i.e., an original poem, song, painting, or dramatic monologue) or journal reflection. The results have been rewarding. Students have written beautiful songs, both instrumental and vocal, powerful poems, and personal reflections that examine critical life-changing moments. This chapter is designed to stimulate your ← 209...
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