Empowering Pedagogies That Enhance the Learning of Multicultural Students
by Arnetha F. Ball - 2000
In this article, I lay out the tenets of a critical pedagogy and present the details of a study designed to investigate the presence of those tenets within the discourse patterns and pedagogical practices observed in community-based classrooms, which serve as alternative sites of urban multicultural education. Through analyses of the discourses and pedagogies used in the classrooms of three African American female teachers, I investigate the degree to which these teachers are able to challenge their students to consider alternative life possibilities, to become critical thinkers, and to consider transformation of their current life situations and the life situations of others. Through depictions of everyday activities and discourses that occur in these community-based classrooms, I illustrate how, although the overt rhetoric of these organizations is one that often says, "follow the rules . . . don't challenge lines of authority," the covert communicative messages in these community-based classrooms were often geared toward encouraging students to develop higher levels of consciousness and the skills needed to take control of and perhaps even transform their existing life experiences. Based on the findings of this investigation, I advocate for the conscious creation of dialogic, multiculturally sensitive classrooms where empowering, dynamic constructions of knowledge can become a reality by expanding upon the strategic uses of discourse patterns and pedagogical practices observed in the classrooms of these African American female teachers.
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