Participatory education is the non-extractive process of developing curriculum with students and community partners, where an educator can decenter themselves as arbiter of the class and everyone can feel empowered to bring their life experience into a collective knowledge bank. But how do we teach participation? How do we empower engagement? How do we democratize our teaching processes when, too often, conversations in academia focus on what we are teaching rather than how we are teaching it?
Galvanizing interdisciplinary research, teaching, and practice rooted in community engagement, this Deep Dive Community seeks to foster institute-wide dialogue about participatory education. In true participatory fashion, we invite all to join us in dialogue during the Spring 22 semester for this intensive mini-learning community. Working to identify the opportunities, challenges, and resource needs to foster sustained academic-community partnerships, this Deep Dive community will work towards developing ideas about and strategies for supporting participatory education at Pratt and beyond.
Here are some questions we will be working through together:
- How might we refine or clarify our definition of participatory education?
- How do we reconcile participatory education with community engagement?
- What are the intersections between participatory education and decolonizing pedagogy?
- How might participatory education decenter whiteness and power dynamics in the classroom and at the Institute?
- How do we avoid extractive research and teaching practices?
- What does project/problem framing and setting of expectations look like?
- What are potential disciplinary differences in community engagement?
- What participatory models exist to support the work?
- What are the obstacles to community facing work?
- What resources are necessary to support community engaged pedagogy at Pratt and beyond?
- How do our community partners experience participatory education?
- How does participatory education address community needs/concerns? How do we measure this?
We offer this Deep Dive as a series of 5 required meeting sessions beginning with a Visioning Kick/Off in FA 21 (Dec 13) and 4 thematically organized sessions on predetermined subtopics in SP 22.
Facilitated by participatory education working group: Irina Schneid, Eve Baron, Daniel Bergman, Caitlin Cahill, Adam Friedman, Amy Khoshbin; along with invited guests, community partners, and students who broaden expertise.