Critical Pedagogical Praxis of Social Justice: Enabling Transformation When Educating for Global Citizenship ̶ A Qualitative Instrumental Case Study

  • Author / Creator
    Lamoureux, Jocelyn
  • The forces of ever-increasing globalization are impacting everyday life globally and have created a world that is struggling with global issues and related injustices. Global solutions are required to address these issues laden with injustice. Over the last decades, provincial, national, and international governments, nongovernment organizations, scholars, and educators have engaged in ongoing dialogue about competencies imperative to creating socially just societies and an environmentally sustainable planet. Global competence is included in Kindergarten to Grade 12 educational policy and curricula, however, enabling pedagogy is unclear. In the field of educating for global citizenship (EfGC), there continues to be considerable discourse about how to enable justice-oriented critical global citizenship. Using a critical epistemology, this qualitative instrumental case study provides portraits of how two teachers in an urban UNESCO Associated Schools Network (ASPnet) high school engaged twenty-nine of their students as justice-oriented critical global citizens in confronting two selected global issues. They deconstructed specific global issues concerned with water insecurity and pollution, and the past, present, and future impacts of Residential Schools. This case study was instrumental as it provided an opportunity to deeply examine how these teachers and their students experienced moments of criticality in their ongoing journey of transformational growth as critical global citizens through the teachers’ application of a critical pedagogical praxis of social justice.Theoretical understandings from scholarly literature and research in the field of EfGC were merged with understandings from the critical research paradigm, where theory and practice were combined to form a theoretical/conceptual framework - a critical pedagogical praxis of social justice. Teachers and their students developed understandings of social justice guided by four overarching principles: (a) protect Universal Human Rights; (b) challenge ideologies and the political and economic dimensions of globalization; (c) examine and appreciate identity(ies) and the relational dialectic; and (d) engage in cosmopolitan hospitality and democracy. They examined the causes, effects, impacts and injustices related to each global issue. They assessed domination and power of the political economy, how ideologies that purport their own beliefs, values, and ideals often render hegemonic forces. They also assessed their own relational engagement with life and the world and explored how knowledge lives within the context of history and is represented through various perspectives. Reflections and actions associated with these theoretical understandings were enabled through practices including engagement in dialogue to take a deep dive into the global issues, building deep awareness ̶ critical consciousness that enabled a moral imperative to respond to injustice through an ethic of compassion and justice; and resisting and countering hegemony to move toward emancipatory outcomes. The analysis and interpretation of the data collected through observations, post-event questionnaires, blogs, focus groups, teacher interviews, and final reflections, exposed the ways that participants made meaning and are shared as portraits in narratively rich, thick descriptions within this dissertation. Results indicate that to enable agency and the ongoing journey of transformational growth as critical global citizens the two teachers connected their beliefs with the principles of social justice and purposefully selected reflections and actions associated with theory and practice aligned to mandated curricula to enable their instructional goals, choices, and practices. They, with their students, developed a communitarian ethic within which they focused on trans-societal democratic values and responsibilities trending toward equity and social justice, and challenging unequal power relations. Students demonstrated moments of deep awareness ̶ critical consciousness as they realized how they are implicated in the global issues and as a result they confronted their own worldviews. Emergent for some students was a moral sense of responsibility to take personal action to contribute to the advancement of social justice and the sustainability of the planet. Based on the findings of this case study, a revised framework, Global Action: A Framework for Social Justice is provided to better support the implementation of the critical pedagogical praxis of social justice when EfGC. Applying this pedagogical approach may develop a common vocabulary and shared understandings from which to engage in global issues to support reconciliation, advance the project of social justice, and enable the sustainability of the planet. In this way, the ongoing commitment of nurturing transformational growth as critical global citizens is fostered in lived curricula and a common pedagogical vision of EfGC emerges.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2020
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
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