Thursday, February 10, 2022

"A Pedagogy of Kindness"

An older article, "The Pedagogy of Kindness" has been making the rounds on social media again and is a good reminder of how much unlearning those of us teach have to undergo. Elite institutions (in my case, Oxford) especially reinforce ideas of privilege, proving oneself, thinking of your cohort as competitors, etc. etc. It took reading bell hooks and June Jordan to discover more inclusive and compassionate forms of learning and teaching are possible. 

June Jordan's electrifying statement in "Outside Language:" “None of us has known enough tenderness” has been my mantra in the classroom for decades now. 

Anyway, I was in my office for meetings today and a kind student gave me this beautiful calendar to say thank-you. Other students may say thank you by undertaking research, accepting additional responsibilities, pioneering new activities and events, or confiding personal struggles--all of which happened today too. I'm so lucky to be doing this work.

6 comments:

Gillian said...

Elite institutions are in the news with the Harvard sexual misconduct case. Have you been following that?

Nicole said...

What a great article that was! I absolutely love the concept and I'm sure your students do too.

maya said...

@Gillian--Yes! I've been following that story with all this dread in the pit of my stomach. Perhaps a discussion later this week!

maya said...

@Nicole--isn't it such a lovely concept to assume the best of everyone? I feel like you embody that <3

Justine L said...

I love bell hooks work on teaching ... I feel like her work embodies the pedgagogy of kindness, in an even more radical way. I sometimes use the "l word" in my work, and people think "how can you LOVE at WORK?" But really, isn't pedagogy at its best about that deep relationship? Thanks for the link!

maya said...

Justine: So much YES to bell... What an immeasurable loss. I don't know if your work encompasses women and gender studies, but you may find this year's NWSA CFP interesting? https://mailchi.mp/nwsa/nwsa-conference-cfp-2022

all set to start

 Navaratri celebrations tonight! "Take homes" (snack boxes and gift bags) and our miniature magic forest "Golu" are read...