EDU S515 Emancipatory Inquiry: Listening, Learning, and Acting for Social Change





Aaliyah El-Amin
Wednesdays, 1:00pm-4:00pm

Throughout history, social justice movements and social justice organizations have utilized disciplined inquiry or research to highlight untold stories, illuminate goodness, expose power and colonialism, and offer pathways to more equity and freedom. Yet, we often do not provide educators or doctoral students with research methodology training oriented to these aims. More specifically, we often do not provide educators in the field or doctoral students with research methodology training beyond those traditionally accepted in the Western Canon. Grounded in critical theory, feminist theory, queer theory, and deccolonial frameworks, this course aims to introduce all educators (teaching artists, teachers, school leaders, counselors, and educators working in non-profit organizations) and doctoral students to a strand of investigative approaches that fall under the broad umbrella of emancipatory research paradigms. These collective ways of exploring questions and gathering knowledge seek to explicitly address power, inequalities, and injustice while prioritizing the human interactions that exist in research-based inquiry. Emancipatory research approaches ask: How do we engage in research with marginalized populations in ways that honor their voice and their agency? How are we attentive to who and what is included/excluded in research? How do we expand what is considered knowledge and who generates it? Finally, emancipatory research approaches seek to ensure that any information gathered is used to push forward a more just society. Through a practice-based and exploratory model, this course will cover the following methodologies: arts-based inquiry, narrative inquiry/storytelling, indigenous methods of inquiry, community-based inquiry, and embodied inquiry or inquiry through movement. Ultimately, this survey course seeks to make clear the theoretical foundations and practical steps of emancipatory approaches to knowledge creation and knowledge sharing. As a final project, students will either complete an original inquiry project investigating a justice-oriented question of their choice using the philosophies or methods of the course or write a proposal for an inquiry project they hope to complete in the future.

See also: Spring 2020