This article explores whether student-centered discussion is an effective pedagogical method to create a sanctuary type of environment in racial justice courses. Although studies abound about race in university classrooms, none assess the impact of a cross-racial faculty team (Black and White) co-teaching a racial justice course that utilizes a student-centered discussion model. Thus, we build on critical race education scholarship’s insights to examine the impact of a student-centered discussion (SCD) model with a cross-racial faculty team co-teaching a racial justice course. Our data come from a two-year interpretive study that included direct observation and content analysis to examine whether student-centered learning is an effective pedagogical method for teaching racial justice courses. While we employed the Interactivity Foundation’s SCD model, our findings provide insights about general advantages and disadvantages of student-centered learning in racial justice courses. We conclude the SCD process both detracts from and contributes to the creation of a sanctuary classroom environment. This is complicated because what some White students found to be a sanctuary space was simultaneously a threatening space for Students of Color, particularly due to repeat racial microaggressions. Nevertheless, an SCD process can be beneficial if course structure purposefully decenters a White-centric curricular and pedagogical lens.
Davis, Angelique M. and Ernst, Rose
"Student-Centered Discussion in Racial Justice Courses,"
Race and Pedagogy Journal: Teaching and Learning for Justice: Vol. 2:
2, Article 1.
Available at: https://soundideas.pugetsound.edu/rpj/vol2/iss2/1