SYMP 270 - Addressing persisting gaps and inequities in American community colleges by connecting student agency and social change through transformative activist educational practices

1.3 Learning, knowledge and agency
Symposium (Symp)
1:30 PM, Tuesday 29 Aug 2017 (2 hours)
Afternoon Refreshments   03:30 PM to 03:50 PM (20 minutes)
Community colleges (CC) comprise the largest single sector of American postsecondary education, enrolling about 45 percent of all undergraduates, and have been singled out by US President Obama as the country’s most powerful tool to improve the chances of the underprivileged. However, the educational visions of CC remain divided between the conservative agenda, focusing on students' preparation for the entry-level job market, and the liberal approach that focuses on broad knowledge and preparing students to deal with the complexity and diversity of the world. The overarching goal of this symposium is to contribute to advancing current educational approaches for CC students. Grounded in cultural-historical activity theory expanded by the transformative activist stance –TAS (Stetsenko, 2008), the papers suggest ways to work in solidarity to break away from a narrow, commodified educational agenda focused on utilitarian learning outcomes geared toward social mobility. Importantly, the papers in this symposium highlight the role of projects collaboratively implemented by both students and faculty/researchers that endeavor to develop activist projects of social transformation in CC and beyond. The symposium will open with the discussion of existing transformative approaches and critical examination of different conceptions of transformative education and exploring the possible alternatives that would address existing contradictions. The presentations provide specific examples of pedagogy based on TAS approach in two public CC in New York, specifically, in the context of a voluntary peer-based learning community (PALC), teaching psychology classes and developing a collaborative research project with first-year psychology students.
LaGuardia Community College, CUNY
LaGuardia Community College- City University of New York (CUNY)
Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY)
Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY)
Dutchess Community College

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