Connectedness in education as a social critique of individualism: an analysis of cultural foundations course

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Revital Zilonka (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
H. Svi Shapiro

Abstract: In this qualitative research the author explores, investigates, and analyzes dis/connectedness—and the many ways it manifests within the individual, social, and political spheres—by drawing on multiple perspectives (philosophy, history and sociology). This research also examines the relationship between dis/connectedness, critical pedagogy and social justice education; and how interjecting dis/connectedness discourses into cultural foundations in education course might advance a better understanding of social justice issues in U.S. society, and in the school system in particular. By employing multi-dimensional methodology approach, the empirical portion of this research examines how pre-service teachers and school social workers responded to a Pedagogy of Connectedness — which emphasizes community, identity, and social responsibility. Using five sections of a cultural foundations in education course, including more than 120 reflection papers written by the students and 11 interviews, the results of this study show that a pedagogy that is grounded in investing in relationships, cultivating a sense of community, understanding the ways identity markers function within power structures, and realizing one’s social responsibility to the communities one belongs to are key components in becoming social change agents. Furthermore, emphasizing community, identity and social responsibility becomes a vehicle that assists students to ask new questions about the social constructs, norms and values while assisting educators’ efforts to facilitate students’ transformation.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2018
Connectedness, Critical community, Critical pedagogy, Identity, Social connectedness, Social justice education
Critical pedagogy
Social justice
Education $x Curricula

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