Agents for Change: Applying Critical Pedagogy in Enabling Programs

By Jennifer Stokes and Tamra Ulpen.

Published by The International Journal of Learning in Higher Education

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: June 3, 2015 $US5.00

In enabling programs, refugees from war-torn countries work alongside local students from low-SES backgrounds, discussing issues they have in common while learning about each other’s differences. Students with learning disabilities work to manage their challenges with the help of classmates who are learning in a second language. It is the enabling educator’s role to teach this new and diverse cohort in ways that will assist them to transition to undergraduate study; however the best practice pedagogies are still being ascertained. This paper will provide a case study of critical pedagogy (Freire 1994; Gonzalez, Moll and Amanti 2012; Shor 1999) and practice across three courses in one Australian enabling program, designed to support student development in academic literacy, critical literacy, English language skills and understanding academic culture. Across these complementary courses, students learn necessary practical skills, such as essay-writing and research, while they also develop criticality. The development of criticality allows students to better understand, critique and, perhaps, address societal inequities (Kress 2011); supporting students to become agents for change who can achieve in the broader university and society.

Keywords: Critical Pedagogy, Enabling Programs, Widening Participation, Australia

The International Journal of Learning in Higher Education, Volume 22, Issue 3, September 2015, pp.57-65. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: June 3, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 610.039KB)).

Jennifer Stokes

Program Coordinator, UniSA College, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA, Australia

Tamra Ulpen

Program Coordinator, UniSA College, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA, Australia