And here is the final chapter of the MASS Action Toolkit! Thank you to all those who have participated in the online reading group. We hope that you will join us for the final tweetchat on 08/05 at 12pm Eastern.
Change-Making through Pedagogy
Authors: Alyssa Greenberg, Anniessa Antar, Elisabeth Callihan
Including interviews with educators: Alyssa Machida, Hannah Heller, Keonna Hendrick, Marit Dewhurst, Paula Santos, Nenette Luarca-Shoaf, Wendy Ng
This final chapter in the MASSaction toolkit’s Theory section asserts that educators, because of their required skill sets, have been leaders in the museum movement to expand audiences and address social justice. These skills include “active listening, understanding human development and learning theory, and advocating for visitors’ needs.” The authors go on to describe the different ways some museum educators have shaped and use pedagogies that move their institutions toward greater inclusion, equity, diversity and justice. They call out women of color as those most likely to lead the way in this museum work, and acknowledge the physical and mental toll this takes on them. The authors continue by acknowledging that working conditions—labor practices, degrees of autonomy, and the levels of microaggressions and awareness throughout the institution—impact the ways educators can shape pedagogy. Four practices that come from progressive pedagogy are called out as critical:
- Rigorous practice includes conducting research and understanding critical race theory, whiteness studies, and critical pedagogy. To avoid falling into routines that support racism, consistent questioning of practices is necessary.
- Confronting whiteness means interrogating the systemic ways white privilege and its narratives continue to shape museums, holding these systems up to the light, and committing to change them. It’s not enough to focus on the symptoms; to be inclusive we must tackle the ingrained, systemic practices that work against inclusion.
- Developing a culture of critical reflection across the museum, at all levels, is required.
- Those who experience white privilege must engage with the discomfort of ceding power and let go of defensiveness in order to reduce the pain and suffering that white supremacy norms perpetuate.
This week’s downloads and link: