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LD@3 The Invisible Labour of Code Switching: Assumed Skills in High School and Higher Education Teaching

28/03/2022 @ 3:00 pm 4:00 pm

This presentation outlines an approach to LD that does not focus on where ‘students should be’ but rather tries to meet them where they are. This ‘pragmatic approach’ is based on real experiences in the classroom informed by critical pedagogy (Freire, hooks). It recognises that the assumed skills of students in HE are a product of social, political and cultural ideas and norms that do not reflect the experiences of many students. We have tried to adopt practices that recognise that the burden of ‘code switching’ (Benzie and Harper, 2020) to prescribed academic norms is often placed on students, without acknowledgement of that fact. Our combination of practices therefore also attempts to democratise access.

The presentation takes as its focus the skills of criticality, which in LD is what Meyer and Land would term a ‘threshold concept’ (2003), as well as in our home disciplines of history and English literature. We will then each explore a range of our experiences in high school and HE respectively to demonstrate how we each, separately, developed a pragmatic response to the code switching required for students to understand criticality. The paper will conclude with our application of these ideas and approaches to teaching criticality from an LD perspective.

Presenters: Eileen Pollard and Jennifer Reeve (Manchester Metropolitan University) 

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