Harvard Educational Review
  1. Spring 2011 Issue »

    What Does Injustice Have to Do with Me?

    A Pedagogy of the Privileged

    David Nurenberg
    In this article, David Nurenberg relates his experiences as a suburban high school humanities teacher struggling to engage students with issues of social justice. His story reveals what happens when a teacher works against the resistance of his primarily white and privileged students to reading “literature of the oppressed” on the grounds that it is irrelevant to their lives. Nurenberg draws on Freirean pedagogy, which encourages socially conscious educators to help make learning authentic and relevant by engaging students with curricula focused on issues of social injustice, and asks us to consider what a pedagogy of the oppressed is for students who do not see their lives as such. He reflects on the dynamics of his classroom using applicable theory and speculates about what is possible in teaching social justice in a place of privilege.

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    David Nurenberg is a teacher of English, American, and world literatures at Concord Carlisle High School in Concord, Massachusetts, where he also coordinates the school’s international exchange programs with its sister schools in Japan and Turkmenistan. He has taught as an adjunct professor at Lesley University, and his work has been published in journals such as the Peace Chronicle and Multicultural Review. He presently sits on the board of the Massachusetts-Hokkaido Society and is a former board member of the New England Peace Studies Association. Nurenberg has received several State Department grants for work in international teacher and student exchanges.
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    Spring 2011 Issue

    Abstracts

    Becoming Something Different
    Learning from Esmé
    Colleen M. Fairbanks, Penny Mason Crooks, Mary Ariail
    “It’s Going to Stop in This Generation”
    Women with a History of Child Abuse Resolving to Raise Their Children Without Abuse
    Sioux Hall
    What Does Injustice Have to Do with Me?
    A Pedagogy of the Privileged
    David Nurenberg
    Beyond Delinquent Citizenships
    Immigrant Youth’s (Re)Visions of Citizenship and Belonging in a Globalized World
    Anne Ríos-Rojas
    "Doing Right By"
    Teacher Aides, Students with Disabilities, and Relational Social Justice
    Gill Rutherford
    Rebooting the EdD
    Jon F. Wergin

    Book Notes

    To Teach
    William Ayers and Ryan Alexander-Tanner