Critical, Intersectional, and Deeply Personal: Open Pedagogy according to Rajiv Jhangiani

During Digital Pedagogy Lab 2019, Rajiv Jhangiani will lead a course called Critical Open Pedagogy. The course will question what it means to be an open educator, explore the value and limitations of open licensing, interrogate the openness of educational technologies, and struggle with the many ways in which open education marginalizes despite its mission of equity. We caught up with Rajiv to ask a few questions about his course, and what he has in mind for participants.

Why have you titled your course the way you have? What does it say about your hopes for the week at DPL?

Open pedagogy is influenced by both open education and critical pedagogy, so I wanted the title of the track to reflect this. I am also trying to convey that openness in education, when unaccompanied with criticality, has the potential to perpetrate great harm despite flying under a social justice flag. My hope for the week is that we will explore, challenge, contrast, integrate, and otherwise critically engage with ideas that light the way towards a more inclusive and equitable future for both knowledge and knowledge creation.

If you were going to describe your course as a narrative–with a beginning, middle, and end–how would the story go?

Instead of a single story I see this track as more of an anthology that surrounds a single theme. We will begin with acknowledgements, dedications, and a preface that contextualizes the body of work. What and how much the group contributes to the collection—stories, autobiographies, case studies, media, poetry, songs—is up to each individual. We will workshop our successive drafts with radical openness and the collection will be heavily annotated. Each contribution will link out to other related pieces. While the anthology will carry a global open license, contributors will exercise their agency concerning how widely beyond the institute they wish to share their intellectual contributions. The anthology will close with suggested readings and an index that identifies cross-cutting ideas. With any luck, the anthology will be a living document.

To your mind, what is the most important thing participants in your course will walk away with? Do you have learning objectives or outcomes? Do you have a fond wish for them?

I hope we are able to build an inclusive space that invites generous sharing, honest reflection, and critical discussion; one that forges authentic connections that support our growth well after DPL.

Describe your style of teaching. What is your pedagogical approach and your classroom style? Why?

I will bring my full self to the track, including my quirks, expertise, and the many gaps in my knowledge base. I will share and invite you to reciprocate, facilitate (this will be a very participatory experience), listen, and follow, and provide some structure while hoping that we will deviate from it as needed. I will invite you to enrich our journey by steering us where you need to go.

This isn’t your first time at DPL. Why have you chosen to return?

I was originally meant to teach at DPL in Fredericksburg in 2017 but withdrew following the Muslim travel ban. A few months later I helped organize DPL Vancouver, during which I co-taught a track with my constant collaborator Robin DeRosa. More recently I had the unforgettable experience of attending DPL Toronto as a participant in Amy Collier’s wonderful track on inclusive design. Across these experiences what has stood out for me is the thought, care, and authenticity that the organizers, instructors, and attendees have brought to their time together. It has been humbling, inspiring, and incredibly rewarding. I have developed deep friendships within this community. It is these relationships that will always bring me back, despite recurring bouts of impostor syndrome.

Is there anything else you would like people to know about your DPL 2019 course?

Our discussions in this track will be guided through a social justice lens. This work is critical, intersectional, and deeply personal. Self-awareness and self-care will be essential. I aim for the track to be designed to support both.


Registration Now Open

Rajiv Jhangiani

Among with Sean Michael Morris, Digital Pedagogy Lab

Dr. Rajiv Jhangiani is the Associate Vice Provost on Open Education and a Psychology Instructor at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in British Columbia.

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