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American Association of Philosophy Teachers Studies in Pedagogy

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published on December 8, 2017

Sarah Donovan
DOI: 10.5840/aaptstudies201712431

Challenging Privilege in Community-Based Learning and in the Philosophy Classroom

Community-based learning is one way to bring discussions about diversity and inclusion into the philosophy classroom, but it can have unintended, negative consequences if it is not carefully planned. This article is divided into four sections that utilize courses and projects in which I have participated, as both co-architect and instructor, to discuss potential negative outcomes and how to avoid them. The first section introduces the projects and courses. The second section discusses practices that nurture positive relationships between institutions of higher education and communities, and pedagogical strategies to prevent reinforcing negative student perceptions about vulnerable communities. The third section discusses how curricular and pedagogical choices can challenge privilege and power both in the classroom and community experience. The final section focuses on what to do when a student resists the learning experience. I conclude with a brief reflection about the community side of this partnership.