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Journal for Peace and Justice Studies

Volume 20, Issue 1, 2010

Teresa G. Wojcik
Pages 70-84

Incorporating Catholic Social Teaching in the College Classroom
Connecting Pedagogy of the Oppressed and Justice in the World

Published within a year of one another, Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1970) and Justice in the World (1971) echo very similar themes, including oppression, structural injustice, and a concern for human rights and dignity. The documents also share comparable views concerning the role of schools in engendering societal transformation. Both texts recommend an education which develops critical consciousness in students through a pedagogy of dialogue and praxis. Such an approach to education encourages the poor and marginalized to overcome fatalistic outlooks, which keep them subordinated, and empowers them to actively engage in their own liberation. The author shares how coupling these two texts in her college course provided a means for introducing Catholic Social Teaching into the curriculum and enriching the learning experience of her students. She explains how Pedagogy of the Oppressed might be used to foreground Justice in the World and why this exercise constitutes a useful academic endeavor. The article concludes by asserting that the principles and documents of Catholic Social Teaching possess broad cross-curricular significance and that faculty should consider incorporating them into their syllabi.