You Can't be Neutral on a Moving Bus: Critical Pedagogy as Community Praxis
This paper is a narrative account of my experience in, and reflection on, a social movement that is using critical pedagogy to build a gender-balanced, multi-racial, multi-lingual political organization from the ground up. Conscious of the ambiguous personal commitment of academics to radical politics such as Marxism, this paper shares the narrator's choices and present day concerns as he attempted to bridge the gap between scholarly research and activism, through close contact with workers in a social movement union in the United States. As a departure from the normative strategies of political propagandistic/pedagogical information based practices produced within the university, this detailed exposition explores the dilemmas, possibilities and challenges for activist elements in the academic milieu to develop radical theory and practice. This paper is an experiment in figuring out how academics interested in re-activating a radical pedagogy on the side of the oppressed can expand their involvement in some for the struggles and enterprises of community.
Keywords: Critical pedagogy, Social movements, Academic activism, Social justice
Dr Gregory Martin
Lecturer, School of Education and Professional Studies, Griffith University