Critical Consciousness and Global Collectivities: Using Culturally Responsive Pedagogy in Secondary World Literature Courses

Borglum, Stephanie, English - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Borglum, Stephanie, Arts & Sciences Graduate-basg, University of Virginia

This thesis introduces a pedagogical approach to world literature courses at the secondary level. A gap exists between undergraduate survey world literature courses and secondary world literature courses, and to bridge this gap, this paper suggests implementing culturally responsive pedagogical practices at the level of syllabus construction and assessment. A major tenet of culturally responsive pedagogy is the development of a critical consciousness, which students will use to critically reflect on the social, cultural, political, and historical implications of the texts they encounter in the course to address the effects of globalization and the improved cross-cultural understanding resulting from transnationalism. To interpret world literature within the context of globalization, this paper suggests thinking of world literature through the process of world-making—transactions between formerly national literatures now playing out on the global stage. By framing world literature as a transactional process among literatures, and further as an examination of global collectivities, secondary level world literature courses can help students understand how their own perspective is formed by discursive elements that shape their identities as global citizens. The paper concludes with a hypothetical course investigation in which culturally responsive pedagogy informs the textual analysis and assessments. By framing world literature courses in this way, we can prepare students for true praxis: an awareness of the social, historical, and political mechanisms at work in the world and the ability to enact critical action as globally responsible citizens.

MA (Master of Arts)
critical consciousness, culturally responsive pedagogy, world literature, pedagogy, Zadie Smith, Gayatri Spivak, collectivities, Gloria Ladson-Billings, Geneva Gay, Paulo Freire
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