PACE (Programs for Cross Cultural Awareness)

EDUC 566 – Pedagogy and Action for Critical Education (PACE)

Offered in the spring semester

Pedagogy and Action for Critical Education (PACE) is a course open to both graduate and undergraduate students and a partnership between the Greenfield Intercultural Center and the Graduate School of Education.

* All Penn undergraduate and graduate students and staff from all twelve schools are welcome.


About The Course

The course is designed in collaboration with students and is centered on student-facilitated critical dialogue. Students in this course will engage with salient dimensions and theoretical foundations of issues, such as social justice, diversity, intersectionality, oppression, and more, within educational spaces. Through course activities and discussions, and student-designed and facilitated classes, students will examine issues related to anti-oppressive education and develop skills in workshop design and facilitation that will empower them to work towards social change as community members, educators, and/or researchers.

This course will engage participants at their own entry point. Students with little background in these issues are as welcome as students with an extensive history in social justice organizing and research. While in the first half of the course, we examine key concepts in the field, the second half of the course allows students to select and lead a class discussion on topics of interest. These discussions should help us address and gain an understanding of key concepts from the first half of the course and their relationships with each other in the field of education. In this way, the course allows students of varying knowledge levels and interests to learn and grow collaboratively.

Email instructors at paceatpenn@gmail.com with any questions


Background:

Programs for Awareness in Cultural Education (PACE) and Teaching Performing Art for Cross-Cultural Education (TPACE) are partnerships between the Greenfield Intercultural Center and the Graduate School of Education. Their aims are to train students to increase cross-cultural awareness at the University of Pennsylvania.

Democratic Classroom Environment:

We strive to create an environment where students are engaged and active participants in a democratic learning process. Within the PACE context, democratic education means that students are peer educators – creating knowledge with the instructors rather than acting as containers waiting to be filled by expert knowledge. It also means that a supportive environment for cross-cultural dialogue dismantles and exposes the hierarchy both within the structure of the classroom itself and between course participants.

Elements of democratic education:

  • The course is facilitated by two instructors to model cooperative learning facilitation.
  • Shared decision-making and responsibility among the students and instructors.
  • A learner-centered approach; everyone can learn from anyone.
  • Equality among instructors and students.
  • The community is an extension of the classroom.

 Course Objectives:

  • Deepen self-knowledge about one’s own positionality and the impact of oppression on one’s own multifaceted identities.
  • Acquire new knowledge about, and exposure to oppression through readings and class discussions.
  • Develop awareness of, and sensitivity to, the lived experiences of others.
  • Develop facilitation and consciousness-raising skills to engage in critical discussions about social justice, diversity, intersectionality, oppression, and more.
  • Examine one’s own level of influence in working for social change.

Course Requirements:

  • Weekly 3-hour class sessions at the Greenfield Intercultural Center.
  • Complete assignments as designated in the syllabus, which usually includes readings, reading reflection papers, in-class facilitation, and a final research project.

Benefits:

  • Earn graduate-level course credit.
  • Learn workshop design and facilitation.
  • Develop skills to engage in difficult cross-cultural discussions.
  • Explore the intersection of gender, ethnicity, sexuality, culture, society, and education.
  • Improve and develop storytelling and performance skills.  
  • Learn how to incorporate performance art into a learning environment.
  • Explore the intersection of gender, ethnicity, sexuality, culture, society, education, and art.
  • Make strong and lasting connections with fellow course members and the diverse community of PACE and TPACE members, instructors, and advisors.
  • Improve public speaking skills.

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