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A critical approach to humanizing pedagogies in online teaching and learning

Rohit Mehta (Department of Curriculum and Instruction, California State University Fresno, Fresno, California, USA)
Earl Aguilera (Department of Curriculum and Instruction, California State University Fresno, Fresno, California, USA)

International Journal of Information and Learning Technology

ISSN: 2056-4880

Publication date: 12 April 2020

Abstract

Purpose

In this paper, the authors draw on theories of critical pedagogy to interrogate recent trends in online education scholarship, calling for more humanizing pedagogies. By using vignettes from their own teaching experiences, the paper illustrates tensions between autonomous and ideological visions of humanizing approaches, particularly how they apply to issues of inclusion in online teaching and learning.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors draw on critical theory to interrogate the framings of humanizing online teaching. Sharing three illustrative vignettes from their own reflexive teaching practice, the authors demonstrate how a critically framed approach to humanizing digital pedagogies can promote the design and enactment of more inclusive learning environments across online contexts.

Findings

Based on the pedagogical cases presented, the authors demonstrate (1) how methods promoted in autonomous models of humanizing pedagogy can present challenges for inclusive design, (2) how participatory media production activities can still intersect with issues of racialization, and (3) how humanizing pedagogical commitments by individual instructors can be constrained by material, structural, and institutional realities.

Practical implications

While critical framings of pedagogy necessarily resist prescriptive recommendations, the authors conclude the article by underscoring the importance of critically interrogating the ideological dimensions of humanizing pedagogies, the need to grapple with social inequities even as educational contexts are increasingly digitized; the importance of considering structural issues of power and privilege that produce and constrain pedagogical possibilities.

Originality/value

The authors offer a critical framing of humanizing pedagogies in online education that runs counter to the often-autonomous framings of these approaches, highlighting issues of power, privilege, and ideology that can be overlooked in online educational contexts, especially at the level of institutional, instructional design and support.

Keywords

Citation

Mehta, R. and Aguilera, E. (2020), "A critical approach to humanizing pedagogies in online teaching and learning", International Journal of Information and Learning Technology, Vol. 37 No. 3, pp. 109-120. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJILT-10-2019-0099

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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