It's Diablogical!
A Collaborative Diablog on Feminist Pedagogy
Kumashiro and Consciousness-Raising
Categories: Reflections

So, I’m in the midst of re-reading Kevin Kumashiro’s Troubling Education: Queer Activism and Anti-oppressive Pedagogy for my feminist pedagogies class this afternoon. I have already mentioned his work–particularly his idea about shifting the goal of pedagogy from understanding to effect and the influence it has had on my vision of a troublemaking pedagogy (I can’t find the entry right now. I wish I had tagged his name. Oh well–misplacing information/ideas can be a problem on blogs). In his second chapter, he offers a few critical words about consciousness-raising and its limitations. Here’s what he writes:

the goals of consciousness-raising and empowerment assume that knowledge, understanding, and critique lead to personal action and social transformation. A student may learn all the knowledge and skills theoretically needed to engage in subversive political action, but may not choose to act any differently than before (48).


the goal of consciousness-raising puts into play a modernist and rationalist approach to challenging oppression that is actually harmful to students who are traditionally marginalized in society….the rationalist approach to CR assumes that reason and reason alone is what leads to understanding (49).

It seems to me that Kumashiro is presenting one (limited) vision of consciousness-raising here. On this blog (and in our chapter), we talked a lot of virtual consciousness-raising. How do we position our understanding of CR in relation to Kumashiro’s? Is CR only primarily about awareness/understanding, leading to action? Does VCR offer up its own form of action? (Can you tell I’m in teacher mode right now–sometimes it’s hard to move between registers. Maybe when I have time, I will go back and answer some of these questions myself!)

Comments are closed.