DPL 2020 #STEMDigPed Day 3 (Social Justice, Equity, and Decolonialism)

Ghost Post Day 3 (https://stem.dpl.online/day-3-2/)

“Education…is the practice of freedom, the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world.” (Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed)

Design is key to our collective liberation, but most design processes today reproduce inequalities that are structured by what Black feminist scholar Patricia Hill Collins calls the matrix of domination: white supremacy, heteropatriarchy, capitalism, and settler colonialism (Collins, 2002). These and additional intersecting inequalities are manifest at all levels of the design process, including (but not limited to): designers, intended users, values, affordances and disaffordances, scoping and framing, privileged design sites, governance, ownership, and control of designed objects, platforms, and systems, and narratives about how design processes work. (Sasha Constanza-ChockDesign Justice: Towards an Intersectional Feminist Framework for Design Theory and Practice, pp. 2-3)

If one of our jobs as critical pedagogues is to design curricula, then our design processes need to consider and be consciously aware of the matrix of domination. This matrix permeates everything we do in our design work and in the classroom when we teach, consciously or unconsciously. So today is our day to become more aware of this matrix and the inequalities it promotes.

Therefore we are jumping headfirst into the matrix and the heart of critical pedagogy – social justice, equity, decolonization, or the systematic dismantling of colonialism, and decolonialism.

Will you take the red pill or the blue pill? (Scene from “The Matrix”)

While the latter two, which address different aspects of colonialism when applied to higher education, are important, our focus will be on social justice and equity. But just like critical pedagogy, critical digital pedagogy, and open pedagogy, these ideas have so many overlapping boundaries that it is often helpful to address them as a whole first, and then systematically tease out what is meant by each. This is partially why the vidcast with Maha is longer than the others – I gave her the overwhelming job of talking about all of these and she graciously obliged.

We have a synchronous meeting today at 1pm MDT/3pm EDT. The Zoom link is under the Synchronous Sessions chat in Discourse or in your email. Please join us as we chat about what we’ve learned thus far and as we ask Maha questions about social justice, equity, and decolonialism. A recording will be made available on my pedagogy YouTube channel (it’s where the vidcasts have been).

Also, the Audrey Watters keynote is today at 12pm EDT and her Fireside chat is at 7pm EDT. If you haven’t read her blog – Hack Education – it is an experience that you’ll remember. Most of Audrey’s blogs work towards systematically dismantling all of our assumptions about #EdTech. If you don’t want to dive into the deep end immediately, you could dip your toe in the waters of #EdTech by reading Sean’s most recent blog – Technology is not Pedagogy.

Because there is so much going on (and we are inevitably wrapping up our Hypothes.is articles from the previous two days), we do not have a Hypothes.is article for today. But tomorrow and Friday there is one each day, so take this as a middle-of-the-week breather.

The plan for the day is here: https://stem.dpl.online/day-3/.


Ghost Page Day 3 (https://stem.dpl.online/day-3)

Wednesday, July 29, 2020 (Day 3)

Theme: Social Justice, Decolonialism, and Equity in Online Learning Spaces

Questions to Ponder

  • What struck you from today’s vidcast or readings? Any Aha’s?
  • How do we integrate social justice and equity into everything that we do or assess in our classrooms?
  • What larger classroom techniques (including student agency, building community, assessment, and evaluation) can we use to emphasize social justice and equity in our classrooms?
  • What smaller classroom techniques can we use to emphasize social justice and equity in our classrooms?
  • How do we deal thoughtfully and compassionately with “problem” students – those students who show passive-aggressive, argumentative, or trolling type behaviors?


Readings, Videos, Podcasts, etc.

DPL Vidcast Episode 3 with Maha Bali

Teaching as an act of social justice and equity with Bryan Dewsbury (Teaching in Higher Ed Podcast hosted by Bonni Stachowiak, Episode 215)

Gordon, S. R., Elmore-Sander, P., & Gordon, D. R. (2017). Everyday practices of social justice: Examples and suggestions for administrators and practitioners in higher education. Journal of Critical Thought and Praxis, 6(1), 68-83.


Resources to Explore

Sherri Spelic – Bending the Arc: A Social Justice Newsletter for Educators

Equity Toolkit (Colorado Department of Higher Education)

ACE Framework (OPEN CoLab)


Extension Readings, Videos, Podcasts, etc. [THESE ARE SUPER OPTIONAL!]

Maha Bali Keynote: Centering Critical Care During Crises (OLC Innovate 2020 Virtual Conference)

Hodgkinson-Williams, C. A., & Trotter, H. (2018). A social justice framework for understanding open educational resources and practices in the Global South. Journal of Learning for Development – JL4D, 5(3), 204-224.

Montelongo, R., & Eaton, P. W. (2019). Online learning for social justice and inclusion: The role of technological tools in graduate student learning. The International Journal of Information and Learning Technology, 37(1/2), 33-45.


Discourse Day 3

Good morning (MDT) y’all!

Today we engage with Social Justice, Equity. and Decolonialism. I’m realizing I chose some of the hardest topics for the week to wrestle with on top of the inevitable exhaustion already setting in for some of you (the DPL exhaustion hits typically Wednesday or Thursday). Pushing through is certainly a valid option (and one that will allow us to consider these topics today), but also make sure you are taking time for yourself. The Ghost site will be around for the next year so if you need to slow down a bit, please do.

Let’s check in. What small or large epiphanies (A-ha’s) have you had since yesterday? Was there anything in yesterday’s material or keynote that made you want to know more? Anything you’d like to share?

Also, let’s continue to get to know one another just a bit more. What do you do to rejuvenate your mind and body when you’re exhausted?


Go back to Day 0, Day 1, or Day 2. Go forward to Day 4, Day 5, or Day 6.

5 thoughts on “DPL 2020 #STEMDigPed Day 3 (Social Justice, Equity, and Decolonialism)

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