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Ralph Armbruster-Sandoval

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Is Another World Possible, Is Another Classroom Possible? Radical Pedagogy, Activism, and Social Change

Playing off the World Social Forum’s motto, “another world is possible,” this article examines some of the challenges associated with “teaching for social justice” or creating “another classroom” based on a class entitled “Racism in American History.” This class initially explored the historical and contemporary manifestations of racism in the United States from 1492 until the present, but it eventually transgressed those boundaries. The course material–books, discussion topics, films, music, and role-playing exercises–sparked emotional responses from the students and instructor. As the class progressed, group solidarity and cohesion slowly emerged, generating a shift from merely studying racism to actively working against it. This article examines this transformation and discusses how the course became “another classroom.” It also explores the short and long-term impact it had on the students and instructor and concludes with some reflections on teaching, activism, and “burn-out.”

radical pedagogy, social justice, global justice movement, World Social Forum, activism, racism, antiracism

Citation: Social Justice Vol. 32, No. 2 (2005): 34-51.

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