CRITICAL PEDAGOGIES IN INTERNET STUDIES: TEACHING FOR CHANGE
Keywords:critical pedagogies, internet studies, teaching, activism, social justice
There are urgent reasons for considering whether, as academics, we place our trust in the current system or whether we try to change it. Research offers one pathway towards supporting efforts for positive change, but we should not neglect the potential of our teaching work. Academics within Internet studies have unique possibilities for engaging in critical pedagogies, supporting students in understanding and challenging oppression. I draw here on ten years’ experience teaching in Internet studies, student and peer feedback, and the literature on critical pedagogy and decolonizing academia. I suggest that where possible we reflect on the texts we set students; redesign assessment; considering being vulnerable with students; and challenge restrictive policies and procedures (such as those around late submission of assignments). These approaches rely on trusting students, and on building their trust in us without relying solely on our institutional authority. As a field we need to actively and explicitly discuss how, and what, we teach.