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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Engaging Emotions and Practicing Conflict: Emotions and Teaching Toward Social Justice
by Meeker, Joy, Ph.D., California Institute of Integral Studies, 2012, 327; 3508090
Abstract (Summary)

This inquiry considers the role of emotions and conflict in education practices which align with social justice. The classroom is a significant location to learn and practice resourceful responses to conflict and to the emotions that accompany conflict, and can itself be considered a site of conflict intervention. This research questions how U.S. educators can engage both conflicts and emotions in ways that strengthen educators' capacities to nourish learning and social change.

The researcher interviewed educators of adult learners, selecting those who are informed by conflict resolution and who seek to contribute to social justice through their teaching. Considering the grounded interpretations of these educators, this inquiry focuses on their efforts to engage emotions and conflicts in the classroom as well as the dilemmas raised when doing so. The analysis oscillates between the interpretations of the coparticipants and theory—particularly relying on the literatures of conflict transformation, feminist theories of emotions, and pedagogies of social justice.

While critical takes within the conflict field highlight how conflicts can open transformative change, the possibilities and limits of emotions' role in personal-systemic change has yet to be substantively considered. In contrast, feminists have a long history of considering the relationships between conflict, emotions, and social change. The inquiry brings feminist understandings of emotions into dialogue with conflict praxis in hopes of informing pedagogical practices. Further, this qualitative inquiry seeks to expand the concrete possibilities available for educators to engage the emotional sensibilities of learners during conflict, particularly considering how a “pedagogy of discomfort” can help integrate students' unsettling experiences into interpretations that can nourish learning and social change (Boler, 1999).

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Gozawa, Joanne
Commitee: Raffanti, Michael, Roy, Beth
School: California Institute of Integral Studies
Department: Humanities with a concentration in Transformative Learning and Change
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 73/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Pedagogy, Adult education, Peace Studies
Keywords: Adult education, Conflict resolution, Emotional response, Higher education, Pedagogy, Social activism
Publication Number: 3508090
ISBN: 978-1-267-33641-5
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