CREATING COURSE COMMUNITY: COMMUNITY BASED PEDAGOGY AND SOCIAL LEARNING IN A THEATER COURSE

Restricted (Penn State Only)
Author:
Derreth, Robert Tyler
Graduate Program:
Higher Education
Degree:
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Dissertation
Date of Defense:
April 25, 2018
Committee Members:
  • Dorothy Evensen, Dissertation Advisor
  • Dorothy Evensen, Committee Chair
  • David S Guthrie, Committee Member
  • Karly Sarita Ford, Committee Member
  • Jacqueline Edmondson, Outside Member
Keywords:
  • community-based learning
  • higher education
  • teaching and learning
  • sociocultural theory
Abstract:
This dissertation focuses on the pedagogical structures that simultaneously facilitate complex learning and urban university-community partnerships in equitable ways. Through critical ethnography, I study an undergraduate community based learning (CBL) theater course that was designed in partnership between a faculty instructor and a director of a community organization. The findings show that there are five progressive elements of the CBL pedagogy that occur in the facilitation to participant learning and developing an activist mindset: the division of unconventional and conventional perspectives, conflict, confusion over the definition of participant roles, critical reflection, and the formation of a collaborative course community. My analysis uses sociocultural theory and critical race theory lenses to argue that the findings reveal the need to shift classroom CBL pedagogies to be more relational and more aware of hegemonic and potentially critical discourses within institutional spaces. The dissertation has implications for research and practice in the field of CBL pedagogy and curricula. Further, it offers a sociocultural-based pedagogical framework for CBL classes and a re-tooled curriculum of the observed course as an example of how instructors can plan and implement this sociocultural-based framework.