Center for Anti-Oppressive Education CAOE

Linked with 6th Internat. Conference on Teacher Education and Social Justice.

The Center for Anti-Oppressive Education CAOE recognizes that the quality of education cannot improve unless we commit to challenging the racism, classism, sexism, and other oppressions that permeate our schools and societies. Through its projects on research, curriculum, professional development, and local advocacy, CAOE develops and provides innovative resources for educators, leaders, students, and advocates throughout the United States and the world who are interested in creating and engaging in anti-oppressive forms of education. CAOE was founded in 2002, and in 2006, relocated to Chicago, Illinois. (Homepage).
Report: The Status of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Education, Beyond the Model Minority Stereotype, 46 pdf-pages;
Address: Center for Anti-Oppressive Education, P.O. Box 267971, Chicago, IL 60626 U.S.A;
Contact: Kevin K. Kumashiro, Ph.D., Director.

Definitions: Contradictions abound in education. Teaching involves both intended and unintended lessons, and it is often in the unintended, hidden lessons that racism, sexism, and other isms find life.

Learning involves both a desire for and a resistance to knowledge, and it is often our resistance to uncomfortable ideas that keeps our eyes closed to the “isms.” Common sense does not often tell us that oppression plays out in our schools. But the contradictions in education make it impossible to say that oppression is not in some way affecting what and how we teach, despite our best of intentions. What might it mean, then, to teach in ways that challenge oppression?

The term “anti-oppressive education” is a very broad one that encompasses approaches to education that actively challenge different forms of oppression.

There is Not Just One Form of Oppression:

  • Oppression refers to a social dynamic in which certain ways of being in this world – including certain ways of identifying or being identified – are normalized or privileged while other ways are disadvantaged or marginalized. Forms of oppression include racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, anti-Semitism, ablism, colonialism, and other “isms.” Anti-oppressive education aims to challenge multiple forms of oppression.

There is Not Just One Anti-Oppressive Education:

  • There are many approaches to anti-oppressive education, some that contradict or critique others. This is not surprising. For decades, educators and researchers have suggested a range of theories of oppression and practices to challenge it, and these theories and practices all have their own strengths and weaknesses. The field of anti-oppressive education draws on these traditions, crafting links between feminist, critical, multicultural, queer, postcolonial, and other movements toward social justice. As it moves forward, the field of anti-oppressive education constantly problematizes its own perspectives and practices by seeking new insights, recognizing that any approach to education – even its own – can make certain changes possible but others impossible.

Yet, There are Perspectives that All Approaches Share: … (full text).

(This definition is adapted from the writings of Dr. Kevin K. Kumashiro).

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