Machitia: An Educator-Focused Liberation Platform for Education

Machitia: An Educator-Focused Liberation Platform for Education

Joél-Léhi Organista (Columbia University, USA)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9351-5.ch009

Abstract

Machitia is an educator-focused mobile app prototype where educators create, collaborate, and share lesson plans. These lesson plans embed the following liberating and transformative theoretical frameworks and pedagogies called in this chapter “circles of liberation”: (1) Dis/ability critical race theory (DisCrit), (2) biliteracy, (3) culturally sustaining pedagogy, (4) radical healing, (5) critical pedagogy, (6) proficiency-based learning, (7) queer theory, and (8) decolonizing theory. After introducing those frameworks, a mapping of currently existing educator-focused platforms prelude the review of mobile technology theoretical frameworks Machitia's design incorporates. Then, the discussion turns to how all the circles of liberation and mobile technology theoretical frameworks manifest as features within Machitia. By the end of the chapter, learners and educators will have a sense of the various possibilities of, and the need for, an education-focused liberation platform.
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Overview Of Circles Of Liberation

Prior to any discussion on the specific mobile technology theoretical frameworks informing Machitia’s design, it is vital to understand what liberating, transformative theoretical frameworks and pedagogies the author will draw from, as well as how technology can facilitate the process of education for liberation. Since the purpose of Machitia focuses on liberating and transformative lesson plans, it is important to articulate what that means. There are eight theoretical frameworks and pedagogies that have been identified that collectively make up what a liberating and transformative lesson plan has the potential to be. We call these within Machitia, “circles of liberation”: (1) Dis/ability Critical Race Theory (DisCrit), (2) Biliteracy (3) Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy, (4) Radical Healing, (5) Critical Pedagogy, (6) Proficiency Based Learning, (7) Queer Theory, and (8) Decolonizing Theory.

Dis/ability Critical Race Theory

DisCrit combines aspects of Critical Race Theory (CRT) and Disability Studies to propose a new theoretical framework that incorporates a dual analysis of race and ability. CRT has at least five tenets that “inform theory, research, pedagogy, curriculum, and policy: (1) the intercentricity of race and racism; (2) the challenge to dominant ideology; (3) the commitment to social justice; (4) the centrality of experiential knowledge; and (5) the utilization of interdisciplinary approaches” (Yosso, 2005, p. 73). While there are different ethnicities, the word racism is used here as it has been purveyed as a trope in society, even though scientific fact indicates that there is only one race. The word racism in this chapter is used to refer to forms of bias and discrimination experienced by people because of their ethnicity.

While there are seven tenets of DisCrit:

  • 1.

    DisCrit focuses on ways that the forces of racism and ableism circulate interdependently, often in neutralized and invisible ways, to uphold notions of normalcy (Annamma, Connor, & Ferri, 2016, p. 11);

  • 2.

    DisCrit values multidimensional identities and troubles singular notions of identity such as race or dis/ability or class or gender or sexuality, and so on (ibid, p. 11);

  • 3.

    DisCrit emphasizes the social constructions of race and ability yet recognizes the material as well as the psychological impacts of being labeled as raced or dis/abled, which sets one outside of the western cultural norms (ibid, p. 11);

  • 4.

    DisCrit privileges voices of marginalized populations, traditionally not acknowledged within research (ibid, p. 11);

  • 5.

    DisCrit considers legal and historical aspects of dis/ability and race, additionally how both have been used separately and together to deny the rights of some [individuals] (ibid, p. 11);

  • 6.

    DisCrit recognizes whiteness and Ability as Property and that gains for people labeled with dis/abilities have largely been made as the result of interest convergence of white, middle-class citizens (ibid, p. 11);

  • 7.

    DisCrit requires activism and supports all forms of resistance (ibid, 2016, p. 11).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Pedagogy: The art of teaching.

Queer Theory: A fluid framework of challenging heteropatriarchy, and gendernormativity, and its relation to intersectionalities.

Proficiency-Based Learning: The focus on mastery and being proficient over the deficit and dehumanizing focus on solely memorization, performance, and evaluations.

Constructivist Theory: Activities in which learners actively construct new ideas or concepts based on both their previous and current knowledge.

Informal and Lifelong Theory: Activities that support learning outside a dedicated learning environment and formal curriculum.

Decolonizing Theory: Indigenous theory, history, cosmologies, axiologies, epistemology, and futurity that is people-specific, time-specific, land-specific, in critiques of settler colonialism, borders, conceptualizations of antiblackness, heteropatriarchy, gendernormativity, and ableism.

Radical Healing: Interdisciplinary approach to healing bringing in psychological trauma, civic engagement, cultural sustainability, and social justice frameworks.

Biliterate: Strengthening bridges between languages in their reading, writing, listening, and oracy.

Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy: Teaching that perpetuates and fosters linguistic, literate, and cultural pluralism as part of schooling for positive social transformation.

Machitia: In the Nahuatl language it means to “teach someone something” and in this chapter refers to the mobile app showcased.

Learning and Teaching Support Theory: Activities that assist in the coordination of learners and resources for learning activities.

Collaborative Theory: Activities that promote learning through social interaction.

Critical Pedagogy: A collective process that utilizes dialogical learning approaches which are critical of the underlying systems and structures of oppression, systemic in their inquiry into both theory and practice, participatory in involving communities in transformation, and creative in bringing into play cultural productions to re-read society.

Disability Critical Race Theory: Critical race theory and disability studies intersecting in a new theoretical framework that incorporates a dual analysis of race and ability.

Behaviorist Theory: Activities that promote learning as a change in learners’ observable actions.

Social Connectedness: Concept often been used to characterize degrees of interpersonal trust, attachment security, social competency, and a sense of belonging, online and in the real world.

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