Innovation as a Consideration for Being a Social Justice Decolonization Construct Within Culturally Responsive Teaching & Learning

Thevenot, Yvonne

This paper explores the context of innovation as a social justice decolonization construct used to initiate the education advancement process for Black people. Further, this paper explores how Black people innovated ideologies, legal and social processes, and movements in order to cause upheaval to the societal status quo that denied them education opportunities. The timeline I chose for this focus is pre-Brown vs. Board of Education, as I maintain that the efforts made by Black people to advance their cause for education in the pre-Brown vs. Board of Education era helped to generate forward progress toward the systematic dismantling and decolonization of overt segregationist efforts in education spaces. For centuries, the use of and intention of innovation has been used as a construct to alter the present realities, within a particular time and space, and is usually connected with the technological, scientific, and engineering processes intended to modify or improve products and services.  This paper, however, will explore how the efforts to change, alter and disrupt the systemic and societal processes that denied Black people education opportunities were also innovative  - in thought, in the form of a long-term vision, and in action - with the intended result of furthering the educational aspirations of themselves and for themselves.  Still, further, I argue for the importance of (re)positioning their efforts to change, alter, and initiate the upheaval of systems that were established to oppress them as ones that are innovative and that such efforts be regarded as those that are aligned with social justice decolonization.   Further, this paper will describe a contemporary context where innovative teaching and learning practices occur, and analyze how such practices serve as a link to social justice and a visible effort to decolonize learning spaces and create forward academic momentum for students of color.


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Published Here
August 29, 2022


culturally responsive pedagogy, social justice, innovation in education, decolonization