:sync: Framing Open Educational Practices (OEP) from a Social Justice Perspective

Authors: Maha Bali, Catherine Cronin, Rajiv Jhangiani
Institutions: American University in Cairo, National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, Kwantlen Polytechnic University
Countries: Egypt, Ireland, Canada

Topic: Applications of Open Education Practices/Open Pedagogy/Open Education Research
Sector: Higher Education
UNESCO Area of Focus: Inclusive OER
Session Format: Workshop


Projects and practices that emphasize “open for all” may not necessarily meet the needs of those farthest from justice. This session focuses on opportunities to rethink how we approach OEP if our goal is to promote social justice. This session expands on work we published earlier this year, ‘Framing open educational practices (OEP) from a social justice perspective’ (Authors, 2020). This work begins with the premise that OEP, though often closely coupled with the use of OER, can be conceived with more expansive conceptualisations. Specifically, OEP can be considered to range on multiple axes: from content-centric to process-centric, teacher-centric to learner-centric, and from practices that are primarily for social justice to primarily pedagogical purposes (Bali, 2017). In addition, we employ Hodgkinson-Williams & Trotter’s (2018) conceptual framework, which builds on Fraser’s model of social justice, to critically analyse the ways in which the use/impact of OEP might be considered socially just. In considering more expansive forms of OEP, particularly those that are more process and learner centric, we designed a framework for analysing for whom and in which contexts these open practices (i) can support social justice from economic, cultural, and political dimensions, and (ii) do so in transformative, ameliorative, neutral, or even negative ways.

Participants will have the opportunity to analyse one form of OEP using this framework; this can be a form of OEP they have already used or one they are considering using or enhancing. This form of OEP can be one of the forms considered in the paper (i.e., student-created OER, renewable assignments, open syllabus, MOOCs, open courses, Wikipedia editing, public blogging/scholarship, collaborative annotation and Virtually Connecting) or another form of OEP. By applying a social justice framework to analyze any form of OEP along its various axes, we hope that participants will experience how this approach to pedagogy may be deliberately oriented towards justice.

Authors. (2020). Framing open educational practices from a social justice perspective. Journal of Interactive Media in Education, 2020(1). doi.org/10.5334/jime.565
Bali, M. April 2017. What is open pedagogy anyway? Year of open [online]. https://www.yearofopen.org/april-open-perspective-what-is-open-pedagogy/
Hodgkinson-Williams, CA and Trotter, H. 2018. A social justice framework for understanding open educational resources and practices in the Global South. Journal of Learning for Development, 5(3): 204–224. https://jl4d.org/index.php/ejl4d/article/view/312.


OEP, Social justice, Open pedagogy

Session recording: