National Collegiate Honors Council


Date of this Version



Honors in Practice, Volume 15, 2019


Copyright 2019 by the National Collegiate Honors Council


Transgressive pedagogical methods such as those advanced by Freire, Giroux, hooks, Kincheloe, McClaren, and others are enlisted to train honors students to assist organizational entities in the pet adoption sector, with the eventual goal of achieving the ideal of adoption, securing a “forever home.” Three self-assigned groups of honors students (six students each) were tasked with contacting pet adoption entities and—based on class readings, lectures, and discussion—offering assistance in improving contact episodes between adopters and adoptees. Students were asked to pre-analyze impending interactions with target entities according to Hymes’s SPEAKING template; to engage contact; and to report to the class afterward. One group achieved linkage but had to fundraise rather than act as consultants for pet-human interaction. The other two groups failed to achieve contact, instead performing in-class dramatizations of how their interactions went and how they should have gone had Hymes’s communication episode ideals been realized. Relying on discourse analysis, class readings, discussion with students, and past experience, the instructor examined the class from the viewpoint of transgressive pedagogy, creating a five-level model to bring together various influences on the transgressive mode (the THERE model): T eacher as Outlaw, H onors Courses Fit; E xpand Problem Space; R eveal ZOPED; and E ngage Real World. Based on a review of instructor and student experience via the THERE model, suggestions are offered to engage honors students in transgressive learning approaches for the benefit of society and for finding in honors curricula a “forever home.