Date of this Version
Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council 19:1 (Spring/Summer 2018), pp63-83.
Naomi Yavneh Klos poses two questions for the NCHC community in her essay, “Thinking Critically, Acting Justly,” which appears in this issue of JNCHC: (1) how honors pedagogy/curriculum can engage the highestability and most motivated students in questions of social justice; and (2) how the honors curriculum can serve as a place of access, equity, and excellence in higher education. The University Honors Program (UHP) at Loyola University New Orleans has recently implemented several honors social justice seminars that have been experimenting with various approaches to these pedagogical, curricular, and programmatic questions. Violence and Democracy, an honors sociology/criminology seminar, not only focuses on social justice thematically but adopts social justice pedagogy (Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed and Pedagogy of Hope; Adams, “Social” and “Pedagogical”; Bell). Accordingly, social justice is both a goal and a process, representing the integration of disciplinary theoretical knowledge and analytical tools with experiential learning and applications that involve students, faculty, and community partners doing justice work together. The premise for this holistic approach is that students, particularly high-ability and highly motivated students, personally engage in questions of social justice when they are challenged by real-life social injustices and that they realize the relevance of their knowledge and skills in a learning environment that models social justice values and principles.