It seems to me that a genuine, critically inclusive pedagogy strives for reception rather than appropriation, for radical openness rather than a quest for self-affirmation. If those are the goals we share, then it’s imperative we be mindful of the ways in which we frame our pedagogy. My own thought process has reached a place where “empathy” is too fraught a concept-especially in our current context-to entrust my pedagogical philosophy to. A pedagogy of care, on the other hand, welcomes students on their own terms, includes them for who they are, and-most importantly-commits us to doing the type of work to maintain that climate and approach.
Seeing others as full and complicated human beings should not require their resonance with some part of our own selves. We don’t need to become them, or think that they could become us. We simply need to care.