Gaugan, John. “From Literature to Language: Personal Writing and Critical Pedagogy.” English Education. 31.4 (1999): 310-326. Print.
In this article, John Gaugan explores what it means to engage in liberating pedagogy in the writing classroom. Through various examples from his English courses Gaugan shows how he navigates the fine line between helping students critically question what they “know” and the world without imposing his own agenda of democratic values. His questions are similar to those of Elisabeth Ellsworth (1989). Part of his solution is grounded in on-going dialogue; not telling students what to think, but continuously encouraging them to rethink (315).
Gaugan labels his teaching “social epistemic” or “cultural studies” and admits that this model can fall into the traditional, nondemocratic banking model. However, Gaugan states that while he selects the themes and texts of his course, his course remains more student-centered than teacher-centered:
Despite these admissions, I don’t think my teaching is traditional. My classes are more student- than teacher-centered, more language- than literature-focused, more process- than product-oriented. I question or suggest rather than insist or prescribe. I ask students to consider their privileged position. I try to make them think – but not exactly as I do. I share my point of view but welcome theirs. I encourage reader response. I don’t own a teacher’s manual. (325)