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Public Pedagogy and Popular Culture in the Classroom

When and where

Date and time

Tue, Mar 24, 2015 8:30 AM - 12:30 PM MDT


540 Biological Sciences Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning 2500 University Drive NW Calgary, AB T2N 1N4 Canada


This session will provide an opportunity for instructional staff at U of C to hear about and discuss the use of popular culture in teaching, and to consider how it plays a part in what students come to know. We are especially interested in how popular culture can figure in teaching about "difficult" or "sensitive" topics in university classrooms.

In our own SSHRC-funded study, we have been investigating the pedagogical function of popular culture in relation to learning about health care. This session aims to move beyond sharing our findings, as we engage with you in a discussion about how to mobilize the knowledge emerging from our study and the ideas behind public pedagogy.

The session will start with a brief overview of our research project and its findings. This will be followed by presentations from Dr. Christine Jarvis and Dr. Jennifer Sandlin, both of whom are well established public pedagogy scholars in the field of adult education. They will share their thoughts on how popular culture can and does influence teaching and learning, whether or not cultural texts are brought into the classroom. These presentations will be followed by ample discussion time, when you can consider questions posed by the presenters and the ideas generated by others. We will conclude by developing some next steps for instructors across the U of C campus who are interested in further discussions or activities about this topic.

Event Details

Breakfast and sign-in at 8:30 a.m.

Program begins at 9:00 a.m.

Dr. Christine Jarvis is Professor and Dean of the School of Education and Professional Development, University of Huddersfield, UK. Her research interests are interdisciplinary, combining literary studies, cultural studies and education. She has written about the impact of literature on students’ world views, about children’s and teen fiction, film and television, and about the representation of education in popular culture.

Dr. Jennifer Sandlin is Associate Professor of Justice and Social Inquiry at the School of Social Transformation, Arizona State University. Her research focuses on the intersections of education, learning, and consumption, as well as on the theory and practice of public pedagogy. She also investigates sites of public pedagogy and popular culture-based, informal, and social movement activism centered on “unlearning” consumerism. She has written extensively in this area and co-edited key anthologies, including the Handbook of Public Pedagogy.

About the organizer

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