Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California


InterActions is an open access journal hosted by the eScholarship initiative of the California Digital Library, edited and managed by graduate students, based at the UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies. Our publication’s authors foster an open and critical dialogue with readers and colleagues through applying diverse social justice frameworks to the discussion of pressing issues in the fields of education and information.


Learning with Conviction: Service Learning, Social Documentary, and Transformative Research

This paper examines the efficacy of service learning in addressing issues of social inequality, lessening social distance between students and their partners in the community, and linking classroom learning with experiences in the wider community. Students at a small, liberal arts college for men who participated in a course titled Social Documentary: Image, Text, and Context developed and implemented a working group documentary project with inmates at the local jail. Student reflection papers indicated that they experienced firsthand the debunking of stereotypes about incarcerated people, the transformative power of art in giving voice to people in marginalized populations, and the rewards that come from civic engagement. Jill Dolan's (2004) Geographies of Learning: Theory and Practice, Activism and Performance and Howard Zehr's (1996; 2001; 2003) work in restorative justice and transformative research provided the theoretical underpinnings for the project.

  • 4 supplemental PDFs

“I Came Here to Learn How to be a Leader”: An Intersection of Critical Pedagogy and Indigenous Education

According to Indigenous educational philosophy, in learning how to become a complete human being, an individual has to become aware of their own worth and role in contributing to the well being of their community. This philosophy resonates with critical pedagogy, an educational approach intended to transform the lives of individuals from oppressed populations. Yet it departs from critical pedagogy in its emphasis on service to community, rather than individual liberation. This article demonstrates how the Tribal Resource Institute in Business, Engineering, and Science (TRIBES), a summer program for Native students at the University of New Mexico, intersects with critical pedagogy and Indigenous education to restore Indigenous goals in education by encouraging its students to develop critical Indigenous consciousness and to make a commitment to their communities.

Alternative Media and the Learning Culture of Civil Society: Outreach and Teach Strategies

A media literate citizenry is at the core of vibrant democracy in civil society. However, local issues are frequently neglected in mass media, de-legitimizing the existence of real democracy. Alternative media mediate this discrepancy in providing access to communication venues through outreach and teach strategies. Many segments of civil society are searching for opportunities to voice their opinions through alternative media. Studies of citizen-produced media indicate that there are links between media use and learning, and that these links are embedded in socially interactive projects. This paper examines two examples of alternative media that use outreach and teach approaches in the United States: Free Speech TV and Indymedia. Our discussion explores the praxis of these media, their contribution to the teaching and learning of civil society and healthy democracy, and the cultural-political intersections of alternative media in formal and informal education.

From Aesthetics to Pedagogy and Back: Rethinking the Works of Theodor Adorno

In this article I argue that Theodor Adorno’s most timely and important contributions to contemporary politics are captured in his writings on pedagogy, education, and school reform. His work on education cannot be read separately from an engagement with either his philosophy or his aesthetics but rather as the nodal point through which the latter two become socially transformative. Here I chart the internal relations among philosophy, aesthetics, and education through their shared rejection of fascist resentment. While Adorno’s aesthetics map out the psychology of fascism as the antagonist of democratic virtues, it is through pedagogy that fascist social violence, amnesia, and racism are to be combated.