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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Zooming in on the COVID-19 Pandemic in Community College Classrooms: Experiments with a Pedagogy of Place in Anthropology Courses

  • Author(s): Mandache, Luminiţa-Anda;
  • Browning, Anne;
  • Bletzer, Keith
  • et al.

Published Web Location Commons 'BY-NC' version 4.0 license

Reflecting on our recent experience of online teaching with mainly historically marginalized students at the U.S.-Mexico border, we emphasize the importance of engaging a critical pedagogy of place by creating communities of trust. We describe how the COVID-19 pandemic was experienced among us and our students, focusing on how it impacted practical aspects and the context of our teaching. We discuss four teaching strategies we implemented during the pandemic that highlight the importance of communication and flexibility in allowing students to self-pace their learning. These strategies proved useful as we began to reach a level of trust among students and gained knowledge of their needs. We conclude by describing the pandemic as a period of opportunities in which anthropology students can apply concepts from assigned readings to confront and analyze a historical moment that neither we, nor our students, had previously experienced.


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