Anti-Oppressive Pedagogy: Developing "Reciprocal Resilience" through Storytelling in the Classroom




Hope, Georgina

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This thesis examines how storytelling can develop resiliency, in both the student and the teacher: a reciprocal process rooted in the foundations of Indigenous, anti- oppressive, and feminist paradigms. The study captures data from educators active in innovative course deliveries, who utilise storytelling from diverse participants, themselves included. The qualitative research process utilised a mixed genre approach to review existing literature on narrative practices in group settings, to gather and describe the practices of said “misfit” storytelling teachers in secondary classrooms, and to interrogate the researcher’s own life experience and teaching practice through autoethnographic writing. A very real damage and pain exists when a person who has experienced marginalisation and has interacted with systems of oppression finds themselves in a position, as an educator or leader, encountering and participating in dominant systems. This work names these teachers as “misfits”- they often found themselves on the margins as youth. This thesis argues it is this very misfitness that led them into a place of reciprocal resilience with the students who also do not “fit.” By collecting the stories of such pedagogues, we may find avenues to create slower, more effectively inclusive, critical, and decolonising classrooms. A gap in the intersection of education, leadership, and activism is acknowledged. Ultimately, the thesis concludes with a discussion on inherent risks to educators practicing anti-oppressive methods while navigating past and continuing marginalisations of their own: a significant, emergent theme worthy of future research.



anti-oppressive, pedagogy, storytelling, resilience, marginalisation, classroom