1st Edition

Counternarratives of Pain and Suffering as Critical Pedagogy Disrupting Oppression in Educational Contexts

Edited By Ardavan Eizadirad, Andrew Campbell, Steve Sider Copyright 2022
    232 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    232 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Foregrounding diverse lived experiences and non-dominant forms of knowledge, this edited volume showcases ways in which narrating and sharing stories of pain and suffering can be engaged as critical pedagogy to challenge oppression and inequity in educational contexts.

    The volume illustrates the need to consider both the act of narrating and the experience of bearing witness to narration to harness the full transformative potentials of counternarratives in disrupting oppressive practices. Chapters are divided into three parts - "Telling and Reliving Trauma as Pedagogy," "Pedagogies of Overcoming Silence," and "Forgetting as Pedagogy" - illustrating a range of relational pedagogical and methodological approaches, including journaling, poetry, and arts-based narrative inquiry.

    The authors make the argument that the language of pain and suffering is universal, hence its potential as critical pedagogy for transformative and therapeutic teaching and learning. Readers are encouraged to reflect on their own lived experiences to constructively engage with their pain, suffering, and trauma. Focusing on trauma-informed non-hegemonic storytelling and transformative pedagogies, this volume will be of interest to students, faculty, scholars, and community members with an interest in advancing anti-oppressive and social justice education.

    1. Centering Pedagogies of Pain and Suffering by Embracing our Wounds and Scars

    Ardavan Eizadirad, Andrew B. Campbell, and Steve Sider

    Part 1: Telling and Reliving Trauma as Pedagogy

    2. Cultivating Brave Spaces to Take Risks to Challenge Systemic Oppression

      Andrew B. Campbell and Ardavan Eizadirad

    3. Moving from Oppression to Opportunity: Bringing Light to Educational and Historical Contexts in Critical Pedagogy

      Allyson L. Watson, Ameenah Shakir, Sundra D. Kincey, Reginald K. Ellis, and Darius Young

    4. Storying Vulnerability: Creating Conditions for Generative Relationality in International Experiential Service Learning

      Jessica Vorstermans

      Part 2: Pedagogies of Overcoming Silence

    5. Co-Composing Poetic and Arts-Based Narratives: Un-Silencing and Honouring Our Voices as Women Academics

      Anita Lafferty and Julie A. Mooney

    6. Self-Location as a Disruptive Counternarrative in Teaching and Learning

      Kateri Marie Marandola

    7. Engaging in Ethical Discourse: An Autoethnography of a Black Student’s Journey to Self-Identity

      Alicia Noreiga

    8. Passing the Grade: Experiences of Black Males in Secondary Schools in Ontario, Canada

      Daniel Lumsden

      Part 3: Forgetting as Pedagogy

    9. Sacred Tears: Indigenous Women’s Healing Journey of Mobilization for Educational Systemic Change

      Sharla Mskokii Peltier and Charis Auger

    10. Remembering Other Ways to Live: The Healing Energy that Flows from Sacred Ecology

      Zahra Kasamali

    11. Easing Anxiety for Adults in Higher Education: Regaining Self within Subversive, Interdisciplinary Bibliotherapy, and Visual Journaling

      Christina Belcher

    12. Poetic Justice: Healing and Disrupting Systemic Oppression in Education through Critical Pedagogy

    Ardavan Eizadirad


    Ardavan Eizadirad is Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education at Wilfrid Laurier University and an instructor at Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto, Canada. He is also the founder and director of EDIcation Consulting (www.edication.org) offering equity, diversity, and inclusion training to organizations.

    Andrew B. Campbell is Adjunct Assistant Professor at Queen’s University in the Professional Master of Education Program and a faculty member at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto, Canada. He has taught at all levels of the education system for the last 25 years in Jamaica, Bahamas, and Canada, and is also known as Dr. ABC (https://drabc.ca/).

    Steve Sider is a Professor in the Faculty of Education at Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada. He is the past president of the Comparative and International Education Society of Canada and the current director of the Centre for Leading Research in Education at Wilfrid Laurier.

    "True to the central understandings of critical pedagogy as conceived by Freire, Darder, Steinberg, and Giroux, among others, this collection of truly engaging essays, moves from a critical analysis of contemporary educational problematiques to meaningful possibilities of change with hope. The new generation of critical pedagogues represented here, focus on pain, suffering and trauma, and yet, skilfully and subversively construct a pedagogy based on a counter-narrative- one that is so much needed in present neoliberal, fatalist, and pandemic times. The emotive, rational, and poetic are very positively intertwined to offer a strong and courageous voice to a renewed form of critical pedagogy." ⁠— John P. Portelli, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto 

    "Weaved throughout Counternarratives of Pain and Suffering as Critical Pedagogy are powerful stories of triumph that disrupt discursive practices in educational contexts. The book amplifies the voices of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and offers analyses of lived experiences negotiating identities, resisting oppression, and confronting stereotypes. Readers are invited to break through the cycle of silence and consider who benefits when dominant ideologies are not challenged. Connected to current social landscapes, the book offers a pedagogical framework of hope, possibilities, and resiliency to achieve transformational change and affirms the need for diversity, equity, and inclusion in academic spaces." ⁠— Gaëtane Jean-Marie, Ph.D., Dean and Professor of Educational Leadership, College of Education, Rowan University

    "Eizadirad, Campbell, and Sider offer a timely and necessary salve to historical and ongoing wounds of pain, trauma, and suffering. Their book reveals confessions as truth-telling that narrate emotional, physical, and spiritual injuries inflicted by oppression as well as individual and collective acts of resistance, resilience, care, and compassion. Each chapter unfolds counter-narratives that are difficult to read, yet we need to bear their lessons to not only survive but also thrive. For our well-being and critical solidarity, this book is a compelling read in these challenging times!" ⁠— Roland Sintos Coloma, Ph.D., Professor, Division of Teacher Education, Wayne State University

    "This volume provides a rare opportunity to reflect on one’s narrative of pain and suffering from a theoretical standpoint. As the editor’s state: "We encourage you to reflect on your own life and experiences to begin constructively engaging with your own pain, suffering, and trauma." Each chapter is unique and has a specific message for the reader. No one reading this book can escape the importance of interrogating the institutional, structural, and societal visible and invisible ways that inflict pain and suffering. The chapters interweave complex and systemic ways that pain finds spaces and bodies to manifest itself and re-appear in different forms in the life of individuals. This is the first time I have a read a book that articulates engaging with pain, suffering, and trauma so well and constructively. This unique book is a must read for all of us!" ⁠— Njoki Wane, PhD., Professor and Chair of Social Justice Education Department, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto