Using a philosopher’s pedagogy to teach school subjects: The case of Ethnic Studies at Kailua High School

Amber Strong Makaiau


This article examines the impact of using a philosopher’s pedagogy to teach school subjects (Lewis & Sutcliffe 2017) through the case study of Ethnic Studies at Kailua High School. Conducted in a multicultural setting, the participants in the study are 89 high school students and data comes from their course assignments. A constructivist approach to grounded theory methods is used to analyse data. Findings reveal how two facets of the philosopher’s pedagogy helped engage students and positively impact their personal and academic development. They are: (1) the seven-part inquiry process and (2) the community of inquiry. In the article’s conclusion, using the philosopher’s pedagogy to teach Ethnic Studies is presented as an important means for developing student engagement and carrying out the aims of multicultural, culturally responsive, and social justice approaches to schooling. 

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