Teaching Humanities in the Arabian Gulf: Toward a pedagogical ethos

Derik Smith

Abstract


The essay suggests an approach to teaching humanities texts—particularly those of the Western traditon—to students in the Gulf.  The guiding ethic of the approach is a vigilant respect for the student and her beliefs and a concomitant insistence on spurring critical thought and intellectual growth through challenging students’ perceptions.  Recognizing the tension in this ethic, the essay explores pedagogical issues that arise when an instructor simultaneously attempts to disrupt student worldviews while also respecting their cultural beliefs.  Turning to the insights of relevant cultural theorists and scholars who are advocates of "critical pedagogy," the essay offers several examples of a humanities pedagogy that is at once provocative and sensitive to the cultural-historical complex of higher education in the region.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18538/lthe.v8.n2.57