Classroom Incivility, Gender, Race, and Indigeneity in Higher Education: Faculty Perspectives on Social Factors and Identity Markers

Authors

  • Nathalie Piquemal University of Manitoba
  • Md. Nazim Mahmud University of Manitoba
  • Cintia Damasceno University of Manitoba
  • Rebeca Heringer University of Manitoba

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.11575/ajer.v67i4.70478

Abstract

Based on 20 semi-structured interviews with faculty members from a mid-sized university in Western Canada, this paper offers an examination of research participants’ experiences and perceptions of classroom incivility, particularly those that are shaped by social factors such as identity markers (race, ethnicity, gender) as well as cultural beliefs regarding what is considered politically sensitive subject-matter (in this case, indigeneity). Data analysis reveals that when research participants detect instances of incivility expressed as resentment around race, gender, and indigeneity, they struggle to find a balance between taking up the teaching moment and maintaining safe space. This paper offers a reflection on the extent to which research participants choose to assume intellectual candor when making sense of incivility. Pedagogical responses are highlighted in an effort to recognize the importance of a critical consciousness about social positioning, race relations, power, and privilege.

Key words: Incivility, Race, Gender, Indigeneity, Higher Education.

Reposant sur 20 entrevues semi-structurées avec des membres du corps professoral d'une université de taille moyenne dans l'Ouest canadien, cet article propose un examen des expériences et des perceptions des participants à la recherche en matière d'incivilité en classe, particulièrement celles qui sont façonnées par des facteurs sociaux tels que les marqueurs d'identité (race, ethnicité, sexe) ainsi que les croyances culturelles concernant ce qui est considéré comme un sujet politiquement sensible (dans ce cas, l'indigénéité). L'analyse des données révèle que lorsque les participants à la recherche détectent des cas d'incivilité exprimés sous forme de ressentiment autour de la race, du genre et de l'indigénéité, ils luttent pour trouver un équilibre entre la prise en charge du moment d'enseignement et le maintien d'un espace sûr. Cet article propose une réflexion sur la mesure dans laquelle les participants à la recherche choisissent d'assumer la franchise intellectuelle lorsqu'ils donnent un sens à l'incivilité. Les réponses pédagogiques sont mises en évidence dans le but de reconnaître l'importance d'une conscience critique du positionnement social, des relations raciales, du pouvoir et des privilèges.

Mots clés : incivilité, race, genre, indigénéité, éducation supérieur

Author Biographies

Nathalie Piquemal, University of Manitoba

Nathalie Piquemal, PhD, is a Professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba. She has expertise in several fields, including international/intercultural education, educational philosophy, ethics, as well as equity and diversity. Her work in anti-racist education focuses on race, whiteness, power, and marginalization. Dr. Piquemal uses phenomenological research to explore the risk and protective factors that impact the integration of immigrant and refugee families in schools and communities. Her current research also focuses on incivility in higher education, with special attention to race, gender, and indigeneity.

Md. Nazim Mahmud, University of Manitoba

Md Nazim Mahmud is a PhD student in the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba. Upon completing of his undergraduate and graduate degrees in Education, Nazim worked as an Assistant Professor at Bangladesh Open University in Bangladesh and was involved in several research projects on education and social science disciplines. His expertise includes teaching in distance and remote learning. He is interested in cultural diversity, anti-oppression in educational realm with special attention to refugees, immigrants, international students, multicultural education, and safe space for students of color.

Cintia Damasceno, University of Manitoba

Cintia Damasceno is a PhD student in the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba. She holds a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree in Education from the Federal University of Pará. She has worked as a teacher and educational counsellor for more than ten years in public schools and higher education courses in rural areas of the Brazilian Amazon. She currently works as a Research Assistant on a project on FASD and community mobilization at the University of Manitoba and as a Community Support Worker at Turning Leaf Services, providing support to people in situations of social vulnerability and with mental disabilities. Her research interests emphasize anti-racist education, anti-oppressive education, people of colour in higher education, community mobilization, and stigma towards people affected by FASD.

Rebeca Heringer, University of Manitoba

Rebeca Heringer is a PhD Candidate in the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba. With a Bachelor’s degree in Social Communications and a Master’s degree in Education, she is currently a Sessional Instructor at the University of Winnipeg, and a Research Assistant and Writing Tutor at the University of Manitoba. Her main research foci are philosophy of education, psychoanalysis and education, well-being and well-becoming, anti-racist education, anti-oppressive research methodologies, hermeneutic phenomenology, community mobilization, and internationalization of higher education. Besides her previous formal experience as an English teacher in Brazil, Rebeca has worked with diverse minority groups in Kenya, Brazil, Hungary, and Canada.

Published

2021-12-02

Issue

Section

ARTICLES