The Mandorla Model: Toward Collaboration as Liberatory Pedagogy




Abstract: This paper responds to graduate student experience of the collaborative pedagogy (Moran & John-Steiner, 2004; Marta-Lazo et al., 2019) approach Drew employed in a music production course for educators in spring 2023. We here offer the Mandorla Model: an innovative conceptualization of the educational process that creates equal opportunities for students. It validates, affirms, supports, and sustains student narratives and funds of knowledge (Moll et al., 1992; González et al., 2006). We begin in this paper by introducing the Mandorla Model and its elements. We then reflect upon the course from which it was derived. Finally, we offer seven ways in which the Mandorla Model dismantles oppressive educational structures towards a liberatory pedagogy. By fostering an environment of equality, autonomy, and curiosity, the Mandorla Model serves as an alternative to dominant pedagogies.

Author Biographies

Drew X. Coles, Columbia University

Author and Affiliation
Dr. Drew X. Coles
Department of Arts & Humanities, Teachers College
Columbia University
ORCID: 0009-0002-2936-2067

Laura Menard, University of Toronto

Author and Affiliation
Dr. Laura Menard
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education
University of Toronto
ORCID: 0009-0009-0435-3405