Creating a pedagogy of empowerment

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Creating a pedagogy of empowerment
Presenter(s) Norman Shamas
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Social media @NormanShamas
2017 theme

Current approaches to digital security training tend to focus on insecurity/risks and digital skills. At best, these approaches typically build skills for particular tools without an ability to adapt when a tool goes down (e.g., Cryptocat being taken offline for a month to be rewritten). At worst, these approaches are disempowering by creating a sense of hopelessness and paranoia.

In addition trainings models are based heavily on short workshops, where the trainer is often parachuted in from Europe, America, or some other 'Western' country, and have a tendency to take a paternalistic approach to understanding risks/threats. Further entrenching a sense of hopelessness and disempowerment when practices deviate.

This discussion-based session will focus on problematizing the current models for trainings and introducing alternatives based on research and examples from education that emphasize community learning and de-emphasizing 'inherent' power dynamics.

In addition, I will present the model I have been working on to create a pedagogy of empowerment through focusing on critical digital literacy.

Much like the alternative models emphasize community voices, the session will focus on providing space for training participants and community members to have their voices heard.


Format Conversation
Target Groups
Length 1 hour
Skill Level Novice - Intermediate
Language English


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