Navigating teaching tensions for civic learning

in Learning and Teaching
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This article seeks to build on current and emerging conceptions of teacher expertise as they relate to education for civic engagement and social awareness in the university classroom context. I explore the notion of teaching tensions between vulnerability and authority, authenticity and distance, safety and challenge, disclosure and neutrality, and social transformation as against individual agency. I argue that these tensions and the teacher decision-making processes involved in their navigation can add to university instructors' capacity to reflect on and evaluate curriculum design decisions when aiming to impact student social and civic identity development. I examine teaching tensions and their dynamic interaction through a self-study of my own teaching and of involving the students in a structured academic service-learning partnership with school pupils in a social studies methods course for pre-service teachers in the United States.