Academic development as compassionate learning design: Cases from South Africa and Egypt
This chapter from 'Learning Design Voices' proposes that a Critical Compassionate Learning Design, informed by humanising pedagogy (Pacanski-Brock, 2020), trauma-informed approaches (Imad, 2021a; 2021b, SAMHSA, 2014), the intersections of equity and care (Bali & Zamora, 2020), needed at the time and which will be needed moving forward from the pandemic. Critical compassionate learning design, as we conceive it, is a praxis that involves anticipation of learner needs and inequities therein, imagination of potential approaches to address diverse circumstances, and respect for learner agency, starting from responsiveness to learner feedback, and driven by a desire for "parity of participation" (Fraser 2005; Hodgkinson-Williams & Trotter, 2018) wherein all learners, including the most marginalised, are involved in decision-making in their learning experience.
Through analysing cases from three institutions in two emerging economies: South Africa and Egypt, we will reflect on what the move to emergency remote teaching and learning has enabled but also the fault lines in our system that it has uncovered. We will analyse the cases from the lens of a critical compassionate learning design approach to support departments and institutions in the creation and facilitation of context-sensitive and flexible learning experiences with and for our learners. Based on design dimensions we developed for context-sensitive networked professional development (Gachago, Pallitt & Bali, 2020; NLEC et al, 2021) and theories of social justice (Fraser 2005, Tronto 2015) we offer a framework that helped us reflect on our own teaching and learning practices, and which we hope to inform ours and others' practices going forward.