Global Classroom: critical pedagogy, decolonial STS, and interdisciplinary & international collaboration

Our group has been manifesting independently over the years as we seek out interesting research and pedagogical experiments. Our first official act together was to build a Making and Doing session for the 2022 4S Annual Conference. Our primary goal is laying foundations for sharing experiments weaving STS, classroom, research, service, and activism where global is meaningfully experienced across scales and standpoints rather than passive object of study. Many of us in higher education have limited resources, maintain large teaching responsibilities, experience racial/gender discriminations, and fall outside the core institutions of STS. The GC manifests our STS scholarship to support decolonial STS educational reform-- disturbing dominant ideologies and curriculum assumptions, while empowering individuals to confront epistemic, institutional, international hegemony and politics. Adding on to Downey’s (2021) reflection, we argue that GC could be a critical site for decolonial STS making and doing to “actually inflect and reframe dominant knowledge” in a transnational setting. By integrating decolonial STS and critical pedagogy (cf. Freire 1970; Apple 1993; hook 1994), this session will explores how to cultivate STS sensibilities and critical interventions to enable teaching to transgress and liberate.

We include some of the text of our Making and Doing proposal as a starting point

Title: Global Classroom, Critical Pedagogy and Decolonial STS Praxis

  • Sean Ferguson, Engineering and Society, University of Virginia, U.S.
  • Sharon Ku, Institute of STS, National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University, Taiwan
  • Li Ping, Graduate School at Shenzhen, Tsinghua University, China
  • Lia Miao, Department of Philosophy, Changsha University of Science and Technology, China
  • Xianghong Wu, Material Science and Engineering Department,  Shandong University, China 
  • Dana Powell, Department of Anthropology, Appalachian State University [Visiting Associate Professor, National Dong Hwa University, Taiwan] 
  • Rebecca Witter, Sustainable Development Department, Appalachian State University, U.S.


This session invites critical reflection and collaborative opportunities for STS teaching across geographic and disciplinary boundaries. We share experiments in Global Classrooms (GCs) emerging from concern over global crises in pandemic teaching conditions. We invite participants teaching or showing interest in critical global classroom pedagogy--developed through transformative, co-production of theory and methods bringing students, faculty, and interlocutors together across diverse sites of interests and obligations. In advance of the conference, outreach with groups overlapping GC practices, relations, and interest will help build a digital archive showcasing our approaches. 

Table visitors can look through the collected artifacts, comment on and take away teaching materials, converse on the conceptual underpinnings of GCs, and upload their own work. Session organizers will host short learning activities from our exploration of the intertwined crises of education, environment, and epistemic injustice. Visitors can take part in, gaining practical, hands-on sense of different pedagogical approaches. Our panel commitments to destabilizing traditional classroom models, drawing from critical pedagogy, STS scholarship, anthropology, sustainable development, and engineering ethics. Each creates trans-national, culturally diverse, multi-scalar real-time, real-world learning experiences connecting the Global North and South. We hope the experience and archive support ongoing work on these issues within the STS community.

Methods and Practices

We gather the imaginings of liberatory learning spaces, critiques of knowledge communities, and the institutions we inhabit modeled on the efforts in [] and []. The session gathers and curates practical guidance in building and maintaining GCs and theoretical evaluations of creating transnational learning communities. The hope is to begin a collaborative ethnography containing the artifacts we share and dialogue occurring before, during, and after the meeting. As an open forum, anyone can share their personal transformations, joyous experiments, and testimonials of stumbling through impediments to making and doing transnational learning experiences.

URL Projects to showcase, shared inspiration, or hope to partner with: 

Beyond EiJ Research and Teaching Collective  (needs to be updated)

Global Classroom: critical pedagogy, decolonial STS, and interdisciplinary & international collaboration members