Pedagogy is the study of the methodology of teaching—the actual theory and practice of education itself. In Social Consciousness Pedagogy, Charles Pidgeon posits a new pedagogy to teach individuals better awareness that they are part of the global community.
Pidgeon’s main thesis is that this awareness should be disconnected from religion or other external influence and cultivated from within each individual’s own mind. Thus, says Pidgeon, the collective operates on a level playing field, from birth throughout life, free from imposed prejudices and restrictions.
Pidgeon adopts terms for his theory, including personal reality (“preality”) and human Social Wisdom (“hSW”). Using hSW, he hypothesizes that “Mind” is better terminology than “God” in the common Serenity Prayer as a global mantra, i.e.: “Mind grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change those I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
The author also explains the historical Theory of Mind, which acknowledges that children inherently understand that others have minds separate from their own. Thus, Pidgeon notes, humans can naturally develop and nurture the concepts of hSW and preality and become socially conscious. He proposes a concept of “MindMoney”: use of a credit card system rather than paper/coin currency to encourage integration of social justice into all corporate and political decisions.
Pidgeon’s proposal is provocative, and he taps into many resources: scholarly sources such as social science books, articles, and TED talk transcripts; anecdotes from his students; interviewees who expound on religious beliefs. Credibility wavers occasionally, however, when sample sizes are not large enough to provide meaningful data and when personal interpretations of major religions and their contrasts to one another and to the author’s theory seem to be given equal weight to scholarly citations.
Nonetheless, although academic, the book is accessible and offers an adequate starting point for discussion on the topic. Those who seek to promote social change will find food for thought in these pages.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.