«Ubehagets pedagogikk» – en inngang til kritisk refleksjon og inkluderende undervisning?

English title: “Pedagogy of discomfort”- an entry to critical reflection and inclusive teaching?

  • Åse Røthing OsloMet


“Pedagogy of discomfort” was first introduced by Boler in 1999 as a teaching practice that invites educators and students to engage in critical inquiry regarding values and norms, and to examine constructed self-images and perceptions of others (1999, p. 177). The concept has later been further developed by Boler and Zembylas (2003) as a pedagogical framework to engage students and teachers with issues of difference, race and social justice by challenging their emotional comfort zones. This pedagogical approach is grounded in the assumption that discomforting emotions are important in challenging dominant beliefs, social habits and normative practices that sustain stereotypes and social injustice and in creating openings for empathy and transformation. (Zembylas & Papamichael, 2017, p. 3). This article explores how pedagogy of discomfort may contribute to critical reflections and inclusive education, by asking what educators may gain from dwelling with discomfort rather than trying to escape it. I argue that discomfort may function as an approach to critical reflections and new knowledge, and a resource for transformation, not as something to fear and avoid. However, the ideas of pedagogy of discomfort have raised concerns for what might happen when students are challenged and become uncomfortable in educational settings. One might argue that the concept of “classroom safety” could imply that educators first and foremost should offer comfort in classrooms. My main interest in this article is what educators may gain from engaging with discomfort as a resource for critical reflections and inclusive education.

How to Cite
Røthing, Åse. (2019). «Ubehagets pedagogikk» – en inngang til kritisk refleksjon og inkluderende undervisning?. FLEKS - Scandinavian Journal of Intercultural Theory and Practice, 6(1), 40-57. https://doi.org/10.7577/fleks.3309