Pedagogy of Action: Attempting to Transform Ourselves and Our World Through the Process of Teaching a Simple Oral HIV Module

Using the HIV module developed by Dr. Nesha Haniff, the student’s first activism in HIV is practiced in their own communities in the US through a University of Michigan class and is then taken into the global community. The module is designed to educate the low literate, and to empower them to become second-generation teachers and use the module to teach HIV prevention to their own communities. Through this training of teachers, the education intervention is sustainable. The ideologies of radical feminist and proletarian activism have been the cornerstone of the pedagogies described here. Using this methodology, University of Michigan students have taught well over 10,000 persons either in township community groups or in primary and secondary schools.

There was not one magical moment during POA where I suddenly became transformed. Everyday and every interaction contributed to my daily self-transformation. POA never ends, because pedagogies are continuous. It is only through constant reflection and action that we are allowed to pursue change. It is only through seeking the truth that we can validate our journeys. Because of POA, my life journey has been altered, and my pedagogy remains continuous. For this I am forever grateful.”

Sami Shalabi (2015

At the heart of the Pedagogy of Action program is a fierce love for communities. One of Nesha’s central tenets is that her students engage in development, not charity work. ­

—Vera Sirota (2003/2005)

I think that the single most important thing that makes this program so unique is that it is not a study abroad. Students get an experience that is unlike anything that they are able to get in the classroom. We are forced to wrestle with ourselves in a very real way and take a stance on the ways in which we will choose to live our lives.

—Renee Pitter (2005/2006)
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