Chapter 13: Personal Growth through Traditional and Radical Partnerships

Anita Ntem

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Given my initial lack of knowledge in the field of partnerships, the ambiguity and uncertainty of my role throughout my partnerships fostered different key levers in challenging traditional pedagogy. Through this realization, I have exercised patience and the ability not to indulge in assumptions but rather strive to fully understand the context of a situation. This essay explores my experience in three distinct partnerships. My first partnership inspired me to learn about the contextual factors that play a role in classroom pedagogy. My second partnership pushed me to accept my discomfort with ambiguity. And my last partnership encouraged me to explore what kind of leader I was becoming. These three partnerships crafted my role and understanding of what it meant to be an effective and meaningful student partner.

Reflection Questions for Readers

  • Must you experience some form of resistance to truly understand the value of partnership?
  • Can you fully understand what it means to foster “productiveness” in partnerships when your role in partnership is ambiguous and uncertain?
  • What are the ways you can encourage the same effects of agency and empowerment in partnership when you have a partner who is not receptive to your partnership practice?