Inspired by an incident in a social work graduate classroom in which she was a teaching assistant, the author reflects on her commitment to constructivist teaching methods, critical theory, and critical pedagogy. Exploring the educational utility of notions such as public space and safe space, the author employs this personal experience to examine the roles played by ideology and concertive control in (re)creating societal power imbalances-with surprising results. Finally, rather than attempting to avoid inherent classroom tensions through rhetoric ("safe space") or repeatedly finding herself shocked and ill-prepared for the inevitable facilitation of emotional topics teaching requires, the author posits that the role of the educator may be to maintain these tensions while embracing a "pedagogy of discomfort" (M. Boler, 1999).

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Keywords Classroom dynamics, Concertive control, Critical pedagogy, Critical theory, Safe space
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Journal Journal of Teaching in Social Work
Redmond, M. (2010). Safe space oddity: Revisiting critical pedagogy. Journal of Teaching in Social Work, 30(1), 1–14. doi:10.1080/08841230903249729