Pedagogical Uptake: Credibility, Intelligibility, and Agency

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This essay begins with the story of Vincent Lloyd who recounts a disturbing experience he had while teaching a course to a group of students of color. What does pedagogical uptake under conditions of systemic oppression require of educators? In the first section, I explore philosopher Nancy Potter’s (Nancy Potter. “Giving Uptake”. Social Theory and Practice 26/3 (2000) 479–508; Nancy Potter. The Virtue of Defiance and Psychiatric Engagement (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016)) work on uptake, whose focus on the mental health field is important because she acknowledges power imbalances. Nevertheless, her understanding of uptake may be insufficient for considering such classroom cases that introduced this essay. The second section shifts the focus of uptake from a psychological approach to a more epistemic understanding of uptake that underscores credibility and intelligibility. Uptake as credibility and intelligibility reveals the everyday patterns of uptake failure that marginalized knowers experience in the socio-epistemic world, described in section three. A recent turn in the scholarship of epistemic injustice towards epistemic agency and resistance is taken up in the subsequent section and applied to the conceptualization of uptake. In the concluding section, I begin to explore how these insights contribute to a notion of pedagogical uptake under conditions of systemic oppression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-210
Number of pages16
JournalStudies in Philosophy and Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2024


  • Agency
  • Epistemic injustice
  • Uptake

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Philosophy


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