Senior Lecturer, English
When students study with Eric Daigre, they put what they learn into practice. He is the force behind what one professor calls “the most effective community-engaged learning in CLA and possibly the entire university.”
“Eric equipped students with self-reflection opportunities and context on social justice, systems of oppression, and the importance of being a stakeholder rather than a temporary volunteer,” says one former student.
In his Literacy and American Cultural Diversity course, students explore concepts of literacy and multicultural education in a pluralist democracy. In Protest Literature and Community Action, as well as Social Movements and Community Education, they explore links between education and community organizing.
My own community involvement continally stimulates my learning process and replenishes me, just as it does for my students.
Daigre places students in sites where they learn to become active, involved citizens working for change. For example, students have worked with the Women’s Prison Book Project and Communities United Against Police Brutality. Frequently, Daigre works alongside the students. He also invites community leaders to speak with students in his classes. In 15 years he has brought more than 30 organizations into the network he helped create.
His teaching style “fosters a democratic learning community where students challenge themselves and each other to understand the connections between illiteracy and the deeper structural issues in society, which often disrupt people’s attempts to become literate,” according to two professionals active in community-engaged learning.