Educational Resources Jewish Pedagogies Resources Pedagogy of Mutual Humanization
January 2022

Pedagogy of Mutual Humanization

Jon Adam Ross
Co-Founding Artist & Managing Director
The In[HEIR]itance Project New York, NY
Jon Adam Ross has spent 20 years making art with religious communities around the country as an actor, playwright, and teaching artist. He has served as an artist in residence at Union Theological Seminary, The Jewish Theological Seminary, and many other religious and educational institutions. Jon was a Spielberg Fellow in Jewish Theater Education with the Foundation for Jewish Camp and received a Fellowship from the Covenant Foundation to create the In[HEIR]itance Project in 2015. As an actor, Jon has performed in over 90 cities around the globe. His stage credits include: a dog, a 2,000 year old bird, an elderly orthodox Jew, a spurned housewife, a horse, a British naval officer in 1700’s Jamaica, a goat, Jesus Christ, a lawyer, a hapless police chief, and a cyclops. Jon holds a BFA in Acting from NYU/Tisch.
A pedagogy of mutual humanization places relationships at the center of the educational experience.

In his book Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Paolo Friere says: “From the outset, the revolutionary educator’s efforts must coincide with those of the students to engage in critical thinking and the quest for mutual humanization. [The teacher’s] efforts must be imbued with a profound trust in people and their creative power. To achieve this, they must be partners of the students in their relations with them.” Mutual humanization may sound like an audacious goal. But it is, on an intimate scale, achievable through the application of the pedagogy laid out in this paper. This pedagogy is not focused on content, though the process promises deep content immersion and serves to foster personal connection to content in novel ways. Rather, this pedagogy is about the participants, the learners, as people sharing space within a classroom, a community, a planet. The hope is that this step-by-step approach to text study can help build new relationships and strengthen existing ones, creating a communal sense of connection and a deeper understanding of each participant’s humanity.

Jon Adam Ross.mp3