So, each week I have lots of ideas about connecting feminist pedagogy to all the other interesting things I've done or know about, but of course there is never enough time to share them all. But here is more info as well as links to two things I've brought up in class, and one that I haven't.
I'd also love to hear more about the other kinds of various experiences y'all have had that you bring to bear on your teaching and thinking about pedagogy. I'm sure there are so many experiences, resources, and knowledges that our class possesses that never make it into the conversation!
Supplemental Instruction: http://web2.umkc.edu/cad/SI/
I brought up Supplemental Instruction (SI) with our first group of readings in response to questions about how to work with students who do not yet have necessary academic skills without being patronizing or stigmatizing. SI developed out of Kansas, and instead of focusing on "bad" students or remedial assistance, it works by identifying the courses across campus in which large groups of students consistently struggle.
Not only does this help pool resources in a fiscally efficient way (which is why so many administrators like it), but it also works to destigmatize students by placing the emphasis on the class. Also, in practice, it attracts as many good students as struggling students, which makes it seem more about success than failure. SI works by offering out-of-class instruction (mentoring, writing, discussions, working on problem sets, etc) led by advance undergrads and grad students. There is no fee for students to attend, and often they also encourage a more relaxed and friendly atmosphere than most classrooms and some even provide food. The major drawback is that it is a huge undertaking, and also that it would be hard to implement outside of university settings or with non-traditional and/or working students. But I think it's success can inspire us to think about different ways of providing help and encouraging the development of academic skills.
Strengths-Based Advising: http://www.apu.edu/strengthsacademy/downloads/schreiner_anderson_advising.pdf
A few years ago I was an academic advisor at a large and reputable community college in Portland, OR. Through NACADA (the National Academic Advising Advising Association), I learned about an advising technique called Strengths-Based Advising. Whereas much advising and teaching takes a deficit-oriented approach to students (namely, that they need to 'fix' their shortcomings), this approach focuses on the strengths that students bring to the educational process. This actually grew out of research that demonstrated most successful people (and we can deconstruct that idea) don't actually pay much attention to their weaknesses at all, but instead intentionally use their strengths to compensate for or address those areas in which they struggle. Most academic advisors recognize themselves as teachers as well as helpers/facilitators of students development, and I think this article presents some interesting ideas that might be very effective as pedagogical strategies.
They tout themselves as a "the dead simple place to post anything." It's a site by which to establish a blog, but requires almost no set up and posting itself requires only an email! MP3s, videos, docs can all be posted just as an attachment. And connecting to content on the web (like videos, pics, and links) doesn't even require that - just a simple click on a toolbar button. I learned about this from a UofM workshop, and the tech folks said that the privacy was pretty good, but that we should keep an eye out in case they are bought out by another group who then changes the privacy policies. But this could be great for those environments where privacy isn't an issue and/or when working with low-technology folks.