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What is feminist pedagogy? How do we practice it? What class exercises or assignments help to promote critical consciousness about social injustice in its many forms? Should the feminist classroom be a safe space or a space of discomfort? Can it be both? How do we connect theory with practice (both inside and outside of the classroom)? Should we (teachers) be troublemakers or caregivers? And what should we encourage our students to be?
These are only some of the questions that we will critically explore in this seminar on feminist pedagogies. Approaching these (and other) questions theoretically and practically, we will study feminist, multicultural and radical theories of education and develop practical strategies for empowering students and teachers (and students-as-teachers and teachers-as-students) to be critical, transgressive and transformative thinkers.
- To critically analyze the theories and practices of feminist, multicultural and radical pedagogies.
- To design a course and syllabus.
- To experiment with the blog as a tool for feminist pedagogy
- To cultivate a community of learners, both inside the classroom and on the blog
- To engage in cooperative learning through peer evaluations of teaching exercises and syllabi
This course is a graduate seminar. While I will occasionally give lectures, the focus of our seminar will be on discussion and cooperative learning.
Here is the format for most sessions:
- First, we will begin the class with a brief discussion of a pedagogical question*.
- Second, we will discuss the readings and the theoretical topic of the day.
- Third, we will focus on practical strategies for teaching. On some days this third section will include a student presentation (and implementation) of a learning activity/practical exercise**.
*Each session will begin with a wrap-up discussion of pedagogical questions that are first raised by several students on our course blog. The questions can be theoretical and/or practical in nature (e.g.: How do you deal with students who don't "get it"? How do we create community in big classes? What characteristics should a feminist classroom have?). It could also stem from your own experiences as a teacher or student. We will spend approximately 10-15 minutes on the discussion as we brainstorm responses. Each week, several students will be responsible for posting their questions on our course blog. The questions should be posted by Monday evening.
**As part of your teaching strategies grade, you will develop (with at least one other person) a learning activity or practical exercise that utilizes feminist pedagogical theories/strategies/techniques. A more detailed handout and sign-up sheet will be distributed in the next couple of weeks.
See you on Wednesday.