Recently in Final Statements Category

Final statement - 00bserver and Rhetoricqueline

Megan Boler probably didn't anticipate her chapter about "a pedagogy of discomfort" would be so deeply "experienced" in a Feminist classroom. Yes, we felt discomfort in our class, but we also discovered the potential for discomfort to be productive, to lead to insightful disclosures, and to frame shared meaning. We can recognize and focus on discomfort to challenge our "comfortable" pre-assumptions and points of view about what a feminist classroom should look like. The "freshness" of the theme, for some of us, was quite tough. The "aging" of the theme, for others, and the difficulties to move forward as a group was difficult for others. That's it. As subjects we too internalize limiting structures of power, we each struggled to pull our side of the thread, resisting, questioning, reinforcing, informing, transforming, reforming the way we see social media in relation to critical pedagogies. Paulo Freire would have recommended us a bit more of solidarity in order to "get there": "nobody educates anybody else. Nobody educates himself. People educate each other through their interactions in the world."

As the semester progressed our class's attitudes toward social media evolved. Yes, we can find creative ways to explore social media in the context of our critical pedagogies. We can do so critically, thoughtfully, and with skepticism. We can locate senses of agency within social media, locate community. To arrive to this point, though, silence was necessary. And, even when the silence was perceived through the absence of voices... the inner voices kept working, making sense of this new "universe". Working through silence and resistance was, and is, challenging. The risk of confusing "taking social media seriously" with "a call for acceptance" required careful dialogue and practice. Our "resistance" itself constitutes a form of engagement. Our reactions and understandings of social media were developed by our participation in such new online forms.

Questioning the usefulness of social media in a feminist classroom is different from rejecting it. Rethinking and resisting social media in particular contexts is also a way to position ourselves as instructors and users. If we inherently reject or avoid social media, how do we address its absence in an increasingly technologically dependent reality?
Engaging new forms of social media should continue in feminist pedagogical discourse, we should be comfortable with not being able to answer our own questions, to leave the conversation ongoing. Doing so is a feminist accomplishment, for conclusive conversations are often too narrow and simple in the context of everyday life. So rather than conclude our class experience of and ideas toward social media, we choose to continue struggling with the complexities of feminist pedagogy and see that struggle as a central means of understanding.


Over the course of this semester, we've talked about pushing boundaries in teaching - boundaries of categories, boundaries of spaces, and personal boundaries (to the point of discomfort). In the course of this exploration, we've interrogated some new(er) forms of mediated communication that are both popular in the public sphere, yet uncommon presences in the academy, and debated their potential as contributors to the classroom.

Teaching is political, and it is processual. We can't divorce content from action, or knowledge from experience, or scholarship from pedagogy. This message emerged in our readings, again in our lesson plans, and once more through our own course blog. Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are alike in their uniqueness when compared conventional scholarship because they allow interchange. As sources of information they have certain limited advantages, but as sources of communication - of broadcasting out, and of engaging in two-way exchanges - they are unparalleled by anything in mass media. What new media allow is a novel way for pedagogy to intermingle with praxis. Formats like YouTube allow authors to speak out loud, but also allow the students to speak back, to ask questions, and to disseminate their own content, and gather feedback back.

Final Statement by John Lisec & Jenny Saplis

Through this semester, our feminist pedagogy class has spent significant time/energy developing and contributing various thoughts and opinions regarding feminism within education. While incorporating a variety of current topics, engagement with academic scholarship, and feminist pedagogical examples, this blog will hopefully serve as a source of future reference by scholars who wish to engage in discussions surrounding feminism in the classroom. This blog should be useful to not only provide examples of what feminist pedagogy looks like in the feminist classroom, but to increase awareness and dialogue surrounding feminist teaching practices. Our feminist pedagogy class should also expand conceptions and possibilities of feminism within the classroom as many students provide a unique perspective by coming from such different areas of study and sub-disciplines. Additionally, this blog will also serve as a site of documentation of our learning experience so other scholars can build in the future. By incorporating discussions of feminism through new media, this blog will also expand notions and perceptions of social media in education.

By implementing feminist pedagogy within the classroom, it is important to instill a sense of comfort and safety, to encourage openness/sharing of personal experiences, and to collaborate with others. However while a feminist pedagogy provides opportunities for collaboration of ideas with others, it can also provide feminist teachers the ability to maintain a strong presence in the classroom as a facilitator of learning through curriculum. It is also necessary to embrace social media as a viable teaching tool to enhance learning both in and out of the traditional classroom setting. However, potential problems exist while utilizing social media through limited access according to socio-economic status and the commercialization of new media resources/content that serve to strengthen a presence of traditional media that often contradicts or opposes feminist pedagogy principles. Additionally, those choosing a feminist pedagogy must remain rather flexible to challenges of utilizing technology in the classroom and cognizant of opposition to use of social media is possible from learners as well as colleagues and administrators due to limited perceptions of social media within education.

My Final Statement

As a student who is not currently teaching this semester this blog I think will be helpful in the future as a resource. With all the material we read I was thinking mostly from the point of view of a student, and when it becomes time for me to actually structure a class and can look back at this material then it will help me. The blog as a resource site would be the most practical part of the blog since it would be a quick place to look and would be fairly organized. The feminist pedagogical examples are also very helpful since they show experiences that were productive in some classrooms, and when I start teaching I could potentially model some of my teaching practices on these examples. The only negative aspect of the blog as a resource would be that it's sometimes hard to find something particular that you're looking for. Parts of the blog are organized, but sometimes what you're looking for may be buried in the blog.

As for my own philosophy about teaching with social media--I'm not sure if I can actually have a philosophy yet. As a person who has not had teaching experience outside of grading I feel like I don't have enough experience to form a philosophy, but I can try. I feel that social media has enormous potential for student engagement in the classroom. I think this is important for a feminist classroom since I think a priority of this type of class is to help all students find a voice and social media could help students do this on many different levels. The types of social media that I can see myself using in the future mostly are blogs and YouTube. I feel that blogs are important in a class as a place for the class to exist outside of class time. YouTube I also find really valuable in that it is a good resource to find clips that could start and facilitate conversations. As a (hopefully) future English teacher I feel it's important to bring other voices beside my own into the classroom. I know there are a lot of clips of authors and theorists talking about themselves and their work, and some of these are done well and can be useful in class.

The two social media outlets that I'm not likely to use in the future are facebook and Twitter. I don't have an active facebook account, and I wouldn't want people to feel they were missing something without it if it were a proponent of the class. I see its potential to have an impact in classes, but it's the social media that I am most confused about using in a class. I am also not likely to use twitter in classrooms, because I, again, don't want access to be a problem. It seems twitter is most useful when it is always there as an option to communicate. I'm a student with limited internet access (and I don't have a phone that allows for that) and twitter was the most difficult to use with this problem of access. Twitter seems to favor spontaneous thoughts, and by not having twitter I mostly choreographed what I was going to say. My tweets couldn't be wholly natural expression because access issues wouldn't allow for it and it was problematic for me. It is for this reason I wouldn't want twitter to be part of the class. I know an argument has been in our class that students are using this media so to be effective teachers/communicators we should feel compelled to use these social media as well. I feel that you can pick and choose which social media fits best for you, and realizing that incorporating all types of social media may not be adequate for your own teaching methods. As I said earlier, I don't have teaching experience yet, so my philosophy is very speculative, but I would have to say that as a feminist pedagogical practice social media should have a space in the classroom, but not all social media has to fit into a class and that it can be used to supplement the course rather than being the main focus of the course.

In this dialogue alex and kim share their thoughts on

feminist pedagogy, teaching, learning, and the potential for social media
in the feminist classroom. We hope that this statement can also serve as a resource for our course blog to highlight the possibilites for social media in the feminist classroom!

keep in mind that you too can create text-to-movie videos to share in the feminist classroom. We would like to note that the scene and characters we used were the free options. click here to view the xtranormal site to create your own movies to share in the classroom!

Statement of feminist pedagogy