Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Laura's "Twenty-First Century Feminist Classrooms" Question

Twenty-First Century Feminist Classrooms- Question...

My question is based on on the reading from Chapter 5: "Negotiating Subject Positions in a Service-Learning Context" by Tamara Williams and Erin McKenna

Williams and McKenna state that the "central goal of a feminist service-learning class is to ask students to move beyond their own experiences, to see life from other points of view in order to gain a critical perspective on how they have understood their own lives"(142), are there any other strategies that teachers can use to challenge students to see life from other points of view besides service/experiential learning? What are some creative ideas that the lowest spending school districts (the ones that are least likely to invest in service/experiential based learning) can use to challenge students to move beyond their experiences with the help of feminist pedagogy?

See you all later!


Conocimiento Walk Fall 2009

I was at home sick on the day our class went on a conocimiento walk, but for the purpose of sharing my reflection and contributing to the blog, I will share my experience from my first walk. It was last semester in Irene's US Women of Color course and there were about 40-50 students in the class. We went on our conocimiento walk in between the music building (where our class was located), and between the Adams Humanities building in the grassy area.

I remember feeling quite silly because it was such a large group and we looked like a trail of ants in a line walking around the bordering grass areas. I remembering thinking I wonder what the students around us are thinking and what everyone else in the class was thinking as well. I finally let the silly feelings go and I really tried to take in the time in this walk. I remember feeling the sun shining down on my skin. It was a nice day with a little bit of a fresh breeze that flew by which made me very aware of the environment and how much I wished to be free mat the beach enjoying the weather. I remember a group of girls on a team practicing in the field in view playing soccer. It brought me back to memories of when I used to play and it made me miss it greatly. I just wished I had the time to participate in team sports like I used to through childhood and as a teen. A lot of flashbacks occurred at that point and I was happy for those girls that are still able to make the time to play.

The walk continued back to the class and I remember feeling refreshed and excited to discuss with the class how we experienced our first conocimiento walk. I think everyone felt a bit goofy at first, but then they allowed themselves to really cherish those few moments and were able to take something from it. Writing this blog and reflecting on my first conocimiento walk from last semester has sparked some feelings for me to go to my spot at the Coronado docks to just be and take in the environment there. I hope to find some time to do that later this week!

Hopefully we can do another walk this semester when I'm not sick! =)


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

More Discussion Questions

In Chapter 5, “Negotiating Subject Positions in a Service Learning Context”. Tamara Williams and Erin McKenna explore the complexities of developing service learning. The field of service learning offers students the opportunity to learn while giving back to the community of their choice. The experience is valuable for students but educators have a difficult time grading because each experience is valuable in its own way. While some experiences are deeper, all students have had some sort of connection to their project. (1) If you had a service learning course, what organization would you chose to give back to? why? (2) What would make one service learning experience more valuable than another in terms of grading?


Discussion Question for 3/24

My question comes from Chapter 5 "Negotiating Subject Positions in A Service-Learning Context: Toward a Feminist Critique of Experiential Learning" by Tamara Williams and Erin McKenna.

They speak closely about the challenges that educators face when implementing a service-learning component to teaching and learning as well as the transformative power it has on students. One of the discussions the authors have in the book relates to two questions: 1.) Is their a time or how do we know that we are prepared for service-learning in our classrooms or seminars? and; 2.) "does one try to grade the quality of the service or the process of reflection?"(p. 139). These are just some questions that are important to consider and I hope we are able to discuss.

See you all in class!


Discussion Question Week 10

In Williams' and McKenna's piece on Negotiating Subject Positions in a Service-Learning Cintext: Toward a Feminist Critique of Experiential Lerning, the authors examine how students may experience silence as a mechanism of oppression both in the process as an issue in the classroom, and also as an issue in content while journaling independently.

As educators/teachers, how can we help those students that feel silenced emerge int he classroom to feel comfortable in participating in class discussion? What can we do as facilitators make all students feel connected to the discussion and comfortable in sharing their ideas in correlation to the service-learning component even if they were not able to participate?

Hopefully my question makes sense =) see you Wednesday!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Week 10 Discussion Question

In Nancy Sorkin Rabinowitz's "Queer Theory and Feminist Pedagogy" (Chapter Seven), she describes the difficulties and complications of teaching sexuality through a queer theory approach. Among other issues, she struggles with the question of who can teach queer theory, and how to utilize it as fundamental element in her course when her students have varying levels of familiarity with topics of sexuality.

How could queer theory either positively or negatively affect students' willingness to engage with topics of sexuality? What are the risks of this, and when/how should queer theory be integrated into classroom conversations? Also, how can might queer theory's call for anti-identitarian perspectives be integrated into our pedagogical approaches to race, class, and gender? Why might this be beneficial?

Discussion Question...

In Hase's piece Student Resistance and Nationalism in the Classroom: Reflections on Globalizing the Curriculum, Hase examines how her nationality causes certain resistance from her students and tensions in her courses, particularly when she is critical of the United States. How might other identities in which people take pride, but we do not as readily examine or deconstruct (i.e., NOT gender, race, class, politics, etc), interact with or influence students' perceptions of your identity or interfere with your course materials and texts?

Discussion Question for Week 10 "Pedagogies of Identity and Differnce"

This discussion question focuses Michiko Hase's "Student Resistance and Nationalism in the Classroom: Reflections of Globalizing the Curriculum," and Tamara Williams' and Erin McKenna's "Negotiating Subject Positions in a Service-Learning Context: Toward a Feminist Critique of Experiential Learning" from Twenty-First Century Feminist Classrooms: Pedagogies of Identity and Difference.

How is integrating an awareness and analysis of nation(ality) and nationalism important to the development of a feminist pedagogy that emphasizes liberatory education, in other words, how does recognizing this form of domination make us "more free"? What types of implications does centering the role and responsibility of the US in global and political systems of domination have for feminist activism outside of academe? How can we integrate what we have learned about nation(ality) and nationalism into service-learning projects assigned in women's studies classrooms in a way that challenges assumptions and preconceptions about traditionally underserved, and marginalized groups?

see you wednesday!


Possible Discussion Question (chapter 3)

In Chapter 3, "Student Resistance and Nationalism in the Classroom," the author describes her experience with teaching sensitive and controversial subjects in the classroom such as the use of violence against women by the US military. Interestingly, she notes that several students who took her class were expecting to learn about other cultures using violence against women and thus were uncomfortable at first with critiquing the U.S. The author also talks about her positionality in terms of a foreign person critiquing the U.S.

Q: Have you ever been in a situation where your patriotism has been questioned? If so, how did you respond? Do you find that now, being in a Women's Studies Program, you respond differently to such questions than before?

21st Century Feminist Classrooms-Other Chapter Suggestions

Other than the assigned Chapters: 3,5,7 and 9, I would recommend reading Chapter 2. I find that accounts written by people of color are often seen as non-objective. For example, the story of expansion and imperialism is most accepted when told by a white chronicler as opposed to a person of color. I have often thought about how my name would look next to a history document. The legitimacy of my research possibly questioned because of my Spanish name. This chapter definitely hits home. I was also able to connect to Maria Eva Valle's experience in Chapter 6. She shares her personal experience and encourages the creation of a community of engaged learners. Valle indicates that students need to be encouraged to share their experience. Sharing can counteract the silence that masks internalized anger and turn the experience into one of learning.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Hello! I wanted to share my thoughts on the top two chapters I selected from Twenty-First-Century Feminist Classrooms: Pedagogies of Identity and Difference. I selected Chapter 1 and 6. Chapter 1 seems to cover discussion on how we can continue to build on difference and conflict in order to build on a "pedagogy of coalition". I want to read more about the invisiblity and visibility of the "other"in the classroom and the community. Chapter 6 sounds interesting because it will go over more in debt about antiracist pedagogy and its relation to concientizacion. I also want to read on how the latter is reflected on through a Chicana/Latina feminist approach, because most of the time discussion of antiracism is only addressed in binary terms. Ok. well that is my suggestion, all of the Chapters in the book sound interesting and exciting. See you all in class tomorrow.


Moriah's Top 3 Chapters from 21st Century Classrooms

I would like to focus on chapters 3, 10, and 11 in 21st Century Classrooms. Chapter 3 sounds interesting as it deals with incorporating ideas of globalization within curricula and students' reactions to these efforts. I believe this to be increasing relevant in a period in which the changes wrought by globalization impact almost every field of study. Chapter 10 interests me as it deals with decentering whiteness and patriarchy in courses which focus on race and ethnicity. Chapter 11 is interesting in that it focuses on teaching across difference, which seems to be the focus of the entire book. I am hoping that it will summarize the main points addressed in the different chapters. See you all tomorrow!

21st Century_my top three chapters

After looking through the table of contents and briefly skimming some of the first pages of the chapters, I think my three favorite chapters are chapters 2 and 3 which both focus on resistance in the classroom and chapter 8 (on teaching about black women to white girls). I like chapters 2 and 3 because they speak about student resistance in the classroom and hoping to be a future professor I would like to read about Macdonald's experience with resistance so that I am better prepared. I like chapter 8 because it also seems to be talking about resistance. If I had to narrow it down to two chapters out of these three, I would choose chapters 3 and 8....this way chapter 3 talks about nationalism while chapter 8 talks about race.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Young Women's Studies Club Magazine Drive

Hello all,

I need your help! ITS REALLY SIMPLE, PROMISE! As some of you know I am interning this semester with the Young Women's Studies Club at Hoover High. The girls in the club expressed interest in autobiographical writing, poerty, and art work so this semester I will organizing the creation of a YWSC zine, or self-published mini-magazine. YWSC members will submit stories, poetry, art work, ect to the zine, I will put it together, and at the end of the semester each will take home a collection of each other's work.

Collages are also a great contribution to zines and many of the best collages come from cutting images out of old magazines. Here is where you come in!

If any of you have any magazines/picture books that can be cut up (see list below) please please please bring them to the Women's Studies Dept's office (3rd floor Arts & Letters - A346) and place them in the box you find there.

Acceptable items:

-Any beauty/fashion glossy magazines (especially mags marketed to women of color which contain images of women of color).
-Any music magazines.
-Nature/Gardening magazines.
-Travel magazines.
-home decor magazines.
-baby magazines
-news magazines such as Time and Newsweek
-food magazines
-arts and crafts magazines including street art and performance art
-animal magazines
-history magazines
-car magazines
-sports magazines
-entertainment magazines
-health and fitness magazines
-children's magazines

ANY old magazines that you do not want will do. If you are not sure if what you want to donate is relevant, please donate and let us decide. It should go without saying, however, that nudity, drugs, alcohol, guns, knives, hunting, erotica etc are not appropriate topics (just making sure!)

Picture books are also really great for collages so please don't hesitate to donate those.

I am really counting on donations as my other option is to go out and purchase enough magazines for 25 YWSC members to hack away at. Please forward this message to anyone you think may be able to help the YWSC zine become a reality!



5th Annual Queer People of Color Conference -- Call for Papers

Below is a link to the 5th Annual Queer People of Color Conference blog. They desperately need presenters and I urge you to submit your work in the fields of feminist, queer, chicano/a, studies/theories etc. If you do not feel that your research is appropriate please register to attend the QPOCC.

Deadline to apply is March 17th. Email a 300 word abstract and a 200 word bio. More details on the blog.

Stop Racism, Sexism, and Homophobia at UC San Diego

Below is a link to the "Stop Racism, Sexism, and Homophobia at UC San Diego" blog. A very valuable resource for those who want to know more about what has been going at UCs around the state and what is being done to address these issues.

Irina's Conocimiento Walk

Several things were going through my mind. For one, our walk felt like a small field trip and reminded me of the many field trips I went on in elementary school. When I transferred to middle school I was disappointed to find that we did not have any fieldtrips. In high school the only fieldtrips were serious ones to visit potential future college campuses. One time I asked my teacher in high school if we could have a fun fieldtrip that was not so serious and he replied that it was simply not in the budget. That is too sad. I remember I had one class, A.P. Government, in which the teacher decided to teach outside on the grass for one day. I really enjoyed it. The fresh air, the wind…and just a change of surrounding. The teacher then asked the class for feedback. Interesting, most students were not interested in repeating another day outside because they were not “comfortable” sitting on the grass that could potentially stain their clothes. I also care for my clothes but I would have really loved it if we had some designated “outside class” days. On those days, I would wear the pants that I don’t care that much about.
Walking by the grassy area gave me an idea: I think it would be wonderful to one day have class outside, on the grass, as a class picnic. In a few weeks, there will still be light around 6pm so we would be sitting in the dark. And we could pitch in a couple of dollars each to order some pizza from the dominoes across the street. Others mentioned earlier that they would like to spend time with the class outside of class. This could be a more relaxed classroom experience. We could even bring something to sit on like a beach blanket so that we would all be comfortable.
The last thing that went through my mind was the cleanliness of the air. Usually, the air does not feel so clean because numerous people are smoking. I really enjoyed the minutes outside without cigarette smoke!