University of Illinois Press

In the introduction to their 1999 anthology, Meeting the Challenge: Innovative Feminist Pedagogies in Action, Maralee Mayberry and Ellen Cronan Rose remind us of feminist scholarship's marginalized position in the larger educational context. The anthology was conceived as a detailed exploration of how feminist pedagogies can be implemented within a variety of classroom, university, and community settings with the goal of engaging readers in an "exchange of ideas and strategies that will enrich their classroom environments, stimulate their students, and address the pressing needs and problems of their communities" (xvi). Nearly ten years later, as a result of this publication and many others like it (note that Feminist Teacher itself has provided a vibrant forum for these discussions since 1984), we have a great deal of evidence to suggest that feminist pedagogy has moved from the margins, becoming a valued tradition in many academic settings. The plethora of innovative courses and pedagogical approaches feminist teachers have designed speaks to their commitment to creating an education process in which, as Carolyn Shrewsbury states, "a community of learners is empowered to act responsibly toward one another and the subject matter and to apply that learning to social action" (8).

What we particularly appreciate from Meeting the Challenge is the intent of the editors to exemplify the hands-on, practical applications of feminist pedagogy within specific disciplines. There was, however, little attention in that volume to envisioning how these applications could be utilized in other disciplinary settings. With these specially themed and guest-edited issues of Feminist Teacher, "Feminist Pedagogies in Action: Teaching beyond Disciplines," our intent is not only to demonstrate hands-on applications of feminist pedagogies, but also to learn from each other's interpretations of feminist pedagogical techniques across disciplines. This desire to learn from each other raises a practical question: How do we recognize a pedagogy as feminist? In other words, if feminist pedagogies are not bound to a scholarly area of study, what are the commonalities that make a pedagogy feminist? It is necessary to outline some fundamental principles of feminist pedagogy to supply a framework for our discussion. [End Page 1]

What Makes It Feminist?

As feminist scholars, we are routinely asked to support the legitimacy of our work by explicitly answering the question: What makes it feminist? Because feminist scholarship is not confined to a particular substantive topic (i.e., it is not just about studying women) nor to a particular method (e.g., qualitative research), but rather involves an epistemological stance, students and faculty newly exposed to feminism truly have difficulty understanding what exactly makes a particular study, methodology, or practice feminist. How do you know when you are doing feminist work? Although feminism is, in substance, always attentive to power differences that create inequalities, particularly those that create differential opportunities for women and men (but also those that create racial and ethnic, class-based, or sexuality-based inequalities), feminism is also an epistemological shift away from a history of androcentric bias in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities. As such, it is not just an "area study" (again, not just about "women") but something much deeper: a way of orienting to academic work that is attuned to power relations, both within the academy and within knowledge construction itself. So how does one orient to feminist work? What are the parameters of feminist scholarship, and can these parameters be extended to feminist pedagogy? We believe so.

In an anthology of research methodology, Mary Margaret Fonow and Judith A. Cook provide a simple but useful framework that characterizes a feminist orientation to the research process. Our contribution with this volume is to apply their framework more broadly than just to research methodology, because we believe it captures the underlying principles of feminist epistemology: pedagogy and activism. Fonow and Cook describe the following four themes for the process of doing feminist work: the role of reflexivity, action orientation, attention to affect, and use of the situation at hand. Intended neither as discrete steps nor as mutually exclusive components within some particular method, but rather as touchstones for the fluid process of feminist research, these four themes are suitable for any research setting, pedagogical process, or activist project. They are, in essence, ethical principles for guiding feminist academic endeavors. Fonow and Cook's framework is so powerful because it is applicable regardless of discipline: it applies equally well to studies of nature (the sciences) and of culture (the humanities and social sciences). This divide remains the most difficult to traverse in conversations about feminist pedagogy.

The New Challenge

Read together, this collection of articles challenges us to think about how feminist practices transcend the nature/culture disciplinary divide (see Haraway, Modest; Subramaniam; Weasel). Because disciplines have been organized differently (i.e., they emerge from different epistemological traditions), any particular pedagogical technique can have radically different outcomes, depending on the disciplinary context. In placing these articles together, we observed that feminist pedagogies in diverse academic settings do not always look the same, even when the pedagogies have similar underlying goals and are demonstrably feminist. Depending on the discipline, applying feminist pedagogies may require adding feminist content, or [End Page 2] it may mean simply changing classroom process to meet feminist pedagogical goals. Our goal in bringing this collection of articles together is not to make all disciplines look and feel the same, but rather to encourage feminist teachers across disciplines to understand the principles of feminist pedagogy that bind us together. Because feminist pedagogy embodies a concern for both what we teach and how we teach it (Kenway and Modra; Mayberry and Rose; Schniedewind), this volume contains illustrations of how scholarly content and classroom process are affected by re-envisioning traditional pedagogy. Regardless, the challenge remains when discussing our specific applications of feminist pedagogies in various disciplines and using that conversation to freely borrow from one another. As a result, we will collectively create a deeper understanding of the power of feminist pedagogies. We begin by using Fonow and Cook's framework to discuss how the articles within this collection exemplify similar ethical principles despite coming from different disciplines.

Role of Reflexivity

The role of reflexivity is a concept that suggests feminist scholars maintain and use constant awareness of one's own place in the power relations that comprise all academic pursuits. Fonow and Cook write, "By reflexivity we mean the tendency of feminists to reflect upon, examine critically, and explore analytically the nature of the research process" (2). A standard premise of feminist work is that the researcher cannot be separated from the research. Research is never objective in the sense of being devoid of power relations. When we pretend as though it can be, we are employing what Donna Haraway calls the "God trick"—implying that knowledge simply exists, as though handed down by God (Primate). Haraway argues cogently that this perspective hides power relations rather than making them transparent, and that feminist researchers must always be open about their affiliations and attentive to their own place in reproducing power. So the feminist scholar should always strive toward considering her/his own role in the research process. Similarly, the feminist teacher must bring this attitude to the classroom. That is, feminist research, and similarly feminist teaching, requires reflexivity. How do I fit into the system of education, economics, politics, and so on? How does my disciplinary lens operate to shape that structure? How does my research or teaching enable others to understand their own places and their own power within the structure? For Fonow and Cook, reflexivity can include such things as consciousness raising with research participants, collaborative scholarship, and constantly considering the implicit role of researchers' identities in the research process. As a feminist teacher one must consider not only the power relations among classroom actors (e.g., teachers and students) but also the power relations implicit in knowledge construction, ultimately working toward empowerment of students. Engaging students in reflexivity requires encouraging them to articulate their own developing ideas. Two articles in this issue, those by Sara L. Crawley and by Donald J. Wink et al.1 focus on pedagogical approaches that bring student voices into the learning process. Both articles apply pedagogical tools that are most familiar in the opposite traditional paradigm: Crawley uses a form of guided inquiry, common in the natural sciences, in a women's studies course, while Wink et al. use journaling, [End Page 3] common in women's studies, in a science course.

Crawley (women's studies and sociology) consistently encourages reflexivity in her classroom, for both students and herself, citing two examples of pedagogical practices that support reflexivity and discussing the implications of these practices for her own growth as a feminist teacher and scholar. First, in everyday classroom processes, Crawley describes a focus on questioning rather than on lecturing, which she argues is a pedagogy that can be applied regardless of discipline. Second, Crawley describes two capstone assignments that engage students directly in the scholarly practices of her discipline. The "autoethnography" and the "feminifesto" compel students to reflect on disciplinary content as it relates to their own lives and to develop their personal/political identities. Ultimately, Crawley discusses the important role teacher reflexivity plays in her own scholarly development, as well as how it informs ways in which she can push students to new understandings of the material. Her chosen feminist pedagogical practices help students create scholarly reflections on self and identity and can be utilized by other disciplines to meet pedagogical goals concerning student engagement and empowerment.

Similarly, Wink et al. (chemistry) tackle the problem of authentic student engagement in the science classroom by incorporating a semester-long research and writing assignment that enables students to investigate scientific topics related to strong personal, career, or health interests. Students practice self-reflexivity by journaling about their experiences in the course and with the assignment as the course unfolds. In the article, Wink et al. present student voices from the journals to inform their discussion of their own reflections about the problems and promises of this assignment. Authentic engagement leading to student self-empowerment is a difficult pedagogical goal, and Wink et al. demonstrate that teacher self-reflexivity requires acknowledging both successes and failures—the teacher must also be "authentically engaged" in learning how to create assignments and conditions that can empower diverse students. This article helps us understand how reflexivity can be used to improve student engagement in general education courses, particularly those in which some students feel marginalized.

Both of these articles offer helpful pedagogical ideas but also raise challenges for the future application of feminist pedagogy across disciplines. We have asked readers to consider these articles from the perspective of seeking to enrich their own feminist pedagogical practices, regardless of discipline. For example, what do teachers in the sciences, in which guided inquiry typically focuses on helping students discover the physical world (often leaving very little room for reflexivity), have to learn from Crawley's feminist application of guided inquiry in a non-science course? If the course content of a discipline is not directly concerned with the study of people's lives or interactional experiences (e.g., the culture portion of the nature/culture divide), as it is in Crawley's case, can it be done? Or is Wink's approach, with journaling and individual projects, a better fit for supporting student reflexivity in a science course? For those already familiar with journaling, how does Wink et al.'s use of journaling in a science context differ from your own? Which of these differences can you incorporate [End Page 4] into your own practice to create a more empowering experience for your students? As you read these two articles reflecting upon the role student identities and reflexivity can play in guiding students toward their educational goals, contemplating pedagogies across disciplines is necessary to exercise your own reflexivity.

Action Orientation: Empowering Lives

The second of Fonow and Cook's themes, action orientation, argues that all feminist academic work should focus on positive social change. That is, it should work toward creating social justice, not simply end as a study filed in a library. Hence, feminist research (and, we argue, feminist teaching) must have an underlying intention toward social action. Referring to critical race studies, Marxist analyses, and LGBT studies, Fonow and Cook note that these area studies actively engage "a more constructive reformulation of the action agenda in research" (5). That is, these area studies, and feminism more broadly, take social action as the intended purpose of academic study. We engage this research to create social change—to strive for justice—in knowledge construction, teaching, public policy, and political action. What this means for feminist pedagogy is that we should acknowledge and foreground the implications for social change that are inherent in our areas of study.

Rhonda L. Williams (school counseling) and Abby L. Ferber (women's studies and sociology) describe the overall goal of the Smart-Girl program to improve women's lives, a move toward equity and social justice. Feminist research, Williams and Ferber argue, has identified adolescence as a difficult time in which girls are often "plagued by low self-esteem, eating disorders, high rates of depression, and a feeling of lack of control over their own lives." Smart-Girl, a mentoring program that provides service-learning opportunities for college students to interact with adolescent girls, was designed with these concerns in mind. Aspects of the program's curriculum (e.g., mentoring, experiential learning, role play, etc.) can be applied in an array of disciplines, courses, and communities. Williams and Ferber provide details about their implementation of Smart-Girl, which is explicitly aimed at providing young girls with the opportunity to learn problem-solving and conflict resolution skills, build social competencies, and enhance self-esteem. Yet Smart-Girl is not a top-down organization. A reciprocal relationship of learning is encouraged between adolescent girls, college undergraduates and graduate students, and college instructors. Williams and Ferber discuss how the Smart-Girl program provides girls with self-affirming strategies that allow them to move beyond self-destructive discourses of femininity. Smart-Girl encourages participants to actively express their ideas and to engage competently in both private and public settings. In essence, the program teaches girls agency, a key component of working for social change.

In terms of future pedagogical applications, we ask readers of this article to consider how feminist service-learning programs could be created within and between their own disciplines. The positive example set by this article encourages us to go beyond the academy and to envision the ways in which a broader community could benefit via access not only to feminist pedagogy but also to interdisciplinary knowledge about critical issues for the community. Because Smart-Girl brings [End Page 5] together a variety of stakeholders from a range of social locations, how might it be a model for systemic change? What aspects of this model are readily applicable for your disciplinary knowledge and even your current service-learning projects?

Attention to Affect: Acting Responsibly Towards our Students

A third theme that Fonow and Cook use to characterize a feminist orientation includes a refusal to separate the rational from the emotional. In other words, paying attention to the affective components of academic work is not about emoting on cue, but rather seeking to explode the falsehood that humans can fully separate the logical/rational being from the emotive being. Logical positivism has tended to err on the side of ignoring the affective parts of human experience. Feminism argues this separation of the rational from the emotional is a false dualism. Hence, one premise of feminist work is to be conscious of the relationship between the rational and emotional in the human experience. Instead of prioritizing the rational, feminist work is to translate the false dualism into a dialectic that informs both research and teaching.

Acknowledging the importance of affective dimensions of learning, Alesha Durfee and Karen Rosenberg (both social scientists from women's and gender studies) recognize that students' experiences of violence can enter into the teacher/student relationship in unforeseen ways. For them, listening carefully to students who want to share these experiences—whether course content, course processes (e.g., a class discussion), or a recent experience outside the classroom sparks the need for a student to speak—is a responsibility of feminist pedagogy. However, college faculty rarely receive training about how to handle students in crisis and can feel overwhelmed by this responsibility. In addition to discussing the resources available to teachers and administrators, Durfee and Rosenberg describe an advocacy based counseling (ABC) perspective that explains how to address the needs of students in crisis responsibly. They engage a discussion about the necessity for feminist teachers to reconfigure their relationships with their students in order to assist students in crisis while maintaining appropriate professional boundaries. Their discussion illuminates the inextricable nature of the affective domain as a part of effective feminist pedagogy.

In terms of broader applications of their work, Durfee and Rosenberg provide us with a detailed list of things to do to prepare for being responsive and responsible to students who experience a crisis as a result of exposure to course materials on emotionally difficult topics. Pursuing that ethic, students are often upset about any number of situations that simply happen while students are in college (e.g., rescheduling an exam due to death of a relative, a problem relationship impeding completion of coursework, a failed exam or poor grade, or others). We ask readers to consider: how could advocacy-based counseling principles be applied in responding to many forms of crisis not necessarily brought on by the course topics? In what ways are teachers across disciplines—not only those in disciplines where sensitive topics are discussed—responsible for students' well-being when these situations arise, and how can they best respond? Attention to the affective components of learning, or the refusal to separate the rational from the emotional, [End Page 6] means that feminist teachers do have an obligation to respond to students as whole beings, complete with emotions.

Use of Situation at Hand: Making Local and Global Connections

Finally, feminist work, according to Fonow and Cook, makes use of the situationat hand. Rather than confining feminist scholarship to distant realities, it is more useful to define and study issues, themes, and ideas that are important to local people: feminist work begins with a concern for everyday life (Smith). Hence, one need not go somewhere else to study; one's scholarly imagination can be engaged in the "right here." In feminist teaching, one can find issues to bring to the classroom from the everyday world of one's own life, community, or local area, making authentic points of connection between academic study and our (and our students') everyday lives. In this way, the global and local express themselves as intertwined phenomena. Both Kristina R. Knoll and Catherine Hurt Middlecamp consistently highlight the tension between global concerns and local needs inherent to learning from the situation-at-hand.

In her application of feminist disability studies to the situation-at-hand in the classroom, Knoll (women's studies) shows us how the global—the impulse for "universal design" with the goal of inclusivity—will always be insufficient because the local—individual "accommodation" addressing the needs of specific disabled people in a particular context—will remain necessary if we are to diffuse privilege and address disability-based oppression. From her critique of the "medical model of disability" that constructs people as disabled rather than acknowledging a social system of privilege and oppression, Knoll provides a framework for thinking about issues of access as well as strategies that can be used in the classroom. In addition, gender, race, and class oppressions and privileges are common topics in feminist classrooms, but feminist understandings of privilege and oppression are still expanding to include the notion of disability. Knoll's tools for courses and departments are important steps toward creating a more liberatory classroom environment, regardless of discipline.

Middlecamp (chemistry and teacher education) engages us in a pedagogical journey based on coming to understand our responsibilities as citizens of the world. In doing so, she shares connections between the global and local, the sacred and the mundane, which have informed her evolving teaching practices. Her stories remind us that who is learning, who is teaching, and what is learned all matter; or, as she says, "these stories belong to us all." As an instructor of a non-science majors course in chemistry, Chemistry in Context (and working on the writing team for the eponymous American Chemical Society textbook), Middlecamp was originally concerned with teaching "through" the real world global issues of nuclear energy/acid rain/mining toward core chemistry content. Through her work to develop a second course titled Environmental Chemistry and Ethnicity (regarding uranium mining and the Navajo), she moved toward a paradigm that connects science and culture through issues of public policy. Hence her journey has taken her from privileging science to valuing science and culture equally, and she continues to rework her approaches to course content in a way that recognizes the emancipatory potential of general education courses. [End Page 7] As such she shows her willingness to translate her own personal stories to larger issues that speak to feminist educators. Ultimately she asks us to use what we learn (local) to initiate social change (global).

Both Knoll and Middlecamp centrally locate a critique of Western binaries in their course content and pedagogical processes. Knoll engages the nature/culture binary by challenging us to think about our understanding of bodies as based in cultural rather than natural phenomenon. Her work allows us to highlight the false dichotomy between nature and culture. Also, she questions the logic of choosing either a global or local solution, making it clear that this false choice will always be undesirable. Middlecamp repositions science and culture on equal footings through her curriculum, re-envisions the learning relationship of teacher to student (and student to teacher), and advocates for understanding how our curricula could intersect with the concerns of local and global communities. In sum, these two articles challenge all feminist teachers, regardless of disciplinary location, to critique hierarchal binaries in many forms as they play out in our curricula and classroom processes.

Interdisciplinary Conversations in Support of Feminist Pedagogies

Although we have placed each of the articles in these guest-edited issues under a particular theme or ethical principle, we want to remind the reader that each article contains echoes of all the themes. After Fonow and Cook, we have used these themes as a working description of a multi-faceted feminist pedagogy. Taken as a whole, these four themes work together to personalize academic study—bringing it into the realm of our own lives and the lives of our students. The articles in this issue provide practical applications of the principles of feminist pedagogy. They include discussions of both classroom process and curriculum content—the how and what of feminist teaching. The goal is for all of us to become deeply involved—as researchers, teachers, and students—engaging ideas, not for the exam or for the scholarly publication, but in order to become critical, concerned citizens. We believe this charge is not the purview of any one discipline or scholar but must be taken up collectively, across disciplines, and in earnest conversation among feminist educators.

Anke Finger and Victoria Rosner suggest that the move toward interdisciplinarity provides feminist scholars with the opportunity to "challenge the forms knowledge takes in the disciplines, to search for omissions, gaps, and erasures, and to pursue investigations that disciplinary structures may preclude" (499). One significant gap is the lack of institutional support and reward for interdisciplinary discussions of teaching at the college level. Not only does teaching itself tend to be undervalued, but also disciplinary structures reward different forms of knowledge, and disciplines vie for power within the hierarchical academy. At worst, each of us is left with our own commitments to our disciplines and our own proprietary views about the pedagogies we use. As a result, we often have difficulty learning from one another about feminist pedagogies as they appear across disciplines, particularly across the nature/culture divide (Feminist Teacher is one of the few venues in which you will find articles with a pedagogical focus from across disciplines). However, even the articles [End Page 8] in this volume are still ultimately rooted within particular disciplines. While we made comparisons across pairs of articles and highlighted several cross-disciplinary interpretations of similar feminist pedagogies as part of our discussion of Fonow and Cook's common themes, we found it hard to stop there. In fact, although the authors did not read each others' work, as editors we experienced many of these articles as speaking directly to one another, particularly across the nature/ culture divide. This is perhaps not surprising, since the three of us were speaking across that same divide ourselves as we worked to construct this special issue. What seemed innovative and exciting to one of us would often seem "old hat" to the others. Discussions of similarities and differences between the two articles about science courses (Wink et al. and Middle-camp) and the other three articles kept us committed to working on the project: we were learning a tremendous amount. Therefore, to further our goal of learning from interpretations of feminist pedagogies across disciplines, we want to share with you a few more of the challenges we imagine the authors would set for each other to foster the continued expansion of feminist pedagogies. In the following discussion we imagine cross-disciplinary conversations between authors.

Middlecamp and Durfee and Rosenberg both acknowledge that emotions are part of the learning experience, and they believe that these emotions must be dealt with if we are to act responsibly toward our students. Durfee and Rosenberg routinely address issues of student affect and emotions as instructors of courses on social problems, whereas Middlecamp, a chemistry teacher, is not expected to address such issues in the classroom. Drawing on their experiences, Durfee and Rosenberg suggest to all educators that using ABC techniques can help teachers and administrators work with students in crisis. Middlecamp, who encourages us to learn from our students what should be at the center of the learning experience, would likely wonder how Durfee and Rosenberg could change their course content to meet student needs. For example, by explicitly teaching the ABC method as part of the course content, Durfee and Rosenberg would provide students—not just teachers and administrators—with an extremely empowering advocacy tool. In addition, in exploring their own pedagogical strategies and models with their students, they would be moving even closer to Middle-camp's ideal of making explicit "who is teaching." Durfee and Rosenberg, with their focus on teaching a structural analysis of social inequalities, would almost certainly applaud Middlecamp's efforts to grapple with the relationship between social problems and scientific investigation. We imagine they might also encourage Middlecamp to move beyond discussions of public policy issues and toward embedded assignments that provide students with experiences of collective activism and social change, thereby "helping students learn to exercise their own agency." At the heart of both pieces, however, is the importance of allowing all of us to tell our stories, which again reminds us that affective components must be an integral part of course design to support feminist pedagogy.

Both Knoll and Middlecamp discuss issues of accessibility. What Middlecamp says about course content (it can be intimidating, alienating, and irrelevant) is what Knoll says about classroom process (classroom environments often ignore individual [End Page 9] student needs and can be very alienating). Both would argue that we need to examine our assumptions in order to become flexible and welcoming. Together, they describe the ethos of the feminist classroom.

We feel certain that the first questions Knoll would have for Middlecamp are: how could your assignments become more disability-friendly? What is it about your classroom or course that might be alienating to students with disabilities or prevent their voices from being heard? While we are also certain that Middlecamp would welcome these questions, others may not. Universities typically have disability offices to handle issues surrounding the teaching of disabled students—faculty may ask themselves: aren't others, better qualified than me, taking care of that elsewhere on campus? This illustrates Knoll's point about how disability issues can be pushed to the margins and resonates with Middlecamp's journey to bring people's lives into the center of the classroom experience. One way in which the marginalization of disability issues is maintained is through cultural unfamiliarity with assistive technologies. If Knoll were to bring science relevant to disability studies into the classroom, what types of new learning might occur? What would a "standard" disabilities course look like if it were to include discussions of structure/ function considerations for materials used in the development of prosthetic devices, or of the engineering challenges presented by incorporating cutting-edge technologies into mass market assistive devices, or of the biochemistry of managing potential drug interactions among medications commonly prescribed for particular disabilities? And, we must not forget, what Chemistry in Context course would Middle-camp create if the concerns of the disabled were at the center? Reading these two authors together and reflecting on their feminist pedagogies encourages us to push forward toward the goal provided by feminist science studies, which suggests the need to bring the study of science to feminism and the study of feminism to science (Mayberry, Subramaniam, and Weasel; Spanier).

Wink et al. would definitely agree with Middlecamp's argument about allowing students to choose their personal avenue to connect with the course content. Similar to Middlecamp's, Wink et al.'s pedagogical approach begins to dismantle the content boundaries between studies of nature and studies of culture by allowing students to engage the study of chemistry through their identities. The student-directed projects allow members of the course to establish "a sense of self within at least some aspect of science" by addressing issues that are commonly understood as coming under the purview of humanities or social sciences. Although Crawley doesn't ask students to organize classroom content or to think outside the disciplinary area in which she is teaching to the degree that Wink et al. do, her article does offer a similar interest in cultivating student voice through classroom process. Crawley's approach to teaching through questioning allows students to respond in a multitude of ways, which often engage their own identities and interests.

In a move toward further blurring the boundaries between disciplines, Wink et al. would likely ask Crawley to examine feminist literature focusing not on the deconstruction or critique of science but on its feminist reconstruction, and to explore how she might use this literature [End Page 10] to respond to and to encourage students whose interests, for example, are in the biological or physiological factors associated with bodies. Crawley's pedagogy pushes her to consistently reflect upon her own understanding of the area of study as well as the place of classic works in the canon of her discipline. Therefore, in turn, Crawley would likely ask Wink et al. what they learn about their own discipline through allowing students to voice their own interests and identities.

Finally, Wink et al. judge their own pedagogy with a critical eye, stating what has failed—that not all of their students engage intimately in their science projects. This is an important point for all feminist teachers, regardless of discipline, to consider. What might we learn about our own pedagogies if we allow ourselves to reflect on why some students do not engage with our feminist course content and/or process?

Williams and Ferber's notion of feminist service learning advances the feminist academic project even further by taking it outside the college classroom and into the larger educational community. In this sense it challenges us all not to forget that feminist education is, at heart, an activist project. The Smart-Girl program, founded as a method to ameliorate the attrition of girls in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), is aimed at enhancing girls' confidence, self-esteem, and problem-solving skills. Wink and Middlecamp, who are both engaged in changing the nature of the traditional science classroom to be more inclusive of diverse student populations, might ask: to what extent do traditional science curricula and pedagogical processes construct a "chilly climate" for women and girls? They would encourage Williams and Ferber to consider: how could Smart-Girl extend its focus beyond helping girls adjust to a traditional curriculum, instead using their consciousness-raising groups to learn from the interaction of their adolescent girls and college-age participants how we might work toward dismantling classroom climates that are often chilly to women and girls?

Compiling these specially themed issues has engaged us, the guest editors, to consider the depth of the challenges posed by transporting principles of feminist pedagogy across disciplines. We spent much time dismantling our disciplined perspectives in order to appreciate that even something we thought we knew well could be completely transformed in another context. We feel confident that if we as feminist educators commit ourselves to engaging in difficult cross-disciplinary conversations, avoiding the traps of traditional academic hierarchies, we can make a great deal of progress toward offering our students an academy in which feminist pedagogies are omnipresent, multi-faceted, and synergistic. The challenge remains for all of us interested in feminist pedagogy to remain committed to reaching outside our disciplinary fields of focus and to continuing the conversation.

Sara L. Crawley

Sara L. Crawley is an assistant professor of sociology and affiliated faculty in women's studies at the University of South Florida. She has published in such feminist journals as Gender & Society, Journal of Lesbian Studies, and Hypatia, and she recently co-authored the book Gendering Bodies with Lara J. Foley and Constance L. Shehan.

Jennifer E. Lewis

Jennifer E. Lewis is an associate professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of South Florida. Her research interests focus on current trends in the teaching and learning of chemistry at the undergraduate level, including the evaluation of curricular reform implementations with an eye toward both effectiveness and equity. Her research publications have appeared in Chemistry Education: Research and Practice, The Journal of Chemical Education, and The Journal of Research in Science Teaching.

Maralee Mayberry

Maralee Mayberry is currently the chairperson of the Department of Sociology at the University of South Florida. She has written and taught extensively in the areas of sociology of education, feminist science studies, and feminist pedagogy. A longtime advocate of interdisciplinary curriculum and innovative teaching approaches, Mayberry and her colleague Ellen Cronan Rose compiled an anthology, Meeting the Challenge: Feminist Pedagogy in Action (Routledge 1999), to illustrate how feminist pedagogy can be implemented in a variety of disciplinary settings. Her involvement in feminist science studies originated with a National Science Foundation grant to develop curricular programs linking the natural sciences to the social sciences and humanities. This work is reflected in a series of journal articles (appearing in Transformations; Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering; Journal of Research on Science Teaching; and the National Women's Studies Association Journal) and culminated in a co-edited book, Feminist Science Studies: A New Generation (Routledge 2001). Mayberry is currently involved in a funded research project in four Pinellas County School District high schools. The purpose of the study is to identify the relationship between Gay-Straight Alliance activities and school patterns of action and inaction that either support or inhibit organization level change of importance to sexually-marginalized youth.

Note

1. The articles included in our discussion include "Full-Contact Pedagogy: Lecturing with Questions and Student-Centered Assignments as Methods for Inciting Self-Reflexivity for Faculty and Students," "Facilitating Smart Girl: Feminist Pedagogy in Service Learning in Action," "Fostering Preservice Teacher Identity in Science through a Student-Selected Project," "The Old Woman and the Rug: The Wonder and Pain of Teaching (and Learning) Chemistry," "Teaching Sensitive Issues: Feminist Pedagogy and the Practice of Advocacy-Based [End Page 11] Counseling," and "Feminist Disability Studies Pedagogy." Because of space constraints, the Introduction plus the first three essays appear in 19.1; the abstracts to the latter three essays also appear here. The full text of the final three articles will appear in 19.2.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1934-6034
Print ISSN
0882-4843
Pages
1-12
Launched on MUSE
2009-01-07
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Ceased Publication
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