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Passing as Teacher: Constructing a Lesbian Feminist Pedagogy.

Lamb, Mary R.

Abstract: This paper describes some problems one teacher has had trying to develop a feminist pedagogy for a composition class that does not elide sexual orientation as an identity facet in the classroom. The paper focuses on two essays, Mary Elliot's "Coming Out in the Classroom: A Return to the Hard Place" (1996) and Susan Jarratt's "Feminism and Composition: The Case for Conflict" (1991). Seeking to combine both these approaches, the paper invokes Donna Qualley's argument that teachers should consider students' developmental stages when teaching critical thinking and theoretical concepts. It contends that coming out in the classroom is essential--for gay and lesbian civil rights, for human rights, for individual and social improvement--and it offers suggestions for working through problems associated with personal disclosures. According to the paper, the context of the composition classroom varies with the content, the thematic focus, the institution, the instructor, and the students' identities. The paper suggests that a pedagogy aimed at teaching students to reconsider gender assumptions and how these are reflected and perpetuated in language seems to be a more productive strategy for advancing the long-term goal of changing social conditions. It suggests shifting the focus solely from the teacher to involving students actively in examining the institutions of gender and sexuality. (NKA)

Title: Passing as Teacher: Constructing a Lesbian Feminist Pedagogy.
Author: Lamb, Mary R.
Note: 12p.; Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (49th, Chicago, IL, April 1-4, 1998).
Publication Year: 1998
Document Type: Teaching Guide (052); Conference Paper (150)
Target Audience: Researchers
ERIC Identifier: ED422587
This document is available from the ERIC Document Reproduction Service.

Descriptors: Critical Thinking; Higher Education; * Homosexuality; * Self Disclosure [Individuals]; * Sexual Identity; * Teacher Responsibility; Teacher Student Relationship; * Writing Instruction

Identifiers: Controversial Topics; *Feminist Pedagogy; *Homosexual Teachers; Social Reality

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