22 SES 10 B, Feminist Ways of Being, Knowing and Teaching in the Academy: A Double Symposium
The two sessions making up the double symposium are a collaboration between Network 27 Didactics, Learning and Teaching and Network 22 Research in Higher Education. Together they focus on the potential of academics to transform knowledge, teaching and the academy in line with a feminist agenda. They build on symposia from the previous two years at ECER which have brought colleagues with an interest in gender and feminism together. These sessions have attracted intense interest and participants have confirmed what the wider literature suggests: there is a particular need for a renewed engagement with feminism in the context of new challenges regarding gender inequity in the academy (Burke, 2015; David, 2015; Leathwood and Read, 2009; Minnich, 2005; Morley, 2015; Morley and Crossouard, 2016).
Women university students now outnumber men in most countries (Leathwood and Read, 2009). However, women are underrepresented in the professoriate, as influential researchers and as leaders; with some groups of women, such as those from ethnic minorities, being particularly absent (Morley 2015; Morley and Crossouard, 2016). Broadly speaking women are less likely to be generating new knowledge or to be driving the agendas of disciplines and universities (Morley, 2015; Morley and Crossouard, 2016).
Although international agencies such as UNESCO urge universities to include feminist analysis and knowledge in their curricula (Morley, 2007), critical feminist knowledge has become increasingly confined to peripheral spaces on university campuses (Minnich, 2005). Undergraduate and postgraduate courses in women’s studies have declined in many wealthier countries (Leathwood and Read, 2009) whilst developing countries lack expertise in gendered analysis and feminist approaches which hinders progress (Morley, 2007). The goal of feminism to transform knowledge to better represent the interests of diverse women with intersecting identities (Harding, 1991) has not been realised. Hence, amidst talk of the feminisation of universities new forms of gender inequities emerge (David, 2014; Leathwood and Read, 2009; Morley, 2007).
The symposia aim to provide a forum where European education researchers can engage with these pressing issues and develop women’s capacity to transform the academy so it can help to address the myriad of economic and social difficulties associated with gender inequality globally. An eclectic, interdisciplinary and inclusive space for discussion of feminist approaches and gender issues will be provided. Part 1 and 2 offer contrasting and complementary engagements with studies focusing on women in the academy and didactics, learning and teaching.
Symposium 1 Feminist ways of being, knowing and teaching in the academy 1: international perspectives from feminist academics.
The three papers in this session consider the possibilities for and difficulties of feminist action in the academy. The first (Hussénius et al) explores how interstitial spaces and transgressive identities allow for disciplinary boundary crossing. The second (Taylor) considers how concepts from the work of the feminist Mary Daly may generate possibilities for feminist activism. The third paper (Abbas, McLean and Walker) explores implicit feminism and the possible suppression of overt action in their study of female Early Career Academics.
Symposium 2: Feminist ways of being, knowing and teaching in the academy 2: international perspectives on feminist-inspired pedagogies.
These three papers explore feminst inspired approaches to didactics, learning and teaching. The first paper (Kraus) critically interogates how gender is conceptualised and reseached in modernist and postmodernist approaches to pedagogical issues. The second paper (Götschel) considers feminist pedagogies for teaching science education. In the third paper Scantlebury et al use a material feminist approach inspired by Barad to develop insights into how transformative science education can be developed.
Burke, P.J. (2015) Re/imagining higher education pedagogies: gender, emotion and difference. Teaching in Higher Education, Volume 20, Issue 4. Pp. 308-401. David, M. (2014) Feminism, gender and universities: politics, passion and pedagogies. Farnham: Ashgate. Harding, S. (1991) Whose Science? Whose Knowledge? Thinking from women’s lives. New York: Cornell University Press. Leathwood, C. and Read, B. (2009) Gender and the changing face of higher education. A feminised future? Maidenhead: Society for Research into Higher Education and Open University Press. Minnich, E. K. (2005) Transforming Knowledge (Second Edition). Philadelphia: Temple. Morley, L. (2007) Sister-matic: gender mainstreaming in higher education. Teaching in Higher Education, Volume 12, Issues 5-). pp. 607-620. Morley, L. (2015) Troubling intra-actions: gender, neo-liberalism and research in the global academy. Journal of Education Policy, Volume 23, Issue 3. pp. 1-18. Morley, L. and Crossouard, Barbara (2016) Gender in the neoliberalised global academy: the affective economy of women and leadership in South Asia. British Journal of Sociology of Education, Volume 37, Issue 1. pp 149-168.
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