History, social construction of the subject theories, and psychoanalysis have a great deal to contribute to feminist pedagogy. This semester our group explored each of these subtopics and tried to integrate them into feminist teaching. Our blogs and enactments below elaborate on the interconnectedness of these subtopics and their benefit to feminist pedagogy. We argue that history should be used to illustrate patterns of social behavior and oppression. By linking a historical analysis to feminist pedagogical practices, educators can encourage the development of a critical and political consciousness. Social construction theories can spark great discussions about what is “natural” and what is merely a social construction in our lived world. Social construction theories can be challenged and informed by embodied feminist theorists to encourage a critical critique and lead to unresolved contradictions which are called for by Chick and Hassel (2009) in the enactment of feminist pedagogy. Psychoanalysis can aid history and social construction of the subject theories by encouraging spaces to challenge and question identity formation and the foster the development of a critical consciousness. Feminist pedagogy can interrogate the history of psychoanalysis and engage with psychoanalytic ideas that have relevance in the classroom. Concepts of transference and countertransference can be explored and applied in feminist pedagogy to ask questions about the role of the past and childhood experience in the presence of education. We have greatly enjoyed focusing on these subtopics this semester and we hope that our blogs illustrate our level of engagement with these issues.
As feminist educators, we advocate for the need to integrate history, social construction theories, and psychoanalysis into the discourse of feminist pedagogy. We hope that an integration of these subtopics will encourage activism among teachers and learners. Villaverde argued (2008) that activism is “acting that is fully informed by a critical and political consciousness with a direct purpose to create desired social change and positively impact peoples’ lives” (p. 141). This is the activism and critical consciousness we hope to develop through the integration of history, social construction theories, and psychoanalysis into feminist pedagogy.
Chick, N. and Hassel, H. (2009). “Don’t hate me because I’m virtual”: Feminist pedagogy in the online classroom. Feminist Teacher, 19 (3): 195-215.
Villaverde, L. (2008). Feminist theories and education. New York: Peter Lang Publishing.