Saturday, October 22, 2005

Long Time, No Blog

We're reading Feeling Power by Megan Boler in Donna's class. I like this book. It seems related to my thinking on reader response theory and emotions and education. I mentioned this in class the other day. In education, we don't talk about the sexual/affective/gendered issues that occur in schools. As I was reading Boler books, I was thinking that I want to teach a class called Gender and Emotion in Education, or Teaching, something like that. I noticed pretty quickly that if you are a female teacher who does not follow the typical nurturing and caring identity for a female teacher the students will come down hard in the beginning. I don't know how to explain that more.

I was writing notes on every page of this book and thinking of so many stories. I was going to write, "I know I have the tendency to ramble..." That's sort of an apology. Why do I feel the need to apologize for my work? She said that women feel the need to apologize or feel ashamed when they turn work in. They don't believe that their work is inferior, but they do feel their work in inferior. I could relate to that. I feel that way all of the time; I also felt that was a personal problem of my own. It's interesting to read that may be prevalent, that it may be socially constructed somehow.

Boler talked about social uptake on page 14. A woman does something successfully and points it out to a man; he disagrees, calls her a crazy bitch, and then ignores her--thus, silencing her. I think this social uptake occurs in the classroom. The teacher doesn't call the students crazy bitches, but this is how I see it happening:

A student brings up a good point or asks a good question that is not found in the teacher's edition of the textbook. The teacher says, "Your on the wrong page" or "That's not what the author is saying" or "You don't seem to understand" or "Your not a good reader." He or she then calls on the next person or continues to lecture. Really it is just an assertion of authority.

On page 4, she said that one of the few "spaces of power available" is resistance. I think this is especially true if you teach in a more tradition, maybe less relevant way.

I know I'm just trailing off here (ah, another apology), but I would love to hear any comments out in the blogosphere.

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