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Teaching "Like a Girl": Student Reflection of
the Benefits and Challenges of Feminist Pedagogy

By: Ashley Torres | Faculty Mentor: Dr. Cecilia Rodríguez Milanés

Abstract

Current unemployment rates, job market competition, and the thirst for the college experience has more millennials attending college than any other previous generation, but with the increase in university tuition and courses that feature both online and face-to-face segments for over-sized classrooms, approaches to teaching that keep students engaged can be challenging. Using my own personal reflection, anonymous midterm survey results, and Student Perception of Instruction survey results, the author analyzes the challenges and benefits of feminist pedagogy—a student-centered teaching method that focuses on student responsibility for learning, a decentralized classroom hierarchy, and strategies that promote self-reflection and participation—utilized in a course titled Women in Literature at the University of Central Florida. The author finds that the elements of feminist pedagogy used in the course were effective in motivating students to learn more about themselves and each other in a community that is becoming more ethnically and socially diverse. Though there exist many challenges to the ways feminist pedagogy can be implemented in a large, technologically-centered class, this research paper explains that even non-ambitious implementations can beneficial to students, teachers, and the university as a whole.

KEYWORDS: pedagogy, feminism

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