Feminist programming, no matter the venue, provides opportunities for young girls and women, as well as men, to acquire leadership skills and the confidence to create sustainable social change. Offering a wide-ranging overview of different types of feminist engagement, the chapters in this volume challenge readers to critically examine accepted cultural norms both in and out of schools, and speak out about oppression and privilege. To understand the various pathways to feminism and feminist identity development, this collection brings together scholars from education, women’s studies, sociology, and community development to examine ways in which to integrate feminism and women’s studies into education through pedagogy, practice, and activism.
Table of Contents
Foreword Nancy A. Naples
Part I: Pedagogy.
1. And the Danger Went Away: Speculative Pedagogy in the Myth of the Post-Feminist (Jennifer L. Martin)
2. Girls Talk Back: Changing School Culture through Feminist and Service-Learning Pedagogies (Jennifer L. Martin and Jane A. Beese)
3. A Second Wave: Teaching Women’s Studies in High School from 1972 through the New Millennium (Patricia Fowler Sanders and Ann S. Kemezis)
4. Defying Cultural Norms: Launching Women’s Studies in the High School Setting (Annie Delgado)
5. First, Second and Third Waves of Feminism: Providing "Life Rafts" for Women of All Generations (Michele A. Paludi)
Part II: Practice.
6. Men’s Engagement from the Margins In (Pheng Thao)
7. Addressing Violence in Schools: Feminist Praxis and a Pedagogy of Risk (Melinda Lemke)
8. Witnessing Students’ Learning through a Pedagogy of the Flesh (Ana Roncero-Bellido)
9. Breaking the Ties that Bind: Raising Black Feminist Children in an Anti-Feminist, Racist Milieu (Martina Sharp-Grier)
Part III. Activism.
10. Caring about Justice: Developing the Moral Imperative for Feminist Activism (Susan Iverson & Jennifer James)
11. Social Change through Campus Engagement: Perspectives on Feminist Activist Pedagogy in University-based Women's Centers (Ashley Nickels and Adrienne Trier-Bieniek)
12. The Role of the "Black Girls' Club": Challenging the Status Quo (Victoria Showunmi)
13. Political Parity in the United States: Mobilizing the Pipeline through Feminist Pedagogy (Susannah Wellford and Anne Moses)
Jennifer Martin is Assistant Professor of Education at University of Mount Union, USA.
Ashley E. Nickels is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Kent State University, USA.
Martina Sharp-Grier is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Stark State College, USA.
"With intellectual rigor and passion, the editors of Improving Lives through Feminism not only understand the conspicuous state of feminism, but also emphasize the important concept that reflection, activism, pedagogy, radical love, and sharing one’s journey into feminism as practice are the keys to improving the lives of girls and women. I salute these authors for pushing for more intersectional examples of feminism that represent real women and their everyday lives."
--Bettina L. Love, Associate Professor of Education, University of Georgia
"It’s hard to remember the last time I read a book and came away with solid ideas both for practices I could use in the classroom and also for my work as a feminist writer. So if you are teaching—be it in a classroom, a community center, or your kitchen—then I urge you to read Feminist Pedagogy, Practice, and Activism. Through a blend of narrative and analysis, these teachers and activists offer innovative ideas, lessons learned over the years, and research on the transformations that happen when an intersectional and engaged feminism is at the center of the educational experience."
---Daisy Hernández, Professor of English, Miami University
"This radical collection serves to reclaim and enact feminism’s grassroots challenge to societal inequities. Feminist Pedagogy, Practice, and Activism reads like a playbook for dismantling privilege and oppression. It’s an essential read for anyone seriously engaged in teaching for social justice."
--Lyn Mikel Brown, Professor of Education, Colby College
"In Feminist Pedagogy, Practice and Activism; Improving the Lives of Women and Girls, Jennifer L. Martin, Ashley E. Nickels, and Martina Sharp-Grier blur the lines between daily life and the classroom, in this collection on how to "do feminism" as educators and as feminists. The result is an edited volume that merges theory and practice and centers what it means to integrate feminism into education through an intersectional, personal and reflexive stance. They not only focus on "what works" but also "where the struggle lies." An important book for anyone who wants to create a classroom (or world) steeped in equality and social justice, with the potential of liberation, no matter what the subject."
--Jo Reger, Professor of Sociology, Oakland University
"'Feminism' is still a dirty word to many – not only because of the negative connotations that have been piled on the term over the years but also because too many still believe feminism to be an esoteric and exclusionary theory, valuable only in the ivory tower of academe, rather than a useful and practical framework to make the world a better place for everyone. The educators, practitioners, and activists writing in Feminist Pedagogy, Practice, and Activism: Improving the Lives of Girls and Women accomplish the critical task of showing how feminism truly makes a difference – in how we teach, how we serve, and how we fight for change. This text provides important examples of how feminist praxis not only helps support individual empowerment but also can be used to challenge and change systemic problems."
--Heather Brown, Executive Director, Women + Girls Research Alliance, University of North Carolina Charlotte
"Feminist Pedagogy, Practice, and Activism: Improving Lives of Girls and Women, edited by Jennifer L. Martin, Ashley E. Nickels, and Martina Sharp-Grier is a welcome volume for educators and activists teaching and working with girls and young women. The "girl empowerment" movement has made inroads in girls’ sports, mentorship programs, and popular culture. Feminist Pedagogy, Practice and Activism moves beyond the empowerment model to provide an interdisciplinary, multiracial exploration of the ways we can create progressive social change in our classrooms and communities. Starting with the reflexive stance of the editors, this book provides feminist insights to teaching and working with young people. Perhaps most importantly, the message across the readings is one of optimism for the future as we plant the seeds of change today."
--Kathryn Feltey, Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Akron