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Museum of Transology

February 24, 2017 in Gender, Inclusive Teaching & Learning in HE

Museum of Transology is a celebration of todays dynamic trans communities which, it feels to me, are becoming more and more brave, proud and organised.  The exhibition is curated as a modern cabinet of curiosities  full of  very eclectic artifacts carefully labeled. I felt the majority of the objects signify their struggle, although there were exhibit together with objects that inform (books, films, . . .), and objects that celebrate their achievements as individuals and as community. The show encourages everybody, both the contributors and the audience, to (re)think what gender means.

I didn’t have much time to look at all the objects and read all the levels, but I did recognised some people I know who have contributed to the collection:

Music by The Spook School (band from Glasgow, whose main singer Nye is a trans-man) I’ve meet Nye several times. We both are in indie bands and our bands have played a couple of gigs together. He started the band singing with a girl voice but his pitch lowered dramatically on their second album due to testosterone treatment. During that time and ever since, all the interviews with Nye end up talking about the gender issue. . . Also his lyrics are mainly about what his own personal experiences and people miscompceptions about trans people. He even did a series of recordings in youtube documenting the changes on his voice when he started to take testosterone YouTube Preview Image

Book “Trans: A Memoir” by Juliet Jacques  (autobiografical portray of journalist/blogger Juliet Jacques)img_3099 Juliet is my friend Helen’s flatmate and I have met her socially several times. She loves to talk about music, football and politics, but we have never talked about her experiences as a trans-women. . . but why should we! Anyway, I feel really bad I haven’t found the time to read her book yet, people tells me it’s very good. Also, I understand it’s vey important inform ourselves about gender by read stuff written by the trans community but I think I haven’t been able to make myself to read her book because I have meet her acquaintance and the idea of reading about her life experiences feels a bit voyeristic and even intrusive. I think if the book had been writen by someone else it would be a different matter.

Writing this post this is making me realised that I maybe need to ditch that feeling of “intrusiveness” and try to read more about the transgender community and perhaps achieve a better understanding.  This will also help me to acquire their ever-expanding vocabulary ( which in all honesty I’m struggling to keep up with, so many words and definitions!). A vocabulary which I might be useful to use in a future situations when dealing with a trans person in my workshop.

 

One Day Without Us – National Day of Action

February 16, 2017 in Inclusive Teaching & Learning in HE, Opinion and Current Affairs

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www.1DayWithouUs.org

Let me ask this question: How can we promote inclusivity when we ourselves are feeling excluded ?

I’m not British. I was born in Barcelona, 43 years ago and I have been living in the UK since April 1997. . . nearly 20 years. I fell in love with the UK because many of my favourite bands were British and many exciting things were happening in this country’s Art world. I flew over to escape from a religious and patriarchal family where my dreams of become a musician and female fine artist where frowned upon. Here in the UK, away from my discouraging family I worked hard to accomplish my dreams. Along the way, I’ve meet wonderful people who have made me feel welcome and loved. This country was my adopted home, a place where I belong.

However, as many other EU Nationals and Immigrants from around the world living currently here,  I’ve been increasingly feeling alienated, unwelcome and constantly worried about my future in this country.

Imagine how it would feel to be rejected by the place you had chosen to call your home.

I think this event it’s a great idea as many of us feel the need to feel welcome and appreciated (I hope this doesn’t sound too patronising!)

I’ve been talking to some other technical staff here at Central Saint Martins and we are thinking of organising a lunch time gathering where everyone will bring something food and drink from where they are from.

I’m going to make some delicious spanish omelletes and , if they allowed me,  I will bring some Rioja!

 

We are millions. Let us stand together and show it.
Let’s reject the politics of division and hatred.
Let’s make tomorrow better than today.

 

MONDAY 20 February 2017, 1- 2pm
Location: Granary Building, Room TBC

Film: Dear White People

February 13, 2017 in Inclusive Teaching & Learning in HE, Opinion and Current Affairs, Race

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Flicking through Netflix I found this film. I thought it might point out few cues for Inclusivity in HE.

Has anybody else seen this?

Here is The Guardian review of this “clever campus satire”

Some thoughts:

It was interesting to see the point of view of how Black people feel in a predominant white place such University college. Some characters are Black rights activists and they constantly get accused of reverse racism.

“Black people can’t be racist. Perjusdist yes, but not racist. Racism descrives a system of disvantage based on race but (black) people can’t be racist since we don’t stand to benefit from such system”

the statement (above) really stay with me, and made me think and even look up the definitions of Racism and Perjudice. While doing so I also came across a very interesting article in the huffingtonpost.com: 4 Reverse Racism’s Myths That Need to Stop by Zeba Blay

 

 

Gender Diversity at UAL website

February 7, 2017 in Gender, Inclusive Teaching & Learning in HE

Supporting Trans Students

How could you apply the resources to your own teaching practice?
Looking through the site is helping me to understand some of the most common issues that are troubling Trans students. Indeed this is will help me to understand what the person might be going through next time I have to deal with an upset Trans student. . . we do get lots of upset and stressed students, mainly for issuses regarding datelines and school work, but next time I need to offer support to a Trans student,  I’ll put in practice the site info and tips.

How could you integrate the research/work your students do on this subject into your teaching/professional practice?
The Student union website is full on information that can help me to make sure I make Trans people feel welcome in our workshop. Thinks like “what not to say/ask” is just brilliant because sometime curiosity can make the worst of us. Also the statement “don’t make assumptions, just ask them” is very encouraging.

Can you cite examples?
Often, while dealing with the students, I try to be as friendly as possible using chit-chat that will make the student feel more relax and welcome. If that chit chat turns into a more personal level, the site is been great to make sure I don’t ask the wrong questions or say the wrong think.

Also, if I’m not sure how to address a student I could ask directly “Soooo, I like people to refer to me as she/her, what about you?”

 


update 7 .02. 2017

The site also gives direct advice to the staff: Be aware of the power dynamic that exists between students and staff

As educators we must show respect in our professional role and avoid discrimitation, but we also need to make sure all students treat each other with respect.

Gender – Understanding Patriarchy by Bell Hooks

February 6, 2017 in Gender, Inclusive Teaching & Learning in HE

Understanding Patriarchy, Bell Hooks

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I agree with Hooks’ idea that, on the contrary of what many ‘hardcore’ feminists seem to believe, males are not the only ones to be hold responsible for patriarchal thinking . Both men and woman have the same degree of responsibility in the indoctrination of patriarchy.

I have experienced this with my own upbringing. My mother (who have been brought up in a patriarchal household/society) was in some cases more patriarchal than my father, telling me what a girl should and not should do and letting my bother get away with murder, while my Dad will encourage me to believe that I could do anything if I put my mind to it.

It might sound shocking, but I do agree that Female family members are in many cases the ones responsible for the indoctrination of their patriarchal believes to the children, not just the males.

Also, Radical feminists have to be careful on how they tackle the patriarchal issues.  Men are not the enemy. They are as much of victims of patiarchal indoctrinations as female are. Together have to both acknowledge that the problem is patriarchy and work together to end patriarchy.

 

Provocative question:

Should patriarchy always be discouraged?  What if a Trans-person wants to embrace some patriarchal ways to add more credibility to their chosen sexuality? Should we encourage their choice?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Critical Pedagogy – Pre-task activity 

February 1, 2017 in Inclusive Teaching & Learning in HE

Joe L. Kincheloe defines Chritical pedagogy as the study of oppression in education, the study of how issues of race, gender, sexuality, colonialism, etc. will shape the nature of what goes on in education, will shape the purpose of education.

Christopher Stonebaks says Is Teaching asking “Why?” and Students asking the same question: Why I’m learning this?

 

What are the central concerns of critical pedagogy?

It needs better defining in other to better promote it.

Traditional education doesn’t leave space to creative thinking and critical consciousness.

The Other (“Working class and inmigrants”) are not satisfied with ‘neutral’ education

“Education is like a production line. Fordism is become incredible dominant” (Tariq Ali).

People need to recognize that Learning is fundamental the question of agency, and agency is fundamental to the question of politics

In the documentary someone asks “What is the purpose of school? What type of people we are turning out? Are they better acquit to address and help in human suffering than if they hadn’t gone to school?”

Thanks to the internet the voice of the “the oppressed” can be heard around the world.

 

In what ways does critical pedagogy relate to UK Higher Education?

The Uk is formed by a vast number of communities from around the word and it’s curriculum need to make sure that includes all those communities, as much as possible.

 

How does critical pedagogy relate to your own practice?

I deal with a large variety of students (from different nationalities and class backgrounds) and disabilities (deafness, dyslexia, mental health, etc)

We identify students needs and abilities and try to tailor our teaching to their needs.

What they want to learn?

We let the students to ask the questions and by default they choose what they want to learn

 

Discuss one thing you have learned or surprised you from the film.

I would like to read this: Pedagogy of the Oppressed – Paulo Freire

 

Discuss an aspect of critical pedagogy that you would like more information/clarification on.

Henry A. Giroux said:

Critial pedagogy suffers of presentism, and by doing so it erases it’s history and some of it’s core assumptions and forgets basically the kind of struggles that is going through for which some answers are already have been given, and they are not bad answers.

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