Teaching women's studies: the effects of 'race' and gender
Journal of Further and Higher Education, 26, (2), . (doi:10.1080/03098770220129389).
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This article aims to explore the relationship between gender and ‘race’ when teaching a course on ‘race’, class and gender to women’s studies students at a university. It will explore how the racial background and gender of the lecturer may affect the relationship she has with the students and how they see her role as a teacher of ‘race’ and gender. It will examine how teaching can be and is related to our personal subjective experiences such as our gender, ‘race’, class, sexuality and age. Whilst most students welcomed the opportunity to discuss issues around ‘race’ and racism, for some (mostly Black and Asian students) this was often seen as a painful experience based on past experiences. For others (mostly white women) the opportunity to discuss and hear about the experiences of Black and Asian women was something they valued. The article goes on to argue that teaching students about sensitive subjects such as ‘race’ can be affected not only by the personal experiences of the lecturer, but also by their racial identity and their gender. Indeed, such identities can also affect how students feel about such subjects and how they, in turn, experience their learning.
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