‘It’s about dismantling power’: Reflections on co-producing a PGR-led feminist pedagogy workshop
Feminism is the pursuit of equality, which involves deconstruction and redistribution of power within previously rigid hierarchies. It aims to disrupt and challenge – offering more inclusive, critical, and intersectional ways of thinking. Indeed, Higher Education scholars have noted that feminism and some pedagogic approaches to teaching and learning have strikingly similar aims (e.g. Shrewsbury, 1987). They both attempt to reallocate power dynamics, positioning teacher and learner as partners or co-creators, whilst acknowledging the capacity of education to empower and engage.
In this case study, we reflect upon a day-long PGR-led Feminist Pedagogy workshop. We, two Postgraduate Research Students from Schools of Education and Psychology, co-designed and co-produced an interdisciplinary workshop that explored feminist pedagogy with a focus on critical discussion and shared experiences. The one-day event was aimed at PGRs, undergraduate and taught postgraduate students, postgraduates who teach, academics, and student support staff. Our aims were to inspire and motivate attendees to consider critical pedagogies in their professional practice, whilst initiating a conversation about the challenges of doing feminist work in higher education. On a more personal level, we hoped to use this space to develop our own understanding of how the principles of feminist pedagogy can be applied to our position as both learners and teachers in HE. This was supported by a PGR development grant from Organisational Development and Professional Learning services at the University of Leeds. This project was also supported by the Leeds Institute for Teaching Excellence and the Women in Leeds Network.
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