Outlining how I cultivate safe, relaxed and challenging classrooms, I offer some creative and challenging teaching strategies from my gender and sexuality courses. I emphasize teaching spaces of possibility by describing and offering examples of teaching tools I’ve utilized in my classes. Teaching spaces of possibility are moments where a seemingly constraining interaction (such as students resisting a discussion about homophobia) can become teachable moments in which students actually learn something about their own biases and belief systems whilst in a moment of resistance. While teaching spaces of possibility enable me to do a lot of different things with my classroom, these spaces help me navigate student emotions and manage student resistance with more grace and ease that I might otherwise have access to. Finally, I end the paper by reflecting on my teaching tools and discussions for future dialogue.
- Teachable moments
- Teaching spaces of possibility
- Teaching tools
- Trigger warnings
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This was included in my syllabi for Montana State University. As a Teaching Assistant Professor (non-tenure track), I taught in-class, hybrid and online courses in Sociology, Liberal Studies, and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies.
For an excellent discussion of Foucault’s approach to power, see Schippers and Sapp (2012).
Some of these questions are my own modifications of Foucault’s ideas.
Yet there is also work that rightly critiques theories and approaches that speak from “the metropole” only (Connell 2007). I make sure I discuss the critiques of Foucault’s work as well.
After students answered Foucault’s questions, I provided a list of additional questions that more directly addressed the reading:
Hoang lays out the literature that she is building upon in her own study. For example, she discusses Elizabeth Bernstein’s (2007) work and then describes how her work is both similar and different from Bernstein’s study. What’s similar? What contrasts with Bernstein’s research?
Hoang uses Hochschild’s theory of emotional labor to make sense of the relationships and labor she studied. How does she use this theory? What do we learn? What are the patterns she highlights?
Hoang discusses the temporal dimension of relations in the high-end sector. What does she highlight here and why does it matter?
How does the patterning of emotional labor in the different relationships she highlighted illuminate the broader structural conditions that shape the range of choices sex workers have in relation to their clients?
Finally, think about how this article connects to and/or illuminates any one of the readings you’ve already covered in class.
This paper is based on NTT teaching I completed at both Montana State University and UC Santa Barbara (2009–2015).
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Hidalgo, D.A. (2016). Teaching Spaces of Possibility: Cultivating Safe, Relaxed, and Challenging Classrooms. In: Haltinner, K., Pilgeram, R. (eds) Teaching Gender and Sex in Contemporary America. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-30364-2_20
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