High Heels and High Expectations : Challenges of Feminist Teaching in a Neoliberalist University

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Penttinen , E & Jyrkinen , M 2016 , ' High Heels and High Expectations : Challenges of Feminist Teaching in a Neoliberalist University ' , Kvinder, køn & forskning , no. 1 . https://doi.org/10.7146/kkf.v25i1.97070

Title: High Heels and High Expectations : Challenges of Feminist Teaching in a Neoliberalist University
Author: Penttinen, Elina; Jyrkinen, Marjut
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Department of Philosophy, History, Culture and Art Studies 2010-2017
University of Helsinki, Department of Philosophy, History, Culture and Art Studies 2010-2017
Date: 2016
Language: eng
Belongs to series: Kvinder, køn & forskning
ISSN: 0907-6182
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/285677
Abstract: The aim of this article is to explore the suitability of feminist student-centred active learning pedagogy in large-scale classroom settings in a contemporary neoliberalist university context. In the current individualist culture where students implicitly have adopted a customer-like mind-set, they need to be rational in terms of what they study and how they use their time. We argue that feminist values are what makes student-centred active learning successful, and which will enhance the academic expertise of students. However, the values of inclusiveness, low-hierarchy, co-construction of knowledge, and empowerment of feminist pedagogy need revisiting in the contemporary context. Low-hierarchy may signal to students that they have the ‘upper’ hand. Instead of engaging actively in the classroom, they challenge the course content and pedagogical practices. On the basis of our case study data, we claim that this attitude is inherently gendered. Thus, paradoxically, teachers in feminist classrooms need to be careful about the role of ‘service provider’ and assume more assertive leadership roles in order to ensure successful learning outcomes.
Subject: 6160 Other humanities
University Pedagogy
Gender Studies
neoliberalist university
student-centeredness
feminist teaching
assertiveness
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