Teaching Trans*: Strategies and Tensions of Teaching Gender in Student Affairs Preparation Programs

Kathryn S Jaekel, Z Nicolazzo
Journal for the Study of Postsecondary and Tertiary Education  •  Volume 2  •  2017  •  pp. 165-179
Aim/Purpose: The purpose of this article is to outline a pedagogical framework we as trans* educators utilize to center trans* identities and epistemologies in classrooms alongside graduate students.

Background: Little has been written about the experiences of trans* educators in classroom spaces, in particular how gender mediates pedagogical approaches.

Methodology : This article is conceptual in nature, and as such, does not draw on any particular methodology. Instead, we draw from our ongoing experiences as trans* educators in the classroom.

Contribution: Due to the lack of theorizing or empirical work about trans* educators in classroom spaces, this article serves as an entry point into thinking what we as authors describe as ‘teaching trans*.”

Findings: This article is broken into three theoretical components: teaching as trans*, teaching about trans*, and teaching with trans* epistemologies.

Recommendations for Practitioners: Through this article, we as authors encourage practitioners to be aware of how gender is always already present in all spaces, including in classrooms. Thus, it becomes incumbent upon practitioners to use expansive notions of gender through pedagogical strategies, materials, and praxis.

Recommendation for Researchers: This article promotes a deeper understanding of how one’s gender identity, expression, and/or embodiment mediates and can enhance classroom teaching. While this article starts to address an under-theorized and under-researched area of study, more should be done to address how gender influences pedagogy.

Impact on Society: Due to the omnipresence of gender binary thinking, this article has implications not just for classroom spaces, but for student affairs graduate preparation programs, as well as society writ large.

Future Research: This article opens the door for further research into student resistance to trans* and gender nonconforming educators’ pedagogy.
gender, trans* pedagogy, higher education, student affairs, classroom
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