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Educating for a Critical Consciousness
Thousands of diverse museums, including art galleries and heritage sites, exist around the world today and they draw millions of people, audiences who come to view the exhibitions and artefacts and equally importantly, to learn from them about the world and themselves. This makes museums active public educators who imagine, visualise, represent and story the past and the present with the specific aim of creating knowledge. Problematically, the visuals and narratives used to inform visitors are never neutral. Feminist cultural and adult education studies have shown that all too frequently they include epistemologies of mastery that reify the histories and deeds of ‘great men.' Despite pressures from feminist scholars and professionals, normative public museums continue to be rife with patriarchal ideologies that hide behind referential illusions of authority and impartiality to mask the many problematic ways gender is represented and interpreted, the values imbued in those representations and interpretations and their complicity in the cancellation of women’s stories in favour of conventional masculine historical accounts that shore up male superiority, entitlement, privilege, and dominance.

Feminist Critique and the Museum: Educating for a Critical Consciousness problematises museums as it illustrates ways they can be become pedagogical spaces of possibility. This edited volume showcases the imaginative social critique that can be found in feminist exhibitions, and the role that women’s museums around the world are attempting to play in terms of transforming our understandings of women, gender, and the potential of museums to create inclusive narratives.
Undergraduates and Inmates Write Their Way Out
Critical stories are narratives that recount the writer’s experiences, situating those experiences in broader cultural contexts. In this volume of Critical Storytelling, marginalized, excluded, and oppressed peoples share insights from their liminality to help readers learn from their perspectives on living from behind invisible bars. Female inmates at Decatur’s Correctional Center and the undergraduate Millikin University students who worked with them come together to give voice to their specific histories of living from behind invisibile bars and pose important questions to the reader about inciting change for the future. Specifically, the voices in this volume seek to expose, analyze, and challenge deeply-entrenched narratives and characterizations of incarcerated women, whose histories are often marked by sexual abuse, domestic violence, poverty, PTSD, a lack of education, housing insecurity, mental illness, and substance addiction. These silenced female inmate voices need to be heard and contextualized within the larger metanarrative of prison literature. Through telling critical stories, these writers attempt to: sustain recovery from trauma, make positive changes and informed decisions, create a real sense of empowerment, strengthen their capacity to exercise personal agency, and inspire audiences to create change far outside the reaches of physical and metaphorical bars.

Contributors are: Anonymous, Soren Belle, Megan Batty, Dwight G. Brown, Jr., Sandra Brown, Kathryn Coffey, Kelly Cunningham, Paiten Hamilton, Kathlyn J. Housh, Rebekah Icenesse, Kala Keller, Jelisa Lovette, Bric Martin, Amanda Minetti, Laura Nearing, Angie Oaks, Claire Prendergast, Cara Quiett, J. M. Spence, Noah Villarreal and Alisha Walker.
Author: Jean Laight
Large numbers of teachers have left the profession because teaching has become so time-consuming due to excessive workload. With so many women teachers leaving the profession, the author examines why some women teachers were not only staying in the profession but also giving up their time and energy to engage in trade union activism as a form of resistance against the raft of policy changes which they believe to be the root cause for the exodus. Exploring Narratives of Women Teacher Trade Union Activists attempts to discover why they are so motivated.

Narrative analysis is employed as the methodology in conjunction with a life history interview approach. This volume cites the work of Zembylas and Foucault, focusing on emotion and affect in education, political and social justice, teacher identity, teachers’ self-formation, the emotional labour of teaching, resistance and power, which is rooted in the social theory of post-structuralism. The author explores the strained relationship between teachers and government and how teacher professionalism is being perceived as an act of resistance in itself.
In the wake of Donald J. Trump’s unprecedented victory and his administration’s multi-pronged attacks on an array of vulnerable populations, a diverse collection of scholars was asked to document the ways in which marginalized peoples have experienced the first years of Trump mayhem. The essays in this volume ask us to think through tough narratives of exclusion, exile, and pain. The challenge in this book is to represent the unrepresentable, to document in chilling detail how Trump, his allies in government, and his unshakeable base have weaponized the culture war and threatened the ideals of the Republic. This book invites us to experience the scarifying perspective of the marginalized Other, to remember to honor all our most human stories that, woven together, make up the collective ‘us’; the collective ‘U.S.’ The editors also hope this collection suggests a way forward, a way to defeat American nativism and a way to end the war on those of us who are, on this sad day, our nation’s public enemies.
Author: Jean Laight

Abstract

This chapter reviews factors concerning activism and related concepts. I explore the phenomenon of global resistance and the concepts of collective resistance, power, agency and resilience in the context of my research questions. Teachers are on the front line of education in the classroom which is an important and influential position, yet in this position, they are also likely to be criticised or attacked. Although teachers are in such a strong position, being on the frontline of teaching in the classroom on a daily basis, the oppressive nature of the government education reform agenda has undermined their influence through their neo-liberal attitudes and behaviour. The power of solidarity against the neo-liberal education agenda has provided a strong platform which is empowering to teachers locally and globally. I have drawn upon the work of Picower (2012), having explored a wide range of literature and possibilities, to define teacher activism, the journey of which this chapter charts.

In: Exploring Narratives of Women Teacher Trade Union Activists
In: Exploring Narratives of Women Teacher Trade Union Activists
Author: Jean Laight

Abstract

This study was carried out to fulfil the aim of my research, which is to discover, through the stories they tell, why women teachers stay in the profession and become trade union activists. I provide conclusions to my study to explain why the research was carried out and I also provide recommendations for further research and discuss the limitations of the research I have undertaken in this study. Most importantly, I present what I believe to be my original contribution to the field of knowledge.

In: Exploring Narratives of Women Teacher Trade Union Activists
Author: Jean Laight

Abstract

This chapter discusses the process of the professionalisation of support staff and how this has shaped the perceptions of the teaching profession and the shifting nature of the role of the qualified teacher. In order to provide conceptual clarity, I have adopted the stance that ‘professionalisation’ is the formalising of work that is done in order to transform the work into a profession and the worker into a professional.

In: Exploring Narratives of Women Teacher Trade Union Activists
Author: Jean Laight

Abstract

This chapter is informed by the literature review and findings chapters to present a discussion regarding the main themes that have arisen from the data in the context of the research questions. I use the research questions as headings within this chapter and specify the aim of my research at the onset. The concepts which have formed the basis of the literature review chapters – teacher professionalism, professionalization, identity and activism – have been considered here, explicitly and implicitly, to maintain cohesion in the study. The themes of my findings relate to my research questions in a structural way.

In: Exploring Narratives of Women Teacher Trade Union Activists
Author: Jean Laight

Abstract

This chapter presents my interpretation of some of the main themes and sub-themes that have emerged from the data. Having conducted an initial analytical approach, as described in the research methodology chapter, I began by ‘pawing’ to get the ‘feel’ of the data (Ryan & Bernard, 2003). I then systematically began to code the data to identify themes.

In: Exploring Narratives of Women Teacher Trade Union Activists