Teachers’ Knowledge, Practices and Pedagogies – Critical, Multicultural, Progressive and Transformative Pedagogies

Allen, K. R., & Farnsworth, E. B. (1993). Reflexivity in teaching about families. Family Relations, 42(3), 351-356.

In this article, the authors examine the utility of reflexivity for teaching about family diversity. The discussion is based within a feminist framework in which gender is seen as socially constructed, replacing earlier ideas that ignored or exaggerated gender differences. Feminists are one group of scholars who have written extensively about reflexivity as an integral part of their research and teaching strategies. To assist students in integrating course content and emotional responses to material about diverse families, an instructor needs to model the kinds of reflexive behaviors that are sought in students. An instructor who practices reflexivity is proactive in the classroom, using a variety of teaching techniques that share the common denominator of attentive, caring involvement with students. According to the authors, feminist teachers who employ reflexivity advocate being explicit about one’s perspective This practice, at once, disrupts the notion that knowledge is pure and absolute, untainted by personal bias, experience, or world-view, and at the same time, puts before an audience one’s viewpoint so that students can begin the process of understanding the partiality of knowledge and the importance of contesting and challenging all knowledge claims.


Arnot, M. (1997). `Gendered citizenry’: New feminist perspectives on education and citizenship. British Educational Research Journal, 23(3), 275.

Describes the recent development of feminist analyses of the role of education in creating inclusive democratic citizenship. Perspectives of citizenship; Struggle of women for equality; Program of education for citizenship; Full political integration.


Beauboeuf-Lafontant, T. (2005). Womanist lessons for reinventing teaching. Journal of Teacher Education, 56(5), 436-445.

Although teaching is regarded as “women’s work, “few calls for change in the multicultural and social justice literature focus attention on the teaching self as a socially constructed gendered identity. Given Black women’s prominence in this literature as successful educators of students underserved in contemporary schools, the author suggests connections between their pedagogy and an empowered female self that transgresses many historical and contemporary mainstream feminine beliefs and ways of being. Drawing on the work of womanist scholars explicating Black women’s epistemological standpoint, the author analyzes data from a life history interview study with six Black teachers committed to social justice. Findings suggest three womanist stances shaping the teachers’ acknowledgment of social ills, resistance to complicity within educational systems, and belief in the possibility of social change. The author concludes the article by raising gender-related questions to guide the reinvention and unlearning called for by the educational social justice literature.

Berry, T. (2005). Black on black education: Personally engaged pedagogy for/by African American pre-service teachers. Urban Review, 37(1), 31-48.

Public schools have increasing numbers of its teachers fitting into one demographic, white and female, while the numbers of African American teachers decrease (Ladson-Billings,Crossing over to Canaan: The Journey of New Teachers in Diverse Classrooms. San Francisco: Josey-Bass[2001]). Furthermore, African American collegiates who decide to enter teaching may face a chilly climate as a result of their cultural and educational experiences as they encounter devaluation in the classroom (Delpit,Other People’s Children: Cultural Conflict in the Class room. New York: The New Press[1995]). As a result, African American pre-service teachers may question the validity of the formal curriculum presented in college as it conflicts with their perceptions of school, thereby, leaving teacher-educators largely responsible for the quality of life and subsequent devotion to profession of these students. Critical autoethnography, using fieldnotes/research journaling, and student memoirs all through a theoretical backdrop of critical race feminism provide a glimpse into the teaching and learning experiences and dilemmas of one African American female teacher educator utilizing what I call personally engaged pedagogy as a means of enhancing the quality of the learning experiences of her African American pre-service teachers.

Brady, J., & Dentith, A. (2001). Critical voyages: Postmodern feminist pedagogies as liberatory practice. Teaching Education, 12(2), 165.

Critical postmodern feminist theory as a pedagogical tool acknowledges differences and organizes people to create social change. Connections between feminism, critical theory, and postmodernism are discussed in relationship to possible pedagogical directions for schools and other community organizations. The authors outline six guiding principles of a critical postmodern feminist pedagogy including: students’ experiences as central to teaching and learning; provisions for safe spaces in the development of students’ voices; the revision of centers and margins to understand power and agency; the recognition of difference as central to the reconfiguration of existing social boundaries; the development of a language of critique and possibility; and the evolution of teachers as intellectuals. Finally, the authors highlight, in detail, two curriculum projects based in schools that exemplify these principles, a middle school forum for girls that addresses issues of sexual violence in rural Pennsylvania, USA and a high school class for pregnant and parenting teen mothers in Las Vegas, NV.


Carlson, D. (1993). Gayness, multicultural education and community. Educational Foundations, 8(4), 5 – 25.

Since multicultural education is concerned with the protection and extension of particular democratic rights, it should imply that educators involve young people in a discussion of gay identity within the context of a discussion of human rights in a democratic community. Multicultural education would challenge the idea that categories such as gender, sexuality and race are natural categories which are fixed. Students should be shown that they are inextricably involved in multiple cultural struggles rather than merely one. A democratic multicultural education should become a dialogue in which a variety of voices are heard and there is an attempt to clarify differences and agreements, work towards the building of coalitions of interests and relationships based on caring and equity. There should be no attempt at imposing politically correct ideas on students, but we should as teachers in a democratic society engage them in a dialogue in which all voices can be heard or represented and in which gay students and teachers feel free to ‘come out’ and express themselves as they wish.

Davies, L. (1984). Political education, gender and the art of the possible. Educational Review, 36(2), 187.

By focussing on gender, this paper seeks to broaden definitions of politics’ and ‘political education’. Early political socialisation does not fully explain later differences in political involvement. A survey of sixth formers revealed some sex differences in projected voting behaviour, with girls being less decided; it also found sex differences in preferences for various areas of a political education curriculum. It is suggested that the politics of the family should be pivotal in any political education, giving a dual focus on production and reproduction, and bringing the public and private spheres together in a common analysis. Political education should be a process of demystification, teaching that power can be challenged, and using problem-solving techniques to inject skills and new styles of seeking political alternatives.


DeSoto, A. M. (2005). A canvas of desire: The racialized and sexualized professor in the classroom. MELUS, 30(2), 209-223.

The article deals with the question of the identity of the instructor. The author examines the complex issues involved when students seeking academic validation of political beliefs, self- discovery, mentorship, and enlightenment project their desires onto the figure of the instructor. This is particularly common when the instructor belongs to an identity group based on race, gender, and/or sexuality. As the author puts it, such projection is especially noticeable if there is a direct correlation between course content and the instructor’s identity: for instance, when African American Women’s Literature is taught by an African American woman. The author works through such issues to offer an ethics of pedagogy for instructors of charged material and topics. This is an ethics that affirms the value of the personal in the classroom while recognizing its limitations for teaching critical thinking. The socio-politically-charged undergraduate classroom of courses dealing with race, gender, and sexuality contains a welter of expectations on the part of both students and the professor guiding them. Specifically, the author explains how engaged instructors can use personal material wisely and strategically when educating students to be intellectually mature and socially aware citizens, and how this practice converges with, and diverges from, the way in which people are trained as academics and professionals.


Durie, J. (1996). Emancipatory education and classroom practice: A feminist post-structuralist perspective. Studies in Continuing Education, 18(2), 135

This paper draws on feminist post-structuralist analysis of critical pedagogy as a reference for critically reviewing pedagogical practices. In particular I discuss the dilemmas that arise inengaging with the strategies of critical pedagogy. I argue that a feminist post-structuralist analysis opens up possibilities for recognising that, at all moments in the teaching/learning context, different discourses are competing for meaning and place and practices need to be cognisant of this. Such an approach can expand our knowledge and understandings of the dynamics of the learning context opening up emancipatory possibilities for engaging with the relations of power in the classroom and making space for different and more complex voices and positions.


Elenes, C. A. (2001). Transformando fronteras: Chicana feminist transformative pedagogies. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education (QSE), 14(5), 689-702.

In this paper, C. Alejandra Elenes proposes ways to implement the goals of border/transformative pedagogies in classroom practices in order to deal with the multiplicity of ideologies present in educational settings. The theorization and discussion presented is based on the sometimes tense relationships between Chicana faculty and White women students. Border/transformative pedagogy incorporates as social practices the construction of knowledge(s) capable of analyzing conflicts over meaning. This pedagogy is concerned with the elimination of racial, gender, class, and sexual orientation hierarchies by decentralizing hegemonic practices that places at the center of cultural practices a homogeneous belief in US society that has marginalized the cultural practices of people of color, women, and gays and lesbians. Thus, it can be viewed as liberatory by students who agree with those goals, and oppressive for students with more conservative leanings. Based on Gloria Anzaldua’s conceptualization of mestiza consciousness , border/transformative pedagogies propose ways in which we can enact a practice where students and teachers participate, and that tries to undo dualistic thinking. Thus, this paper, which is based on classroom observations and analysis of student evaluations, is self-reflexive. Particular emphasis is placed on finding ways to be able to bring multiple ideologies and points of view to classroom discussion in ways that productive discourse is enabled. The discussion also centers on the contradictions present in classrooms that seek to be liberatory to the goals of democracy. Finally, the paper discusses ways in which women of color faculty can deal with racism existing in many contemporary educational settings.

Elia, J. P. (2000). Democratic sexuality education: A departure from sexual ideologies and traditional schooling. Journal of Sex Education & Therapy, 25(2), 122-129.

For over a century, American sexuality education in schools has primarily focused on biomedical aspects of human sexuality and instilling traditional sexual morals in youth. This narrow focus has excluded many aspects of sexuality from the curriculum. This article identifies the conditions that permit the perpetuation of undemocratic sexuality education, and then argues for sexuality education based on democratic values. In achieving this end, the article begins with a description of traditional sexuality education practice. Next, analyses of the polarized debate about sexuality education and its educational implications are undertaken. Then, the conditions of American schooling–the physical environment, school policies, and pedagogical practices–are explored to illustrate how inhospitable schools have been to (sexuality) education based on democratic ideals. Subsequently, I argue why substantial school reform is crucial for democratic sexuality education to be possible. Finally, various possibilities of a socially and an educationally responsible sexuality education are explored.


Haywood, C., & Mac an Ghaill, M. (1995). The sexual politics of the curriculum: Contesting values. International Studies in Sociology of Education, 5(2), 221.

This paper arises out of our current work investigating the construction of male and female students’ sexual/gender relations within school arenas. A main concern is to explore recent empirical and theoretical work on sexuality, in an attempt to critique the New Right moralism with its own contradictory form of pluralism. At the same time a critical examination of the sexual politics of the curriculum may serve to rethink the underlying values of the old dichotomies around liberal and radical modes of progressive education with reference to curriculum change. Key areas of debate include the contextualisation of sex/sexuality within schools, sexual harassment, the normalisation of heterosexualities and sex/sexuality education. We have found it useful to hold onto the tension between materialist, deconstructionist and psychoanalytic accounts of the formation of sexual subjectivities, without attempting to resolve the contradictions between them.


Hedgepeth, E. (2000). From margin to center: Sexuality education as a model for teaching in a democracy. Journal of Sex Education & Therapy, 25(2), 137-146.

Democracy at its most elemental, is about relationships between people within a system of government and respect for individual dignity. It includes assumptions about the equality of citizens and about their opportunity and responsibility to participate in the system; it involves a certain set of agreements about how individuals should relate to each other and how disagreements should be resolved; and it outlines a set of common goals and describes the roles that individuals must play and how structural elements must interrelate in order to reach those goals. Sexuality education, as it is broadly defined, teaches about self-respect and a healthy relationship to one’s family, friends, children, community, and romantic partners. Sexuality education and education for democracy are most effective when conducted in a learning environment in which students, by necessity and design, learn to appreciate the rights of self and others, understand the importance of making informed choices and taking responsibility for one’s actions, and gain other skills useful to participation in a democracy. Some of the necessary pedagogical components include (a) that the learner be central to the learning process, and (b) respect for a diversity of individual values and perspectives be promoted. Historically the unwanted stepchild of public schooling, sexuality education often suffers from an ideological bias and continues to be marginalized in the school curriculum at the same time that the need for it becomes ever more apparent. Yet, successful experiences of democratic sexuality education can provide a model for other disciplines in preparing citizens for this diverse democratic society.


Hird, M. J. (1998). Theorising student identity as fragmented: Some implications for feminist critical pedagogy. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 19(4), 517-527.

In this paper, I explore the narratives of a group of British adolescent comprehensive school students, attending particularly to diversity. / provide a critique of those Poststructural analyses which understand the student as a composite of self-contained homogeneous parts, offering instead an analysis of the the self which is highly fractured, contradictory and shifting. This paper suggests that analyses of diversity must account fir inner and outer diversify, and that inner diversify may account fir student narratives which appear highly contradictory. it goes on to explore various solutions offered by educational researchers to diversify and to suggest that negotiation might supply the most fruitful alternative. Finally, I suggest some implications for an alternative feminist critical pedagogy which incorporates diversify of the self.


Hogue, C., & Parker, K. (1998). Talking the talk and walking the walk: Ethical pedagogy in the multicultural classroom. Feminist Teacher, 12(2), 89.

Discusses multicultural pedagogy from a feminist college teacher’s perspective. Ethical considerations in the introduction of issues of race in the classroom; Teaching of diversity among and within cultures; Dangers of rigidly defining and categorizing identities; Guidelines for maintaining a safe classroom space when discussing issues of gender and race.


Johnson, J. R., & Bhatt, A. J. (2003). Gendered and racialized identities and alliances in the classroom: Formations in/of resistive space. Communication Education, 52(3), 230-244.

Challenging the Cartesian dualisms that essentialize difference, this essay offers strategies for building transracial, feminist alliances through pedagogy. The authors argue that resistive classroom spaces should be created in which students and teachers challenge the discourses of domination that structure our understandings of identity and difference. To this end, the authors offer autoethnographic descriptions of their identities and their relationship as scholars-teachers- friends and support these descriptions with a case analysis of how they addressed issues of “race” and gender in an Intercultural Communication classroom. They conclude that building alliances requires theorizing identity as relational, requiring embodied practice and willingness to make “self” vulnerable to an “other,” particularly when the “self” is inscribed with privilege and power.

Keddie, A. (2008). Playing the game: Critical literacy, gender justice and issues of masculinity. Gender and Education, 2008, 1–13, iFirst Article.

This paper explores issues of critical literacy, gender justice and masculinity through ‘Mr A’s’ story. Mr A is head of English at ‘Grange College’ – an all boys’ school in a large urban centre in Queensland (Australia). The paper highlights how the privileging of rationality, control and ‘the masculine’ within Mr A’s ‘teaching-as-usual’ discourse constrains his efforts to pursue gender justice through critical literacy. While Mr A scaffolds his students’ critical analysis of gender and power in texts, his investments in teacher/student binary relations draw rigid boundaries between himself and his students in ways that delegitimise the terrain beyond the rational and ignore a theorising of the self. Drawing on Mr A’s story within Davies’ theorising about the possibilities of critical literacy, this paper adds to key work in arguing the importance of teachers’ interrogating their classrooms as lived texts where the relations of domination and power that derail the social justice possibilities of critical literacy can be made both recognisable and revisable. Such interrogation is foregrounded here as particularly urgent within the current moment where rationalist discourses within and beyond schools are increasingly working to circumscribe and constrain teacher practice in ways that stifle transformative social agendas.


Lalik, R., & Oliver, K. L. (2007). Differences and tensions in implementing a pedagogy of critical literacy with adolescent girls. Reading Research Quarterly, 42(1), 46-70.

THIS STUDY examined a pedagogy of critical literacy that the authors planned jointly. One worked directly with four girls as they used a variety of textual practices pertaining to messages girls receive about the female body and culminating in an inquiry project that involved the girls in designing and analyzing a survey. The authors examined what happened when a researcher, with a keen interest in social justice, worked to support critical literacy among adolescent girls. Using transcribed audiotapes of each session, field notes, debriefing/planning notes, and student- and teacher-made artifacts as data, the researchers identified six differences that created tensions between the girls and the researcher (one of the authors): (a) differences in topic preferences, (b) differences in breadth of topic consideration, (c) differences in commitment to resisting heteronormativity, (d) differences in knowledge about inquiry processes and teen language, (e) differences in commitment to transformative processes, and (f) differences in preferences for participation. The analysis suggests that although the researcher was able to assist the girls in learning about inquiry processes, she often struggled between following her agenda and following the girls’ leads. Findings of this study are consistent with the poststructural critique that shatters claims of theory.


Larson, L. M. (2005). The necessity of feminist pedagogy in a climate of political backlash. Equity & Excellence in Education, 38(2), 135-144.

After decades of increasing efforts toward creating multicultural education in the United States, criticism and hostility from white conservatives has created a climate of backlash against the variety of efforts designed to create equity in the classroom. Both Freirean and feminist pedagogies advocate a more just society and personal empowerment by promoting inquiry into individual and collective experiences. As an evolving teaching methodology that is influenced by those who practice it, feminist pedagogy is an essential tool both to deconstruct and to make meaning of the current manifestations of inequality in U.S. society. It provides educators with the means to help students integrate emotional responses to social injustices with cognitive learning. Given the current climate, feminist pedagogy is essential to promoting critical thinking and reflection that leads to transformative learning, student empowerment, and collective action.

Maher, F. A. (1999). Progressive education and feminist pedagogies: Issues in gender, power, and authority. Teachers College Record, 101(1), 35.

This essay explores the relationship between feminist pedagogical theory and the student-centered legacy of progressive education around the specific issues of classroom gender relations and the construction of the female teacher’s authority. Are feminist pedagogies basically just “good teaching”? And if so, why is a specifically feminist pedagogy necessary ? The essay is in four parts. It first discusses contemporary applications of progressive educational theory to issues of gender, as well as to other forms of inequality. Then, beginning with a discussion of the legacy of Dewey himself in relation to his writings on women, it focuses on an issue that holds specific problems for women teachers, namely that of the teacher’s authority in the classroom. Finally, through a few classroom examples, it suggests how thinking about gender and other aspects of difference as forms of unequal power relations can help reframe the grounds for the teacher’s authority, giving her (or him) grounds for active intervention in the power dynamics of the classroom in the name of a reformulation of democratic teaching.


McCormick, T. E. (2000). Reflections on becoming a multicultural feminist teacher educator. Women’s Studies Quarterly, 28(3), 71.

Shares the author’s reflections on becoming a multicultural feminist teacher educator. Author’s characteristics that enabled her to become a reflective social justice teacher and educator of pre-service teachers; Books and curriculum materials that contributed to the author’s yearning to be in a different social class from her parents; Injustices in the sexist system of male superiority.


Oberhauser, A. M. (2002). Examining gender and community through critical pedagogy. Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 26(1), 19.

A growing body of literature in critical geography challenges authoritative approaches to the production (and consumption) of knowledge in higher education. Feminist perspectives have contributed to this literature by emphasising the multiple and often conflicting voices of subjects, including those within the classroom. This paper draws from critical and feminist pedagogy in geography to examine student engagement with gender issues in the community. The case study for this analysis is a project in which students volunteer at community organisations and construct their own knowledges of social and political issues.


Perumal, J. (2008). Student resistance and teacher authority: The demands and dynamics of collaborative learning. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 40(3), 381.

The intersection among discourses of curriculum, pedagogy, and power are increasingly becoming the focus of research and analysis in southern African classrooms as the effects of apartheid, colonialism, and patriarchalism are critiqued for their influences on epistemic and pedagogic policies and practices. This article draws on feminist research on pedagogy to examine the dynamics of teacher and student relations in southern African university classrooms. In particular, it focuses on student resistance to engaging in collaborative work and with radical ideologies in course content. Drawing on case studies it shows that, despite feminist teachers subscribing to egalitarian ideals, when they encounter student resistance to democratic pedagogic strategies and radical course content they resort to normalizing and regulatory postures that reinstate teacher authority in the classroom.


Perumal, J. (2006). Authority as authorship: Teacher and student personal narratives in the English language class. Southern African Linguistics & Applied Language Studies, 24(4), 537-552.

Gore (1993: 68-69) has identified at least three ways in which authority in the construction of feminist pedagogy is addressed: authority versus nurturance, authority as authorship, and authority as power. In this article I draw on my broader study entitled, Enacting Feminism in Academia (2003), which involved educators teaching English from a feminist perspective at five universities in Southern Africa, to address the theme authority as authorship. I focus on the intersection between feminist pedagogy and critical language awareness, which provides a particularly incisive analytical lens to explore issues relating to race, class, gender, age, and subjugated knowledges as these configure sociolinguistic identity and the construction of ideology. In this paper I first present a theoretical overview on the debate around whether personal epistemology constitutes valid knowledge in English language classrooms that explore discourses on identity politics. I then contextualise the study and provide an exemplar of a student-teacher personal disclosure from a lecture to illustrate its pedagogic significance in relation to race and gender. I present strategies educators employ for dealing with sensitive personal disclosures, and in conclusion I explore the politics of assessing student personal disclosures against academic evaluation criteria.


Sears, J. T. (1997). Centering culture: Teaching for critical sexual literacy using the sexual diversity wheel. Journal of Moral Education, 26(3), 273.

Expanding on the author’s earlier work, this essay explicates the concept of critical sexual literacy within the context of four curricular models for multicultural sexuality education: tolerance, diversity, difference and differnce. The Sexual Diversity Wheel is presented as a pedagogical tool to facilitate student inquiry into the multiple cross-cultural constructions and valuations of gender and sexuality. Illustrating these differences, the author describes his fieldwork activities in the central Philippines and explores the implications of these findings for those teaching about sexuality in western societies.


Taguchi, H. L. (2007). Deconstructing and transgressing the Theory—Practice dichotomy in early childhood education. Educational Philosophy & Theory, 39(3), 275-290.

This article theorizes and exemplifies reconceptualized teaching practices, both in early childhood education (ECE) <sup>1</sup> and in a couple of programs within the new Swedish Teacher Education (since 2001). <sup>2</sup> These programs are tightly knit to the last 12 years of reconceptualized early childhood education practices in and around Stockholm, built on deconstructive, co-constructive, and re-constructive principles, inspired by poststructural and feminist poststructural theories. The aim is foremost to work towards a dissolution and/or transgression of the modernist theory-practice binary that dominates ECE and teacher education practices, where theory is meant to be applied to practice. Student teachers, as well as pre-school teachers, use what I have conceptualized as deconstructive talks, as a possibility of making visible the dominant discourses of childhood, identity, learning, play, and gender in the performed and documented teaching practices. In teacher education, students’ narratives are also deconstructed. The aim is to transgress teaching-as-usual; i.e. dominant and normative ways of thinking and acting in teaching and learning situations. I will suggest an ethics of ‘resistance’, affirmation and becoming, inspired by Derridean deconstructionist thinking, as a professional attitude and reflexive mode for teachers, teacher students and teacher educators.

Taylor, L. K. (2007). Reading desire: From empathy to estrangement, from enlightenment to implication. Intercultural Education, 18(4), 297.

The imperial hubris, insecurities and indifference of our bloody new millennium pose profound challenges to feminist anti-racist and anti-colonial educators. For those of us who turn to literature education to create spaces of sustained moral reflection, there is a particular challenge to think through the kinds of reading practices which might intervene in ‘the slow acculturation of imperialism’ (Spivak, 1996, p. 248). This paper examines the politics of reception in a teacher education course focused on the development of critically reflexive approaches to teaching the burgeoning canon of ‘multicultural youth literature’ slowly gaining entry in schools. Tracing the discursive context and the theoretical commitments of the course pedagogy in postcolonial and transnational feminist theory, feminist reader response and critical multicultural education, this narrative study evaluates the forms of reflexivity made possible within the structured dialogic spaces of the class as students reread their responses to the work of Marjane Satrapi and other Iranian and Arab feminists through a series of ‘lenses’. In arguing the insufficiency of prevalent multicultural and reader response approaches to teaching transnational women’s literature in schools, I argue for a recursive pedagogy that critically historicizes and situates an embodied ethics of reading.

Turpin, C. A. (2007). Feminist praxis, online teaching, and the urban campus. Feminist Teacher, 18(1), 9-27.

The article reports on the important role of teachers in establishing feminist consciousness inside the classroom setting in the U.S. Teachers have the ability of seeking out and developing strategies of teaching that demonstrate transformation from being agents of racists, sexist and classist oppression to becoming agents of innovation, enfranchisement and egalitarianism among the students of different race, class and skin color. Teachers should consider the challenges of asking the students who face the difficulties of racism and classism. Contexts of gender, race and class must inform strategies of building an online curriculum and the use of technology that encourages students to take an active role in the learning process and in the shaping of the virtual classroom space.


Walker, A. J. (1993). Teaching about race, gender and class diversity in United States families. Family Relations, 42(3), 342-350.

This article written from a feminist perspective, advocates educational efforts representing the diversity of contemporary U.S. family life by race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class. In this article the author derives the fundamental concerns essential to inclusive teaching about families from principles of feminist research and praxis, because feminist pedagogy offers significant promise in meeting this goal. Consistent with the feminist principle of adopting a critical perspective toward sources of knowledge, misinformation about families from oppressed groups must be identified and corrected. When families are the topic, there are many misconceptions. Consistent with the feminist principle of adopting a critical perspective, an essential component of the understanding of diversity is acknowledgement of whites as a racial group rather than as a people without race. This article concludes with an annotated reading list designed to facilitate the inclusion of diversity in teaching about families. It includes materials related to the experience of underrepresented groups as well as general references to resources about pedagogical techniques.


Writer, J. H., & Chavez, R. C. (2001). Storied lives, dialog –> retro-reflections: Melding critical multicultural education and critical race theory for pedagogical transformation. Simile, 1(4), N.PAG.

We are critical retro-reflective teacher educators and cultural workers. As such, we have a civic responsibility to embrace courage, compassion, equity, social justice, and social activism. We also have the responsibility to deconstruct dominant subordinating narrative and stories. The purpose of this article is to create a counter story via our retro-reflective dialog, centered within our deep-seated existence as culturally ethnic, racialized, and gendered beings. We illustrate how the process of retro-reflection is a hopeful contingency for transformative praxis using the theoretical tools of Critical Race Theory and Critical Multicultural Education. Our retro-reflections expose and de-center the tacit practice of white supremacy – a hegemonic construct often embedded within teacher education programs. Through our retro-reflections, we hope to create personal and pedagogical transformations for both ourselves and others involved in the struggle for social justice and equity. Using information from web site reviews as well as interviews with preschool, elementary, undergraduate, and graduate students, this article argues that the television show “The Powerpuff Girls,” despite its violent nature, appeals to the vast majority of its viewers because it provides positive female media images that are not based on sex appeal. In addition, viewer comments reveal that the show is viewed as empowering for both girls and boys because children are depicted as saviors to adults. This article suggests that, in order to reduce the numbing sense of divisiveness permeating the public sphere of our lives and classrooms, it is necessary to create the solidarity of a community of difference borne of affirmation and respect for others, rather than a simple celebration of a community of differences where subjects are perceived to exist more-or-less independently of each other as the multiple sites of isolated or marginalized selves. It is within the affirmative ethics of a…