The article Using Popular Culture Texts in the Classroom to Interrogate Issues of Gender Transgression Related Bullying provides advice on how popular culture can be used in a way that opens up discussion and provides engagement about homophobia and heterosexism.
The authors Happel-Parkins and Esposito explain that popular culture “texts form a curriculum about race, class, gender and sexuality . . . [and that there is a] constant negotiation and renegotiation with the popular culture text and how people make meaning of themselves, their worlds, and how they view and judge others” (Happel-Parkins, 8).
This point above is important because as a society we need to ensure that we are preparing our students for the future and being able to work well with others and to grow up to be well adjusted people. In order to do so we need to have critical conversations in school about issues surrounding race, class, gender and sexuality. In doing so we help prepare the future generation to be more understanding, thoughtful and considerate of other people.
The authors use the example of the show “Ugly Betty” to explain how popular culture can be used in the classroom to one start a discussion about gender transgressive and GLBTQI bullying and two to teach students to think critically about how the media presents race, gender, class and sexuality. By educating our students about these topics and issues we help to reduce the amount of bullying that takes place in and outside of school.
FEMISNISM LEARNING THEORY
This article touches upon Feminism (as a learning theory). One of the great feminist theorists, Simone de Beauvoir, provided exceptional insight into feminist learning theory. de Beauvoir would have thought that this article was important to the principles of learning from the perspective of a feminist. de Beauvoir felt that women in society are considered to be the “Second Sex” or the “Other”. She explains that women play the role of the concerned spectator as oppose to the active participant (de Beauvoir, 183) and that “the oppressor (men) always strives to dwarf the oppressed (women) man intentionally deprives women of their opportunities” (239). Teachers need to incorporate popular culture texts into their teaching to reduce the issue regarding stereotyping of marginalized groups and people.
The feminist learning theory is also concerned with “building a community”; “feminist value community and equality, building a trusting environment in which all members are respected and have equal opportunity to participate is central” (Webb, 69). In order for society to be more equal especially with respect to marginalized groups and people, teachers need to start including these people’s perspective in the discussion about curriculum being taught to students.
de Beauvoir, Simone. (1989, c1952) The Second Sex. New York, Vintage Books.
Happel-Parkins A. and Esposito, J. “Using Popular Culture Texts in the Classroom to Interrogate Issues of Gender Transgression Related Bullying.” Educational Studies 51(1): (2015), 3–16.
Webb, L., Allen, M., and Walker, K. (2002) “Feminist Pedagogy: Identifying Basic Principles.” Academic Exchange. Retrieved July 15, 2015 from http://www.researchgate.net/publication/225274654_Feminist_pedagogy_Identifying_basic_principles