Girlhood Pedagogy

Pedagogy. I heard this word for the first time as a student at Lesley University, but I didn’t really understand it until I started taking the Girlhood, Identity and Culture class. I always felt that my education should (and hopefully would) flow into my outer world but this course really brought that term “pedagogy” to life for me, even though I still have a hard time pronouncing it! Ahahaha!

TGP’s structure really involved us as students, TA’s and middle school group participants to engage in the question of “what is girlhood?” It was more than a college course to me. It was a spirit breaking! I find myself to be a pretty strong willed woman but this class once again opened up the gates to how we as girls in our society fight against cultural, traditional and subcultural casts everyday!

This curriculum allowed me as a woman to dissect the concept of being a girl in a society that constantly throws around expectations of how or what a girl is! This course has help challenge my own views of women and of myself. I learned to process messages about being good or bad that I had internalized from society, whether it was from my own household, my neighborhood, or the media.

The readings from author Ruth Nicole Brown, visual presentations, artistic work and facilitators for this class were an essential part of bringing theory into a meaningful life experience. Although Girlhood is not just theory: it’s real life! The complexity of what that means for us as young women is no joke. I’m grateful that the mixture of TGP’s curriculum has help me to put a foot out into the world knowing that in whatever form or shape that I am in, whatever the choice of my sexuality or my economic background, that I do have a voice and choice to live in my own truth. I have the power to bring voice to the issues that we as girls & women have everyday. I can celebrate my daughter’s favorite song (“Show You What a Girl Is!”) with her.

Girlhood was not just a course to me but a reflection of what the struggles are for girls today and has been for many decades. It’s the breaking down of stereotypes and ideologies, it’s bringing voice to what really matters to me and to many other women in our communities. It is saying no to society and what it wants! It is saying that we know what we are and we can and will change things! It is accepting that we are all broken in some form or another and that’s OK: nobody’s perfect but nobody has to stand by and take hate either!

Ok, so I’m a little off track now…I was saying the meaning of Pedagogy is the study of teaching, academic subject and theoretical concept.

Ahahahah! It's so funny to me because girlhood is not a theory it just is!!!!

So I’ve changed it to Girlhood Pedagogy: A forum in which teachers, college students , TAs and middle school girls meet to engage in reflection about the theory of girls in order to process, dissect it, and change the world!!! Yay!!! Bad Ass!!!!

As you can see, I love girlhood!

#girlhoodpedagogy #drruthnicolebrown #teachingassistants

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© The Girlhood Project 2016