Tentative Project Proposal

an idea in the works

I am very much interested in feminist pedagogy in the composition classroom. I want to explore the overlap and  
commonalities of ideas between Lev Vygotsky and Paulo Freire and formulate a response to the question of how their ideas 
can be put into practice with the intention of achieving an equitable classroom environment. More importantly, I will try to 
show a correlation between their theories and feminist pedagogy. Feminist pedagogy, after all, is not about women, it’s about the gendered nature of language and how it affects us all in different ways. Feminist pedagogy can be practiced in a diverse composition classroom; it is a powerful approach to the teaching of writing. I very much believe in the practices it shares with Freire and Vygotsky; it has the ability to bring to the surface Vygotsky’s idea of internalization thereby allowing students a better understanding of where their own voice comes from.
I will focus on the theories and practices of Lev Vygotsky and Paulo Freire. Vygotsky’s idea that children internalize what they experience in their external environment plays into the idea that language is a social construct. Freire also believes that language is socially created and therefore problematic. One of his main interests was in literacy and making students aware of the constraints placed on them by language. He, like feminist pedagogy, is very much focused on students taking action against the oppressive nature of language. His problem-posing method of teaching allows the students, through discourse, to break apart the meanings behind the language they use. His method helps students talk about their communities and the prevalent themes in an effort to inspire them to take action. Both Freire and Vygotsky believed in the control our environment has over us.
My project will synthesize the research that has already been done and offer my own critical input as well as provide a possible model for an equitable composition classroom.
I plan on using the following sources in my project: Teaching Writing: Pedagogy, Gender, and Equity edited by Cynthia Caywood and Gillian R Overing, Emancipatory Movements in Writing by Andrea Greenbaum, Teaching Writing as Reflective Practice by George Hillocks, “When We Dead Awaken: Writing as Re-Vision” by Adrienne Rich, Mind and Society by Vygotsky, Thought and Language by Vygotsky, Vygotskian Perspectives on Literary Research edited by Carol D. Lee and Peter Smagorinsky, “A Case of Interpretations of Social” by Stephen Lerman, The Politics of Education by Freire, A Pedagogy for Liberation by Ira Shor and Paulo Freire, Education for Critical Consciousness by Freire, Freire for the Classroom edited by Ira Shor, and “Strangers No More” by Kyle Fiore and Nan Elsasser.