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By Esther Kingston-Mann

This number of essays written by way of non-traditional school on non-traditional scholars files a fancy and not easy means of pedagogical transformation.

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Achieving Against the Odds. How Academics Become Teachers of Diverse Students

This selection of essays written via non-traditional college on non-traditional scholars records a posh and tough strategy of pedagogical transformation.

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Week by week, I could clarify out loud how this had become a moral and pedagogical commitment for me, and I could share the classroom outcomes with friendly colleagues. Since then, I have managed to come out in all my classes; the question is only when and how. Coming out right at the start of the course seems to have the richest and most integral effects, and I wish I could do that in all classes where the closet would otherwise exist—that is to say, in all classes. Most students, however, do not understand the dynamic of the closet, and I do not want to shock them more than is necessary.

No, I was certain I had not; in my hypervigilance about this topic, that would never have slipped out. Had I raised the topic of minority sexuality often? No, only in the single, uncomfortable instance of the bear story. Feminist analysis, however, had been among the critical threads of the course. Could it be that, for this student, feminism and lesbianism were the same thing? Were other students likely to think the same way? What if such comments appeared on my formal evaluations? Would a personnel committee ask for my side, or would they simply make up their own story about this lesbian junior professor?

My course called Feminist Theology and Spirituality clearly fit the bill: it is explicitly concerned with integrating experience and reflection, it always includes at least a few lesbians or bisexuals, and the connection (or disconnection) of sexuality and spirituality is a recurrent theme. Besides, in this one course, I had figured out how and when to come out, always a large part of the struggle. In the first class, we would always introduce ourselves (at my suggestion) by sharing something that we wanted the group to know.

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