I come to this work with a foundational belief that education should be liberatory. This means I aim to facilitate spaces where learners experience the freedom to create meaning from the material based on their personal and cultural experiences and to envision new ways of thinking about and engaging with themselves, others, and society.
My teaching style is primarily influenced by three schools of thought: social reconstructivism, womanist critical theory, and social cognitive theory. Social reconstructivism imbues in my work a focus on identifying and challenging social inequalities in hopes of collaboratively imagining and creating more just ways of being with students. Womanist critical theory roots my work in questioning dominant notions of sexuality and gender and in prioritizing the work of Black women as models for creating personal meanings outside dominant narratives. Social cognitive theory imparts in my work an emphasis on creating learning environments that promote the development of self-efficacy by creating multiple opportunities for observational learning and mastery experiences. All three schools of thought ground me in the notion that classrooms and workshops should be spaces of reciprocal, collaborative learning for everyone in the space, including myself as the educator.
What does this mean practically for my classrooms and sessions?
It means I frequently invite learners to share their experiences in relation to the material in acknowledgement of the fact that I am never the only person in the room with useful knowledge or experience. It means much of my teaching involves interactive dialogue and modeling so that learners can actively interrogate, evaluate, and use the material discussed. It means that I never provide a workshop or lesson without having resource lists available so students can continue asking questions and attempting to imagine better ways of living once the workshop is over.
My ultimate hope is that through participation in my sessions, learners will feel motivated and empowered to enact changes in their lives and the world that bring our society closer to a future in which people of all sexual orientations and genders can live and thrive as their authentic selves.