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Working for Social Justice Inside and Outside the Classroom

A Community of Students, Teachers, Researchers, and Activists


Edited By Nancye E. McCrary and E. Wayne Ross

What were once distinct professions for serving others and building knowledge are now communities of workers struggling against a tide of increasingly unregulated capitalism that is being fed by human greed. Teachers have become education workers, joining a working class that is rapidly falling behind and that is increasingly being silenced by the power elite who control nearly all the wealth that once supported a thriving middle class. Working for Social Justice Inside and Outside the Classroom delivers critical counter-narratives aimed at resisting the insatiable greed of a few and supporting a common good for most. The book is dedicated to hopeful communities working against perpetual war, the destruction of our natural environment, increasing poverty, and social inequalities as they fight to preserve democratic ideals in a just and sustainable world. Written by some of the most influential thinkers of our time, this collection is a tapestry of social justice issues woven in and out of formal and informal education.
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Chapter Fourteen: “Barely in the Front Door” but Beyond the Ivory Tower: Women’s and Gender Studies Pedagogy Outside the Classroom


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“Barely in the Front Door” but Beyond the Ivory Tower: Women’s and Gender Studies Pedagogy Outside the Classroom

Tara M. Tuttle

The value of community engagement promoted in countless university mission statements may be most readily accomplished by a discipline that may be absent or among the least prominent on their campuses: Women’s and Gender Studies. In “Education Beyond Institutionalization: Learning Outside the Formal Curriculum,” Nicole Harper (2011) asserts, “Focusing attention on learning beyond the formal curriculum will result in a perpetual transformative process” (p. 12). This is particularly crucial to disciplines promoting social justice. The ultimate goal of much Women’s and Gender Studies academic labor is not only the transformation of learning and learners but also the transformation of society. We want not only more egalitarian classrooms but a more egalitarian world. Students’ educations about gender occur mostly outside of the classroom and formal curriculum, and outside of the classroom are the inevitable spaces wherein students put their educations into practice. In this essay, I argue that the pedagogical aims and practices of the interdiscipline of Women’s and Gender Studies are particularly suited for the successful translation of course objectives from the formal curriculum into outside-the-classroom applications. I demonstrate how the four strands of liberatory pedagogies of Women’s and Gender Studies programs, outlined by Tisdell (1995), are implemented in the many beyond-the-curriculum activities fostered by these programs. In its devotion to creating transgressive pedagogical spaces of...

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