At the outset of this academic year, I made a difficult decision. Would I continue on in my M.Ed. program and write a thesis, or would I elect the "course-based" route and take a couple more electives of interest together with a capstone portfolio course, which I would have to defend in the spring? This was a *really* hard decision for me, as I love the research and writing process, so much so that I even took the thesis-route advanced quantitative methods course to keep my options open. In the end I elected the course-based route for a few important reasons. First, I want this program to be "done", and not because I haven't enjoyed it, but as a mother of 2 growing boys who is working a full-time job, I have never been more cognizant that time is fleeting. Second, I have plenty of opportunities to engage in both research and writing as part of my job - I can make these opportunities for myself. Lastly, there was one course as part of the program that I really wanted to take: MDDE 651: "Gender Issues in Education". And so, this semester, alongside my capstone project, I am taking this course.
Many of my peers in the program had recommended it. "Transformative" they said. This post represents the early stages of my learning in this course. As an "integration essay", we have been encouraged to use the first person to describe our thoughts and values related to what we have studied this far. For me, this is best described as a journey toward praxis. Meaning, that the readings thus far have really opened by eyes to underlying assumptions about what constitutes knowledge, and in terms of how theory is developed and disseminated. But, it has also provided me with a lens to think about my own practice, and how I must not be complicit in the subversion of marginalized voices and that my practice must be grounded in feminist pedagogy from the outset - in course designs; when I walk in to a classroom; and when I undertake any future research endeavour. I am not sure why this has been so revelatory to me - I am, after all, a self-described feminist. In the paragraphs that follow, I will attempt to synthesize what I have learned, but also unpack and describe its impact on my (present and future) practice as an educator.