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Lessons from the Classroom: Renegotiating Critical and Feminist Pedagogy in the Middle East
Unformatted Document Text:  3. Constraints At the same time this type of collaboration also imposes constraints. To qualify for funding, the priorities of these research centers often switch to developing the activities and projects that will bring acknowledgment and money for the institution. This creates a certain dependency on international bodies on account of the grants they have provided, while at the same time less economic support is given from the university budget. This external support is having a determining influence on the orientation of the subjects addressed by feminism in the academic world. Due to little financial support for research on women in the UAE, especially on issues such as power relations, pedagogy, change and transformation, body, religion, sexuality, and violence. The more developed issues were the ones found in the priorities of the international cooperation agencies, such as reproductive health, literacy, environment, etc and those that were deemed appropriate or “culturally sensitive” by the university. Some proposals: • To acknowledge and foster multiple ways of learning and teaching • To analyze mainstream curricula • To integrate women’s and gender studies approaches in the curriculum at all levels of the educational system • To establish teacher training inside and outside women’s and gender studies units III. CONCLUSION These strategies offer the very kind of material that can make students critical thinkers and give them a sense of agency about their place in history and contemporary culture. These methods of enhancing student agency promote a creative learning environment where contestation is valued not silenced and where feminist claims are opened to critical debate. Consequently, the public space of the classroom becomes a site for the production of critical knowledge. 18

Authors: DeVriese, Leila.
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3. Constraints
At the same time this type of collaboration also imposes constraints. To qualify for
funding, the priorities of these research centers often switch to developing the activities
and projects that will bring acknowledgment and money for the institution. This creates a
certain dependency on international bodies on account of the grants they have provided,
while at the same time less economic support is given from the university budget.
This external support is having a determining influence on the orientation of the subjects
addressed by feminism in the academic world.
Due to little financial support for research on women in the UAE, especially on issues
such as power relations, pedagogy, change and transformation, body, religion, sexuality,
and violence. The more developed issues were the ones found in the priorities of the
international cooperation agencies, such as reproductive health, literacy, environment, etc
and those that were deemed appropriate or “culturally sensitive” by the university.
Some proposals:
To acknowledge and foster multiple ways of learning and teaching
To analyze mainstream curricula
To integrate women’s and gender studies approaches in the curriculum at all
levels of the educational system
To establish teacher training inside and outside women’s and gender studies units
III. CONCLUSION
These strategies offer the very kind of material that can make students critical thinkers
and give them a sense of agency about their place in history and contemporary culture.
These methods of enhancing student agency promote a creative learning environment
where contestation is valued not silenced and where feminist claims are opened to critical
debate. Consequently, the public space of the classroom becomes a site for the
production of critical knowledge.
18


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