Anti-Oppression is essential to my teaching and my research.
On numerous occasions, I have been told by students that my class is their first introduction to anti-oppression. This is not something that brings me pride, but challenges me to keep it up. I believe that teaching should be uncomfortable, and learning should also make one feel vulnerable. My courses have vulnerability, privilege, social location, seeing the dominate narratives (or stories-we-all-know), identifying oppressive dialectics, and hope and solidarity embedded in each lesson and unit. As co-chair of the Decolonization, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee in the Curriculum & Instruction Department, I hope to lead in actionable initiatives to broaden and support anti-oppression in our teaching and research.
In terms of research, I am interested in methodologies that challenge the dominate approaches to data, using analytic reasoning and explanation, and inaccessible language to convey problems, questions, literature, and conclusions. Storytelling, autoethnography, pedagogical narratives, and considering my social location and the social locations of others that contribute to my research are the ways in which I can resist.
I am a settler on unceded Indigenous lands.
I am a beneficiary from colonialism, past and present. Research has a colonial past and still maintains expectations that are rooted in Western ways of questioning and expressing knowledge. Heirarchical thinking puts reason before emotion, explanation before storytelling, and binaries before other possibilities.
Decolonizing and Indigenizing research is an action to which I am committed. Indigenous voices, thought, creativity, and stories inform my research approach. Storytelling is equalizing and an essential part of how I express what I am learning, my questions, the problems that I notice, and the data that I engage.
When I teach, I also bring Indigenous content, ways of knowing and being, as well as tools to help settlers become allies. I also want to make space for Indigenous voices by assigning Indigenous resources and including methodologies that resist colonialism. I want all students to be able to honour who they are in the learning they do. My approach to teaching is based in storytelling. My assignments reflect that practice and I encourage students to explore their own stories and the narratives that have been told to them and through them.
I am queering research. I queer the classroom just by being in it.
My research is often about 'other possibilities.' When I am looking at problems, I often consider the ways in which dichotomous thinking can be a barrier to transformation. I am interested in why binaries can be dangerous. I am also committed to queer authors, queer theory, and queer stories.
In my classroom, I often include my own story. I am queer, and one of my children is transgender. I do not research trans kids or youth. But my lived experience informs my teaching. My queer students get to be in a classroom that has plenty of space for them. My other students get to hear stories and tell their own in ways that support their allyship and help them to grow into the allies they want to be.
I am a praxis mentor.
I am curious about the connections and disconnections between our theory and practice. I aspire to see the barriers to our transformative actions and draw the attention of others to these obstacles. A mentor asks questions and makes space for the vulnerability required to truly reflect and to learn.
I am committed to continual critical reflection on my social location and the world around me. I am also deeply critical of my connections and disconnections to others, institutions, and my goals.
Anti-oppression, Indigenization, and queering of research and classrooms requires praxis. This means that praxis as a method, and praxis as a teaching mindset, makes its way into my work consistently.