Teaching group facilitation processes in the Feminist classroom: From poststructuralist theory to activist practice
Common Ground Publishing Pty Ltd.
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Psychology and Social Science
The scholarly fascination with poststructuralist thinking that has characterised much work in the social sciences and the humanities in the past few decades invites new questions about how to teach towards praxis for those of us working in tertiary classroom settings to prepare graduates for careers in the service professions. Among these questions are: how do we move from the densely theoretical discussions of fragmented subjectivities, and of poststructuralist understandings of power and knowledge construction, to an understanding of ways to apply these conceptual shifts to daily life and professional practice? How do we communicate what it's like to be constantly reflecting on practice, doing theory on the run? How do we teach students to work across difference? This paper outlines an approach to teaching group facilitation processes to under graduate students who plan to work with diverse populations in community settings. Specifically, the paper reflects on the ways in which these under graduate students are encouraged to be attentive to oscillations and fluctuations of power; to dealing with difference; to fostering individual and collective agency; and to working with group energies to achieve collective goals. In so doing it provides an example of ways to apply poststructuralist thinking to everyday practices.