A brief history of the scholarship projects of UOTeachOUT
followed by three new videos of the UOTeachOUT scholarship events of 2015
In 2010 Tina Gutierez-Schmich and I (Julia Heffernan) began the academic activist project now known as UOTeachOUT. The project began that year with the very first offering of an undergraduate senior seminar entitled Education as Homophobia. Students enrolled in this course as their final senior seminar for the Educational Foundations degree. In 2010 as an ABD doctoral candidate I was offered the opportunity to design the brand new curriculum for this pilot pre-service course at an historic moment when there were yet very few courses or texts available to address the issue of homophobia in the context of public education.
That same year I completed my dissertation The Sound of Silence: Educators managing and reproducing heteronormativity in a middle school. This research on heteronormativity, gender and sexuality studies in education was awarded the AERA Queer Studies SIG Dissertation of the Year. Work from this project is on contract for publication. The ethnographic work on this dissertation offered me an intimate look into how teachers, administrators, families, and youth were unable to name, explain, or address the pervasive homophobia in their schools. As a result of this pervasive educational silence in relation to homophobia in schools I turned to the 2002 work of Dr. Kevin Kumashiro, Troubling Education, for guidance as I began this project in pre-service teacher education.
During that same time period Tina Gutierez-Schmich’s scholarship and curricular work for the UO Center on Diversity and Community was also focused on multicultural education, conflict theory, and curriculum studies using elements of the Anti-Oppressive framework of Dr. Kevin Kumashiro. As Tina and I began our collaboration on the UOTeachOUT project, Kumashiro’s anti-oppressive curriculum theory came to the fore of the developing UOTeachOUT project.
We were thrilled when in the spring of 2010 Dr. Kumashiro was able to join us for a visit with the newly emerging doctoral program for the Department of Education Studies and was also able to attend my dissertation defense as a guest of the committee.
At that same time Dr. CJ Pascoe’s critical text Dude, Your a Fag had just been on the shelves for 3 years and immediately became a significant text for this new course on homophobia in education. Imagine our delight then when Dr. Pascoe joined the UO faculty in 2013. Since that time she has presented as a scholar in the UOTeachOUT twice.
Today this education studies project thrives thanks to these scholars, to our many academic and activists predecessors, to an array of sponsors, and to the earnest advocacy and unfaltering commitment of Tina and I along with our central partner in the k-12 education system Carmen Urbina.
For the past four years now Tina Gutierez-Schmich has been conducting research and collecting data on her anti-oppressive curricular theory of conflict pedagogy and public pedagogy. The work has been and continues to be developed by the two of us through the projects our students engage in through the UOTeachOUT forum. Tina’s forthcoming research on the public pedagogy projects of UOTeachOUT will be in publication in 2016.
The 2015 UOTeachOUT: Annual forum on gender identity and sexual orientation issues in education recently produced three new opportunities for scholarship and the advancement of theories of anti-oppressive and culturally sustaining education which can be viewed in the videos below.
We look forward to what tomorrow will bring.