I teach courses in Girls’ Development and Education, Girls’ Activism, and Girls, Popular Culture, and Schooling. All of my Colby courses emphasize social justice issues and involve service learning components through my nonprofit, Hardy Girls Healthy Women. My goal is to connect my students with girls in schools and communities, so that they can learn about girls from girls. Attuned to the diversity of girls’ lives and encouraging them to critically examine and confront the social and material world, I want my students to learn how to apply insights from theory and research in a way that promotes healthy development, resilience, and empowerment — in other words, contributes to the well being of girls in their local schools and communities.
In my courses we grapple with a series of questions: e.g., How does investment in popular culture shape girls’ identities, their relationships, and their school experiences? What do dominant conventions of femininity suggest to girls about the nature of power, voice, control, and agency? In what ways do schools respond and not respond to such issues as the increase in sexualization of girls in media and the commercialization of gender?
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