Thursday, November 03, 2005

Spin Pedagogy

I have been teaching in higher education for about 6 years now and have always been very conscious of my pedagogical practices. And I have been going to the gym since...well...a long time but have not, until recently thought about the pedagogical practices aerobics instructors employ. And even more recently I have been moonlighting as a spin nstructor. So I have decided to combine all my interests as well as my work on women's activity and its empowerment potential and write a paper about feminist pedagogical practices and spin/indoor cycling. This is very convenient because while I am taking and/or teaching spin classes, I am also doing research.
I have made many observations thus far some good, many bad (many instructors continually reify the hegemonic female body and the male model of sport) but last night a good thing occurred.
During one of the sprinting drills which was done in stages the instructors described our effort level by encouraging us to visualize another biker just ahead and we had to work to keep up with HIM because HE had just passed us. Oh no--I thought to myself. She's succumbing to the dominant paradigm in which we picture the bicyclist as male. I was dismayed, especially because the instructor is my girlfriend and I did not want to have this conversation with her after class. Luckily I didn't have to. Because as we moved to the next stage of the drill the bicyclist passing us was a SHE and we had to keep up with HER this time. She really is a feminist who practices feminist pedagogy. Phew.


Anonymous said...

What? We have a bad sound system and you were in the back, so maybe you misheard me the first time. But I consistently used "She" to refer to my hypothetical biker and did so consciously because I am am woman, and 90% of the class was women.

Now that I think about it, though, perhaps I should have switched it up to show that being a speedy cyclist is a characteristic that is not limited to either gender.

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