Gender, Intersectionality and education: broadening minds and creating contexts for inclusion (or for new truths)

Research output: Other contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


In a regional university, students with diverse backgrounds and experiences enrol to learn for the professions. When university courses are offered face to face, the on campus experience thrusts individuals into a melting pot of diversity, and they live, work and study together to not only learn discipline skills and knowledge, but also to learn life skills. The achievement of graduate learning outcomes does not always fully encompass the mind broadening, cultural change experience that students have while gaining their degree, despite a number of university initiatives and programs promoting diversity, including the Athena SWAN program (promoting the careers of women and gender minorities in STEMM areas), the Ally program (supporting diversity in sexuality, sex and gender) and the Racism it stops with me program.
There may be little opportunity to see the world in a different way when school leavers attend university directly out of secondary school. Therefore, university settings have a responsibility to provide diverse, inclusive and just learning experiences, images and messages to both staff and students. In many cases, we teach who we are (Palmer, 1998). As such, not all teaching academics provide a learning space that promotes diversity and inclusion.
It is the role (or is it?) of academics to generate contexts for new truths and new knowledge that open minds to diversity and power, and to challenge the cultural norms that students bring with them to their learning. This paper reports reflectively on life as a teaching academic in a regional university, through the eyes of three diverse scholars who cross borders of intersectionality. We will share through case studies, the lived experiences of academics determined to ensure that a university experience can use educational pedagogies and technologies to broaden minds and create contexts for inclusion.
Specifically, we will examine the messages that we are generating about the possibilities for women as students and as professionals living in the world. What is truth and what is not – how is gender presented in this context? We examine this through the three themes that emerge from our auto-ethnographical case studies, including unconscious gender bias for staff and students, the power of images in university materials and courageous conversations for change.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 23 Feb 2018
EventGender and Education Association Conference 2018 - University of Newcastle , Newcastle, Australia
Duration: 09 Dec 201812 Dec 2018
Conference number: 1 (agenda with abstract links)


ConferenceGender and Education Association Conference 2018
Abbreviated titleGender, Post-truth Populism and Pedagogies: Challenges and Strategies in a Shifting Political Landscape
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