Susan C. Jarratt
Feminist pedagogy grew out of the second wave of feminism, when women were attending college in equal numbers as men. These women were able to study women’s literature and then turned the questions and theories applied to those documents to the practice of writing as well. These questions included key ideas such as: Who was responsible for creating knowledge and what significance does that have on the knowledge and how it is used? Who learns the knowledge and how to do learn it (and how can that learning differentiate between individuals)?
Feminism looked at all the possibilities, not just taking it for granted that men wrote and it must be accepted and adored. They acknowledge women and other races, classes and distinctions in a consideration of how writing (and reading) affected them as well.
Feminism is not wholly a realm of women, however. Many men are able to present a pedagogy that is distinctly feministic in those respects, and they may even have better results as the students don’t have a preconceived notion of male feminists nor to they thinking that they are pushing a personal agenda.
A feminist pedagogy in composition furthers the idea that students should begin writing with themselves, telling their stories and in that way learning about their voices. However, at the same time, it is important to consider all types of writing and how/why it is used, especially since personal narrative is stereotypically feminine. It should not be misused, but be learned from to make the writer better at what they are writing.