Carey Ka p la n and SuSan Kuntz We begin by stating the obvious: getting old is scary; getting old in the classroom is also scary. Our effort here is to inscribe ourselves and others like us within a narrative of aging and pedagogy that mitigates the terror by contesting and refuting cultural stereotypes. The force of our narrative is, we feel, enhanced by recent research into the physiology, neurology, and psychology of aging, especially of women's aging. Our story of change and development grows not merely from the experience that comes with years. We are not merely experienced pedagogues and humans, garnering knowledge from years of attentive living, although we are that: we are also different mentally, emotionally, and physically than we were thirty years ago. Recent studies of female aging suggest that there is substance to Margaret Mead's formulation of "post-menopausal vigor." In the 1970s we rejected the reductive formulation "biology is destiny," and we still reject it when it is used to mean that women are purely reproductive entities. We feel empowered, however, by new research that suggests that female biology is sufficiently rich and complicated to allow for physical, mental, and emotional changes that
Feminist Teacher – University of Illinois Press
Published: Mar 6, 2008
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