Student Centered Approach→ Community Teaching → Respectful Language → Inclusive Discussion
Student Centered Approach
The lesson plans created for this website were developed using the pedagogical strategy laid out by Brazilian educational philosopher Paulo Freire, in his text “The Pedagogy of the Oppressed”. We believe in a student centered approach to learning, where students act as co-creators of knowledge in the classroom and education is both a lesson and practice in freedom. The lesson plans are constructed so that the teacher and student learn together. We recommend that educators utilize opportunities for open dialogue and participatory learning.
One of our jobs as educators is to acknowledge and respond to students’ awareness of issues that affect the world around them and to encourage them to consider the complexities of issues that endure over time and ripple across space. As with any new topic, we hope that students will continue questioning and learning outside of your classroom. We recommend discussing your plan to teach She Stands Up with other educators and staff members at your school to facilitate the continuation of the discussion in a respectful and safe environment. Given the sensitive and potentially personal nature of discussing violence, we encourage you to direct your students to the resources available to them.
Careful use of language is important when discussing issues related to violence against women and girls (VAWG). We strive to educate students and present ideas using language and terminology that is appropriate for interacting with survivors of violence and drawn from academia and the development sector. We believe in providing students with the language to engage in respectful dialogue from a fact-based perspective.
We suggest using the definitions provided in Lesson One to distinguish between gender-based violence (GBV) and VAWG. Referring to VAWG as a “women’s issue” diminishes the scope and responsibility we, as a society, have to survivors. We suggest the term “human rights issue” or “gender issue” as more respectful alternatives.
We ask educators to be mindful that the terms “survivor” and “victim” are used differently depending on the context. RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) suggests using “victim” to describe someone who has recently been affected by sexual violence or when discussing crime/the judicial system. RAINN suggests using “survivor” to refer to someone who has gone through a recovery process, or when discussing the short- or long-term effects of sexual violence.
She Stands Up focuses on sexual and physical violence experienced by women and girls. Violence against women and girls (VAWG) occurs in all countries, to women from all classes, religions, and ethnic groups. However, it is important to remember and remind students that men and boys are also victims and survivors of sexual and physical violence.
LGBTQ+ individuals also experience alarming rates of violence. The LGBTQ+ community’s experiences are often unreported and still lack adequate research. She Stands Up aims to incorporate the voices of all who identify as women, however, the unique violence experienced by many transgender and homosexual women is outside the scope of this project.
If appropriate in your classroom and with your students, we recommend that educators use intersectionality as a guiding framework for furthering discussions on VAWG. Intersectionality “recognizes and examines how various biological, social, and cultural categories such as gender, race, class, ability, sexual identity, caste, and other identities interact on multiple and often simultaneous levels, contributing to discrimination and inequality” (Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw 1989).