Juxtaposing William and Graciela: Exploring gender nonconformity through drama-based pedagogy in a dual-language classroom

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Abstract

Using multicultural children's books La Asombrosa Graciela and William's Doll as springboards for discussion surrounding gender roles, this study examines the role of drama-based pedagogy in the developing understanding of gender roles in a second-grade Spanish dual-language classroom. This practitioner inquiry shows students’ responses to the disruption of traditional understandings of gender roles and gender nonconformity portrayed in those books as they rehearsed creative alternatives to resolve the main characters’ dilemmas. Findings show that drama-based pedagogy (Boal,; Dawson & Lee,) provided a safe space for students to both rehearse and concretize their views and use their linguistic repertoires. Conversations around gender and discourses that unsettle the reproduction of fixed notions of gender are urgently needed in the classroom to alleviate the impact of gender stereotypes and potentially help children question systems that sustain gender exclusion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalTESOL Journal
Volume9
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2018

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