Pedagogy and Sexual Difference (2018/2019)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Antonietta De Vita
Antonietta De Vita
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem. 2A, Sem. 2B

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

1) Learning and interpretive skills
Students will be required to examine, analyse and interpret educational situations in terms of gender perspectives and the meanings attributed to “diversity” and “difference”. These skills should be underpinned by a thorough knowledge of mainstream theories of gender education.
2) Knowledge and understanding applied to pedagogy and the education professions
Students should demonstrate how the material studied can be applied in real-life educational and pedagogical contexts.
3) Independent decision-making
Students will be encouraged to improve their capacity for critical thinking and making autonomous decisions in relation to gender education issues.
4) Communication abilities
Students will be required to develop their linguistic and communicational abilities, acquiring a suitable lexicon and conceptual apparatus for the pedagogical and philosophical exploration of questions of sexual difference and gender education.
5) Ongoing learning skills
Students will be encouraged to acquire the necessary skills for lifelong learning.


Education is a space that is traditionally inhabited by women. However, historically, it is men who have conceived the cultural, linguistic and symbolic systems associated with it, and although, in principle, they have attempted to do so in a gender-neutral way, in reality, these systems betray, at best, a partially androcentric perspective. Feminist movements in various parts of the world have worked tirelessly over the last fifty years to unmask the false neutrality of the dominant male outlook, and overcome long-standing dichotomies such as nature vs. culture, public vs. private, production vs. reproduction, reason vs. emotion and objective vs. subjective. These efforts have succeeded in generating a culture and a symbolism capable of expressing female difference, not only in terms of discrimination, but also as a means of enabling the emergence of a self-determined subjectivity.
Women have affirmed themselves as agents of their own transformation, but also of the transformation of the world around them. They have put a form of female liberation into circulation that manages both to include men and to lay the foundations for a new relational civilisation. We are living in a post-patriarchal age connoted by profound change and greater equality in many areas of life, in which we find the crisis of the patriarchy coexisting with new forms of awareness and practices capable of transforming the lives of both women and men.
In terms of the study of teaching and learning, this course is structured around the following themes:
- naming the female world: beginning with ourselves, creating the symbolic
- is there such a thing as a non-gendered voice?: the sexualisation of language, subjectivity and symbolic competence
- the wisdom of experience in education and pedagogical research
- female capacities in the relationships of education and assistance
- new family and relational structures social parenthood and LGBT families
- the male question and phenomena of violence
- the dark side of relationships between women: female bullying

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Burgio Giuseppe (cur.) Comprendere il bullismo femminile Franco Angeli 2018
Lusiardi Delfina, Piussi Anna Maria E la vita cammina quasi dritta Qui Edit 2015
Gigli Alessandra (cur.) Maestra, ma Sara ha due mamme? Guerini Scientifica 2017
Rivera Garretas Maria Milagros Nominare il mondo al femminile Editori Riuniti 1998
Deianna Salvatore, Greco Massimo (cur.) Trasformare il maschile. Nella cura, nell'educazione, nelle relazioni (Edizione 2012) Cittadella Editrice  

Assessment methods and criteria

A) Assessment for attending students is in two parts: 1. a written composition discussing a piece of personal research on a specific issue, and reflecting as appropriate on the texts in the bibliography; 2. an oral presentation delivered in the course of a special learning day.
B) Assessment for non-attending students comprises an oral examination to assess knowledge of the course texts and the student’s critical and interpretive capacities in relation to the issues covered.