Adolescent Girls' Negotiations

Embodied Knowing, the Female Body, and Literacy

Dr. Christine Woodcock

Researches adolescent girls' embodied knowing of the female body and literacy. In other words, she sees how the way adolescent girls view themselves affects their literacy skills.

Interviewed high school girls about what they had been reading or writing about, and the conversation almost always turned to the students' bodies or how they see themselves.

Main Ideas

- Body image and how we view ourselves is a huge part of our culture
- Students need to learn how to navigate through the media
- Agency (autonomy - we all have the ability and capacity to act and bring meaning to our world)
- Voice (we all have a voice; break the idea of "seen and not heard")
- Pop culture
- Classroom environment and culture

Teacher Implications

- Incorporate pop culture into the classroom
- Establish an atmosphere of respect
- Discuss the media in the classroom and how it impacts students
- Discuss taboo topics, interweave pop culture (that's what really matters to high school students)

Discuss what the students are seeing all around them!

Teaching Ideas

- Journals about the media the students see around them (weekly or daily)
- Classroom discussion
- Students create positive advertisements that counteract the media