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Is a Safe Space Possible?

The Potential of 4 Principles in Group Learning Settings by Persson Perry Baumgartinger

Lecture at the 7th Nordic Transgender Studies network symposium "Trans, non-binary and Intersex (in) Education", 14 – 15 November 2019, at the Department of Gender Studies at Lund University, Sweden. How can I make my classes trans, inter and nonbinary inclusive? What pace is needed to include as many students as possible to the discussions? How do I support student’s of not academic families to take equally part in my classes? How do I make a safe space while teaching? Those questions are raised by more and more educators, including me. In my experience sofar the concept of safe space didn’t work out yet. Nontheless I am convinced of the necessity of learning spaces where as many different people as possible have the possibility to exchange their ideas, think and talk critically, and find solutions to serious questions. So I came up with 4 principles for my teaching practice in classes and workshops: slowness, critique, respect, and responsibility. The approach is informed by different concepts of critical discourse analysis, social justice training, trans studies etc, but it is foremost a practice in process.

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