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A Cultural Perspective on Teaching Sexual Identity Development


by Pamela Petrease Felder & Alysa Turkowitz — November 18, 2009

A professor and her teaching assistant present a cultural perspective on the teaching of sexual identity development in a graduate higher education course. They raise questions about the challenges associated with engaging graduate students in discussions of sexual identification issues.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: November 18, 2009
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 15841, Date Accessed: 12/17/2017 11:02:04 AM

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About the Author
  • Pamela Felder
    Teachers College, Columbia University
    E-mail Author
    DR. PAMELA FELDER is a scholar of higher education and Director of Educational Leadership programming for the Global HELP Initiative at Teachers College, Columbia University. She served as Lecturer in the Higher and Postsecondary Education Program from 2006-2009. Prior to coming to Teachers College, she was a Lecturer in the Policy, Management and Evaluation Division in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania where she developed and taught a course on college student retention and persistence and the school’s first course on Diversity in Higher Education (co-developed with Marybeth Gasman, Associate Professor at the University of Pennsylvania). Dr. Felder’s primary research interest is graduate student development with an emphasis on the doctoral experience. She explores the socialization experiences of graduate students and how they impact academic success, the development of disciplinary identities, and the management of life balance. Her most recent publication is titled, "On Doctoral Student development: Exploring Faculty Mentorship and the Shaping of African American Doctoral Student Success" (The Qualitative Report, June 2010). Her commitment to research and teaching embraces racial and cultural awareness and its potential for facilitating institutional transformation in higher education.
  • Alysa Turkowitz
    Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University
    ALYSA TURKOWITZ is a current doctoral student in the Department of Adult Learning & Leadership at Teachers College, Columbia University. As part of her doctoral journey, she had the opportunity to be a Teaching Fellow with Dr. Pamela Felder and co-taught a class session on sexual identity for a College Student Development Theories course. In the spring of 2009, she co-presented a paper with Dr. Felder at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) titled "Exploring Sexism and Heterosexism at Elite Institutions: An Ecological Perspective on Promoting Diversity." Currently, she is a Teagle Scholar through the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences and a Betty Fairfax Grant recipient through Teachers College. She works full-time as an Associate Director of Educational Affairs for the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University. Her academic interests include social justice issues within higher education and the faculty and student experience within higher education.
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