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Abstract Title: Ecofeminist Teaching: Connecting Energy to Land in Physics Education
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation
Abstract: In a yearlong professional development experience, we supported high school teachers to teach about energy resources and land use in order to better connect the physics energy concept to students' landscapes.  In this paper we report on two case studies that connected land to energy. Our first case study connects land to energy through the impacts of lithium mining and our second case study connects land to energy through the exploration of electric dams and their impacts on agricultural land systems. In both of these examples, teachers subvert the typical dissociation between disciplinary concepts in physics and the impacts such have on lands and people, in particular women. This teaching has the potential to bring physics education closer to environmental and societal issues that persist in our landscapes, which are key to bridging equity and justice into physics education. In teaching physics this way, these teachers resist patriarchal norms in land relations, which promote the objectification, overexploitation and dismissal of both women and lands (which are labeled as feminine, e.g., Mother Earth). Thus, the teachers embody principles of ecofeminist teaching, a branch of teaching that integrates feminist theories grounded on environmentalism and the relationship between women and the land. Ecofeminist teaching in physics education allows students to further understand how patriarchal norms are manifested in the way we view our lands, and how they can help resist these destructive and extractive norms in physics education.
Session Time: Poster Session 3
Poster Number: III-13

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Jessica Hernandez
Physical Science Division, School of STEM, University of Washington Bothell
Bothell, WA 98011-8246
and Co-Presenter(s)
Rachel E. Scherr (she, her), Physical Science Division, School of STEM, University of Washington Bothell

Kara E. Gray (she, her), Department of Physics, Seattle Pacific University