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2 Challenges and Opportunities in Discussing Gender Inequity
Gender Bending in the Classroom: Teaching Gender Inequity Without Reifying…
people with unwanted pregnancies feel welcome to access their services. This
challenge is deeply related to the struggle that results from a cultural and academic
focus on dichotomous gender categories. Such challenges for organizations and that
daily pain experienced by genderqueer can be avoided with more consistent resistance to enforcing gender dichotomies.
The question then is: how do we consistently challenge gender dichotomies
when research persistently reifies the idea that men and women are meaningfully
different? First, we need to continue our efforts to teach the spectral and complex
nature of gender and sex, as discussed by Sumner McRae, and Tre Wentling, in this
volume. Secondly, we need to find and use better research on gender and gender
inequity in our classrooms. While quantitative data is often limited in its ability to
capture the spectrums of either sexuality or gender identity, there are quantitative
studies that are more inclusive than others. For example, the Rainbow Health
Initiative, a nonprofit in the Twin Cities, has an annual survey they conduct on
LGBTQA Health in Minnesota (Flunker et al. 2014). This project surveys nearly
2000 local residents and includes a variety of options for sexual orientation and
gender identity. While this is just one local example, there are dozens of other community groups throughout the country conducting similar research. Finally, there
are some large data sets that include a greater number of options for a respondent’s
sexuality, including the General Social Survey and a number of smaller, more local
projects. While these sets don’t completely resolve the challenge of categorical
variables, coupled with rich qualitative data, they can provide more accurate information distribution in the classroom.
As mentioned, one important tactic we need to subvert the traditional gender
paradigm is to provide students with better data. However, given our socio-cultural
histories, there is not always data present that queers these gender binaries. We are
then left with a different challenge: do we present limited data that reinforces false
dichotomies and heteronormativity, or do we omit a potentially important area to
analyze our patriarchal society? When such situations arise, we must present the
limited data we have but also acknowledge its confines. It isn’t that we can’t talk
about gender inequity: we simply need to recognize and name what we are seeing.
In short, we need to be accurate about society and the expression of gender as it
In this process we need to resist slipping back into the seminal focus of men, on
the one hand, and women on the other. This can be particularly difficult when discussing topics such as domestic violence in which women are primarily victims
vis-à-vis male partners. Approaching the study of gender with a queer lens doesn’t
mean that we should minimize the frequency or magnitude of male violence against
women, it means that we should also explore the similarities and differences that
produce violence in these relationships as well as those with other gender dynamics.
Thus, it is essential that we also explore and examine domestic violence between
same sex partners, in genderqueer relationships, and situations in which men are
victims at the hands of female partners. Such a tactic helps us better understand the
root causes of violence and the socio-cultural forces at play in situations of domestic
Constraints of Language
A second and related challenge is the constraints of our culturally rooted language.
The most obvious examples are gendered terms we use (freshman, mailman, etc.)
and the ways that we demean women by calling them girls (while we call men
guys). Language is constrained by the socio-political-cultural history from which it
arises. Said differently, language and culture are mutually influential and wholly
connected (Jiang 2000). It is through language that culture is expressed (Kim 2003).
One of the most challenging ways in which cultural hegemony is brought into
our classrooms is the use of the word “normal”. For example, this spring I attended
a support group for allies of queer individuals. The organization was hosting a panel
of people telling their experiences of becoming more supportive of queer people in
their lives. Though incredibly well-meaning, one member of the panel kept distinguishing between gay or transgender people and “normal” people. The language of
normal insinuates that there is something deviant or wrong with not following traditional scripts of gender or sexuality. The language of “normality” or “regularity”
is highly dangerous to the wellbeing of queer and transgendered people in our society and to creating the society in which we seek. Furthermore, this language is also
historically and culturally inaccurate as heterosexual monogamy has not (and many
argue that rates of infidelity and divorce demonstrate it still is not) been the global
social norm. (For eye-opening and accessible texts on this history, see Ryan and
Jetha 2010; Coontz 1993; Coontz 2006).
A second example of how language is tied to cultural norms and power comes
from a recent class I had in which there was a transgender student, whom I will call
Jo. A number of this students’ peers had attended high school with Jo where they
had previously used a male name, which I will label James. In my class, the students
with whom Jo had attended high school repeatedly called them James, despite
requests to use Jo, and employed this name even when it was unnecessary to use any
name at all. It was only by talking about power and language that students began to
understand how hurtful their actions were and how, in doing so, they were stealing
the right for Jo to define themself.
When learning about language students often respond with a critique of people
“being too PC” or the difficulty they have with keeping track of politically correct
language. It is important, when dealing with such conversations, to consider the
goals of those who advocate for politically correct language. Namely, cultural
change. People who advocate for evolving language are seeking to not only change
the way we speak about certain topics, but also the ways we socially engage with
them (Fairclough 2003). Similarly, those who advocate against such change are
claiming allegiance to an earlier, perhaps not as culturally enlightened, era. The way
we speak, the language we use, shapes our cultural understandings of the events and
people we discuss. Words are not innocuous, but have great influence in our sociocultural discourse, our ideologies – the way we see and understand society.
Language is not neutral and our job as instructors is to help students recognize the
power in the words they use and to learn a new, inclusive, and power-equalizing
Gender Bending in the Classroom: Teaching Gender Inequity Without Reifying…
All of this is deeply tied to hegemonic notions of gender and sexuality in society.
Students enter our classes unable to see the taken-for-granted assumptions about
gender roles; the relationship between gender, sex, and sexuality; and other related
ideas. Because these notions are so deeply rooted in our patriarchal and heteronormative culture, students are oblivious to their presence in their own life.
One of the most popular examples that I use in class to illustrate this is the recent
news scandal involving football player Ray Rice. Rice was caught on video punching his then-fiancé Janay Palmer. News headlines sprouted across the country asking “Why doesn’t she leave?”, “Why does she stay?” and “Wake up Janay!”. Few
posed questions of Rice such as “Why does he hit?” and, as a result, the public
discourse surrounding domestic violence remained in the all-to-common place of
victim blaming. In class, this example demonstrates to students the way that our
social ideas about gender can cause us to make erroneous assumptions and ask limited questions of social phenomenon. Following this realization, students can ask
better questions such as: why do people commit violence against their partners?
How common is domestic violence? Who is likely to commit violence and why?
How can domestic violence be curbed? How is domestic violence related to other
forms of violence in our society? How does patriarchy factor into domestic
It is important to have a discussion about hegemony early in the semester in all
social science classes and to expect students to interrogate their taken-for-granted
beliefs at all times. To that end I use an assignment in my courses that I call the
Single Story Paper (see assignment handout and grading rubric in Appendix A).
Inspired by an amazing TED talk by Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
(2009). In this talk Adichie presents numerous examples of, what she calls, “the
danger of the single story” – the taken-for-granted assumptions and stereotypes constructed by people with social and political power at the expense of those who have
been historically marginalized.
This assignment asks students to first identify and describe a taken-for-granted
belief they see in society (or, ideally, hold themselves). They are then expected to
do research and to explore the origins of the single story. What was the social context in which it arose? Who benefits from the single story? How does the single
story expose the operation of power and privilege in society? After exploring these
questions, students are asked to start the story earlier. What happens when we
explore the socially dominant belief that women are innately wired for childraising?
What is uncovered when we look at the history of childrearing and crosscultural
norms of childcare and recognize that such tasks have not universally been
“women’s work”? How does exploring the history of the story reflect who benefits
most from these stories, how it limits social change, and hurts families?
Following an awareness of the single story and the way it operates in society, the
next step is for students to listen to alternative stories. What are people most affected
by the single story saying? What are the subaltern narratives? Using the same
example: what do we learn from men who caregive and from women who work?
How does the narrative change when we listen to the experiences of those on the
margins or whom are genderqueer? Through this process, students are asked to
develop tools for challenging the single story they have analyzed in their daily lives.
This activity, and discussing hegemony regularly, helps students start to see the
ways in which society makes certain possibilities invisible. It empowers students to
see beyond the limits of our culture and to question elements of their daily lives.
Two of my students recently talked to me about how important this activity was for
them. Having taken my course and written these papers the previous semester, they
returned to share with me how much seeing and challenging the edges of hegemonic
ideologies has changed their lives – in both difficult and important ways.
Only by shining a light into the corners made invisible by societal norms can we
begin to talk about gender and sexuality in a way that challenges patriarchy and
heteronormativity without simultaneously reproducing and reinforcing their power.
It is overwhelming to consider all of the ways that we have been conditioned by our
culture, and all of the ways our own beliefs are rooted in erroneous cultural assumptions. Yet, it is also part of the joy of teaching students to think critically in this way:
not a week goes by that I do not learn, from conversations in class, of additional
ways in which I am blinded by social discourses.
The key to teaching students to see through hegemonic discourses is to empower
them to “queer everything”. As mentioned, we need to use better data to teach about
inequality, we need to pay more attention to the cultural limitations of our language,
and to see through hegemonic norms.
We fail as instructors when we remain uncritical and trapped in our own cultural
lenses. In the words of Judith Butler (1990): “To operate within the matrix of power
is not the same as to replicate uncritically relations of domination.” In other words,
we are all products of our culture, but our socio-historical position need not limit
our ability to explore the boundaries and challenge damaging social discourses.
Adichi, C. N. (2009). The danger of a single story. http://www.ted.com/talks/chimamanda_
adichie_the_danger_of_a_single_story/transcript?language=en. Accessed 7 May 2015.
Butler, J. (1990). Gender trouble. New York: Routledge.
Coontz, S. (1993). The way we never were: American families and the nostalgia trap. New York:
Coontz, S. (2006). Marriage, a history: How love conquered marriage. New York: Penguin.
Fairclough, N. (2003). Analyzing discourse. New York: Taylor and Francis.
Gender Bending in the Classroom: Teaching Gender Inequity Without Reifying…
Flunker, D., Nezhad, S., & Salisbury, J. (2014). Voices of health: A survey of LGBTQ health in
Minnesota. Rainbow Health Initiative. http://www.rainbowhealth.org/files/4714/2419/5548/
2014_Voices_of_Health_Data_Release_Report.pdf. Accessed 14 June 2015.
Halberstam, J. (2013). Gaga feminism. Boston: Beacon.
Jiang, W. (2000). The relationship between culture and language. ELT Journal, 54(5), 328–334.
Kim, L. S. (2003). Exploring the relationship between language, culture, and identity. GEMA
Online Journal of Language Studies., 3(2), 1675–8021.
Pollitt, K. (2015). Who has abortions? The Nation. http://www.thenation.com/article/who-hasabortions/. Accessed 15 July 2015.
Ryan, C., & Jetha, C. (2010). Sex at dawn. New York: HarperCollins.
Make Us Whole!: Deconstructing Gender
Narratives to Build Solidarity
Annie D. Jollymore
Patriarchy may dehumanize men, but the costs of masculinity are linked to men’s power.
(Messner 1998, p. 256)
In 2010, Paul Elam declared October “Bash a Violent Bitch Month” in response
to what he described as “the entire domestic violence industry masturbating to a
frenzy of trumped up stats and sadistically titillating lies” (Elam 2010). According
to him, women are bullies who exert power over men with an impunity that should
be violently stopped. Elam is a men’s rights activist and public ﬁgure whose ideas
represent the epitome of misogyny. He is not representative of all men, nor even of
all men involved in the men’s rights movement. However, his ideas have gained
purchase with some men and share something in common with a number of more
mainstream gender narratives: they turn patriarchy on its head, declaring women to
be the beneﬁciaries of unjust levels of social power. While more moderate men’s
rights activists distance themselves from the violence of Elam’s ideas, they still
embrace the concept that men are now (or have always been) the primary victims of
gender discrimination. Though this inversion of patriarchy does not accurately
describe current gender relations, such ideas appeal to many men who feel trapped
and frustrated by the demands patriarchy places on them; demands that have become
increasingly difﬁcult to meet in large part because of the massive economic changes
over the past 40–50 years (Kimmel 2013). Addressing these kinds of gender narratives when teaching is a necessary part of challenging common sense knowledge.
Having students decouple such narratives from the subjective experiences they
interpret can be useful both for engaging male students in learning about the sociology of gender, and for helping both male and female students understand the ideological underpinnings of narratives in general.
A.D. Jollymore (*)
Department of Sociology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA
© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016
K. Haltinner, R. Pilgeram (eds.), Teaching Gender and Sex
in Contemporary America, DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-30364-2_6
Perniciously Popular Gender Narratives
Gender scholars and feminist activists have noted a continuing backlash against
feminism (Chamallas 2011; Faludi 1991; Valdivia 2010), and observed that it is
commonly believed that the gender revolution was successful (even overly successful) and is over. This backlash has rallied around a general narrative that claims not
only did feminists achieve what they set out to, but they have in fact overreached in
ways that are currently victimizing men and boys. This narrative runs through the
men’s rights movement, which splintered off from the men’s liberation movement
of the 1970s (Messner 1998), and continues to attract new participants (Blake
2015). William Farrell, intellectual founder of the men’s rights movement, has
become a guru of kinds by authoring a series of books explaining the challenges
faced by men as stemming from the overzealousness of feminism, and the sexual
power that women use to manipulate and dominate men. Gender scholar Michael
Kimmel refers to Farrell’s 1993 bestseller (recently re-released in its 21st anniversary edition), The Myth of Male Power: Why Men Are the Disposable Sex, as the
“bible” to men who are concerned about being socially devalued and exploited
(Blake 2015). This kind of narrative is not exclusive to the men’s rights movement
and has found expression in deepening public concern over the higher relative academic success of girls over boys, as well as boys’ difﬁculties in forming emotional
bonds with one another, a situation popularly known as “the boy crisis” (Sommers
2000). Both of these formulations ﬁt into the larger narrative describing contemporary American society as a post-feminist society in which any legitimate goals of
feminism have been achieved, and further struggle is only an attempt on behalf of
women to gain (further) dominance over men.
Underlying these narratives lurks an ideology of essentialism, that men and
women are fundamentally and naturally different. Narratives such as the victimhood or disposability of men and the boy crisis are also premised on an inherent,
zero-sum conﬂict between men and women. According to these narratives, men are
socially devalued in the interest of, and to the advantage of women, and boys are
suffering in school because school structures, processes, and personnel favor girls.
In addition, this is understood as a result of vociferous campaigning by feminists for
unidirectional changes that help girls and ignore boys (Sommers 2000). Such formulations render the fundamental problem as the difference between genders, and
the solution implicitly becomes a choice between catering social institutions and
relations to the beneﬁt of men or women. These ideas rest on an ideology of essential sex difference, one that works to preserve and reproduce patriarchy.
Using Gender Narratives in Class
Arguing for the importance of narratives, Hayden White observes, “[r]eal events do
not offer themselves as stories” (1980, p. 8). Narratives lend coherence and cultural
meaning to events, situations and experiences; in other words, they do the
Make Us Whole!: Deconstructing Gender Narratives to Build Solidarity
ideological work of interpretation. Narratives are integral to social life itself, providing actors with both substance and form for shared meanings. For example, the
male victimhood narrative is one that begins with a sense of powerlessness and
anomie among men – the subjective experience – brought on by the rising dominance of women who subordinate and exploit men – the interpretive story.
Discussing popular narratives in the classroom can be challenging, but pedagogically effective. Narratives like male victimhood that underlay at least some
public rhetoric and debate around gender relations and inequality are certain to
inform many students’ reactions to class discussions on gender, particularly those
of male students. They create a backdrop of common sense knowledge of gender
that can be challenging to overcome. Precisely because of this, it can be extremely
useful to help students learn to recognize the component parts of narratives, so that
they can begin to critically assess the stories they hear and tell, while remaining
sensitive to the subjective experiences such stories interpret. Critically deconstructing male victimhood narratives aids students in identifying the roles of patriarchy
and hegemonic masculinity in organizing public understandings of gender issues
more speciﬁcally. And importantly, centering the discussion on male victimhood
narratives (rather than the “angry feminist” narratives that are their frequent counterpoint) allows male and female students to consider ways that patriarchy hurts
men without abandoning the concept of female subordination, or painting gender
inequality and conﬂict as a zero-sum game.
Kimmel’s (2013) book Angry White Men provides an excellent example of
decoupling subjective experiences from the narratives that describe them by identifying the aspects of hegemonic masculinity that shape and support narratives like
male victimhood. He acknowledges that the anger, frustration, and powerlessness
experienced by many men is real, though not for the reasons many of them imagine.
Like Messner (1998), he connects men’s suffering to masculine power, explaining
that it is largely the expectations and entitlements of patriarchy and masculinity,
combined with the rapidly deteriorating access to power and control experienced by
middle- and working-class men, that create the context of this suffering. As Kimmel
argues, “[i]f you deﬁne masculinity as about always being in control, then losing
control is a sign of damaged manhood, of a loss of manhood” (2013, p. 187). And
although the powerlessness experienced by many men has much to do with large
social forces like economic restructuring, women, who have gained increasing
(though by no means equal) access to social and economic power, are often scapegoated. According to Kimmel (2013), violence represents an act of restoration of
power and control within the context of patriarchy and masculinity. This is true of
violence towards women and acts of mass violence in schools and workplaces perpetrated exclusively by men. This powerlessness, combined with conformity to
hegemonic masculinity, can also be internalized, which is reﬂected by the higher
number of suicides committed by men, and the rise of male suicides during times of
economic crisis, particularly among groups of men who are normally least likely to
commit suicide (e.g. middle-class men with families whose social integration is
normally a preventative factor (Durkheim 1951)).
Engaging Male Students
Female students often enthusiastically enter into class discussions regarding gender.
They want to discuss their experiences as women, and often quickly grasp ideas that
help them make sense of those experiences. This is often not true of male students,
for three main reasons.
First, the pervasive gender narratives discussed above have convinced many men
(and more than a few women) that gender inequality is either over, or has tipped in
favor of women. Second, confronted with arguments regarding the persistence of
male power and privilege, many male students may feel either guilty or defensive,
and often both. This response is conditioned by common sense notions of discrimination and oppression as individualized and agentic, and the lack of understanding
of the impact of structure on social relations. Thus it is important and productive, as
noted by Berkowitz et al. (2010), to help students understand gender both as a social
construction, and as an element of social structure that helps organize the distribution of social goods, resources, and power.
Lastly, many male students simply do not consider gender issues to directly
involve them, interpreting “gender issues” as “women’s issues.” Of course, men’s
lives are as deeply shaped by gender as women’s lives. And while it is always
important to encourage students who occupy dominant social statuses to reﬂect on
ways that they receive unearned beneﬁts from those statuses, accompanying such
encouragement with reﬂections on ways that men’s lives are also constrained can
help engage male students and encourage them to build empathy and solidarity with
women. I take seriously here Marx’s observation that in a system of domination no
one is free. And in fact, many scholars have suggested that at least certain norms are
more relaxed for women than for men. So, possessing masculine qualities or exhibiting masculine behaviors is more accepted for women than feminine qualities are
for men. This has largely been understood as a reﬂection of the devaluation of
“feminine” qualities, and a higher valuation of “masculine” qualities. Regardless of
the reasons, men who do not meet norms of masculinity are often subjected to discipline from a number of sources, not infrequently violent discipline. For instance,
violence against men perceived as gay (itself a violation of masculinity, which is
partly deﬁned through robust and even aggressive heterosexuality) is far more common than violence against women perceived as lesbians (Federal Bureau of
Investigation 2000). And transgender women (individuals who feel improperly
assigned to the male gender, and now live part or all their lives as women) face
higher rates of violence – and more brutal violence – than any other
non-gender-conforming group (National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs
2014). Understanding gender roles as dichotomous can throw into clearer relief the
manner in which gender roles discipline women and men, and can potentially act as
a reference point for gender coalition in which the problems faced by men are connected directly to the problems faced by women.
It is important to engage male students in discussions regarding gender. On a
pedagogical level, it is imperative to give attention to presenting material in ways
that make it meaningful for multiple groups of students. But even more, if meaningful
Make Us Whole!: Deconstructing Gender Narratives to Build Solidarity
change to gendered roles and structures is to happen, it will have to involve the
combined efforts of women and men. Connell observes that because men still command most of the resources necessary for transforming gender structures, men and
boys are “signiﬁcant gatekeepers for gender equality” (2005, p. 1802). In order to
create the kind of true solidarity between men and women necessary to effect
change, boys and men must begin to see gender issues as issues that affect them,
too, but in a way that stresses the role of patriarchy in shaping those issues. As college campuses can be one of the least safe spaces in American society for women,
this is a precious and timely opportunity to have men think more carefully, systematically, and reﬂexively about gender.
Working Through Patriarchy as a Class
In the remainder of this chapter, I present an activity comprising several steps
designed to get students to (a) understand the dichotomous nature of constructed
masculinity and femininity; (b) connect those constructions to the power dynamics
of patriarchy; (c) identify ways that both men and women beneﬁt and suffer from
patriarchy (albeit not equally); and (d) deconstruct the narrative of male victimhood, replacing it with a new gender narrative that is sensitive to the previous analyses and reconceptualizes gender inequality as a shared (though not parallel)
To outline the dichotomous nature of gender constructions, I begin with a simple
brainstorming exercise in which students are asked to generate a list of adjectives or
characteristics that are associated with femininity and masculinity (these two concepts representing a normative fulﬁllment of gender roles). Students are often reluctant to begin, and may feel uncomfortable at the idea of offering up what generally
amounts to stereotypes. It is useful to remind students that they are not generating
their own private conception of gender traits, but attempting to draw on ideas that
commonly circulate in American culture. For instance, during this activity in one
introductory class, one male student ﬁnally broke the silence by saying, “the
B-word,” which incited a tumult of offended, accusatory, and somewhat gleeful
exclamations from the class. After reminding the class that the student was not
offering his own opinion of women, but rather taking a risk to help generate ideas,
and that we could learn about gender from discussing the others’ reactions, we had
a brief, but very productive discussion in which we identiﬁed that the “B-word” was
in fact a disciplinary word that was usually applied to women who had failed one or
another aspects of femininity. This helped us generate more terms, as we were able
to think about various reasons women are called bitches, and use those reasons to
suss out the underlying gender role expectations whose violation invokes such
Once a fairly sizable list for both masculinity and femininity has been generated,
I ask the students what they notice about the list. It never fails that the lists are
largely, though not exclusively, constructed of opposing qualities assigned to men
and women. In fact, the use of opposing qualities is often generative, so that after
yelling out “passive” for femininity, another student may call out “assertive” or
“aggressive” for masculinity. By emphasizing the dichotomous construction of
masculinity and femininity, we can help students begin to see how the wide range
of potential human attributes have been divided by gender, denying both women
and men the full range of human characteristics, a wholeness. Students also often
notice that generally women are discouraged from displaying power and men are
discouraged from displaying empathy and emotional connection/need. This can be
emphasized by asking students to categorize the terms that are up on the board, asking them which terms are connected to power or control (over self and/or others),
which terms are connected to fostering relationships, and asking them to generate
any other category that appears to them.
During this part of the discussion, I bring in the concept of patriarchy, explaining
it as a system of domination in which women are subordinated to men. I then ask
the students to consider how the traits listed on the board might support the notion
that our society is patriarchal. This can be connected to the discussion of power
versus relationality, but students can also be prompted to consider how each list
suggests an ideal set of roles, or place in society, for men and women. For instance,
“rational” and “aggressive” often appears on the masculine list, and “emotional”
and “caretaking” on the feminine list – students can connect these concepts to ideas
about what makes a good leader, or businessman, for example, versus what makes
a good mother or conﬁdante.
These steps are useful in separating cultural norms and ideal types from the
messy reality of the world. Most students will agree with the way terms are assigned,
even though they also acknowledge that those terms do not actually represent all, or
even most, women and men they know. Here students can be asked why they agree
on the terms that represent masculinity and femininity, even though their actual
experiences provide them with many counter examples, and they should be encouraged to think about how these norms are invoked and used. This draws out the
socially constructed nature of gender, creatively interpreted and performed by individual agents, and simultaneously reinforced through disciplining those that stray
from norms. For instance, many of them know some quiet and demure boys/men,
and assertive and conﬁdent girls/women, but also recognize that such people are
often recipients of gender-disciplining slander (e.g. demure boys being called
“fags,” assertive girls “bitches”). Here, the concept of discipline, and of disciplinary
norms, reinforces the discussion of power, as men who do not display power and
women who do are both socially chastised.
Next, I ask students to enter into small, same-gender groups to brainstorm a list
of advantages and disadvantages of their own gender status based on the preceding
list and discussion, but also drawing on their personal experiences and feelings.
This need only take about 5 min, after which answers are listed on the board (by
group representatives, if the class is small and there are few groups – otherwise the
instructor can compile the list by asking volunteers to read off their answers). Once
the lists are taken down and visible to the students, we spend some time examining
them as a class. I ask students to try to make connections between problems