author of blog, Sadaf Sajjad at a beachby Sadaf Sajjad, Adjunct Associate Professor, Psychology

There is some misconception among non-gender specialists about gender research topics. They have a greater tendency to assume that this study is all about women and their issues. This was my misconception too, until I got the privilege to join the Faculty Learning Community (FLC) for the year 2021-2022 and learned about some practical empirical gender practices and norms. 

This learning in FLC has impacted my cognitions in a manner that I started applying the gender lens to many aspects in my Human growth and Development class. I learned to establish a connection between gender research and societal effects on development, where we discuss what it means to be a man and woman in a society and how the norms look like for both. How we are influenced by the Justice, equity, and equality issues and how this all is related to human growth and development.

Human Growth and development is the study of physical, behavioral, cognitive, and emotional growth and change which take place in anyone throughout the Lifespan starting from conception till death. The classroom instructions for this course refers to the process of growth in the intellectual, physical, emotional, spiritual, and social phases of individuals and their human relations. Therefore, this area of study should not be an isolated special facet of education. The FLC experience has given me an approach to inspire critical thinking by challenging my students to integrate local and global gender studies aspects and to link theory and practice across the Life Span development. 

When we talk about gender development, we talk about variety of topics such as role of learning theories in developing gender stereotyping in society, nature vs nurture, cultural and environmental variations and its effect on the biological system, the effect of socioeconomic conditions of an individual and eating habits on the health of a pregnant women and maternal health in developing countries etc. All such topics which are the part of human growth and development can be seen with the lens of Global Gender Studies. FLC learning has helped me in preparing a talk on Gender Identity development in Children and role of Fairy tales for Global issues Speaker series in Austin Community College. 

Thank you FLC (2021-2022) for providing such an enriching learning environment.