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Monica  Taylor

Monica Taylor

Director of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies & Professor in the Department of Educational Foundations at Montclair State University

Monica Taylor

Director of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies & Professor in the Department of Educational Foundations at Montclair State University


Monica Taylor is the Director of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies, a professor in the Department of Educational Foundations, as well as in the Teacher Education and Teacher Development Ph.D. program at Montclair State University. She is the academic co-editor of The Educational Forum. She writes about feminist pedagogy, self-study, LGBTQ+ inclusive practices, teaching for social justice and teacher leadership.

Along with Emily J. Klein, Monica is co-author of Our Bodies Tell the Story: Using Feminist Research and Friendship to Reimagine Education and Our Lives (Myers Education Press, 2023). The book asks (and answers) a number of critical questions that are key to improving our educational system. How can we use our embodied stories to navigate and disrupt how schools and society reproduce the patriarchy and heteronormativity within our institutions of learning? How do we transgress oppressive boundaries (boundaries cultivated by the patriarchy that have been perpetuated at home, within school, outside of school, in university settings, and in communities) that permit our dehumanization and exclusion? As teachers, professors and teacher educators, how do we navigate our students’ trauma when we are navigating the re-ignition of our own?

Monica is also the author of Playhouse: Optimistic Stories of Real Hope for Families With Little Children, published by Garn Press in 2017, and A Year in the Life of a Third Space Urban Teacher Residency: Using Inquiry to Reinvent Teacher Education, published by Sense Publishers in 2015. She has edited Whole Language Teaching, Whole Hearted Practice: Looking Back, Looking Ahead, published by Peter Lang in 2007; Gender, Feminism and Queer Theory in the Self-Study of Teacher Education Practices, published by Sense Publishers in 2014; and The 2nd International Handbook of Self-Study of Teaching and Teacher Education Practices, published by Springer in 2020. She is co–principal investigator of the WIPRO Science Education Fellows grant that supports science teacher leaders in five districts in New Jersey.

Monica also serves on the board of Planned Parenthood of Metro New Jersey and volunteers as an advocate for asylum seekers and voter protection. Her commitments to fighting sexism, heteronormativity and racism manifest in all aspects of her life.

Speech Topics

Embracing Gender Equity, Gender Identity & Pronouns

Dr. Taylor gives participants practical information about gender equity and identity, sexual orientation and pronoun usage, as well as ways we ALL can be supportive teachers alongside our LGBTQ+ loved ones and community members.

How to Develop Sexual Agency

Dr. Taylor invites adolescents/college students to consider how to develop sexual agency, where they reject gendered and sexual scripts, and develop autonomy for sexual decisions. She also shares what it means to embrace being sex-positive: an attitude toward human sexuality where all consensual sexual activities, including LGBTQ+ activities, are considered healthy and pleasurable.

Combating Likability Bias at Work

In many cases, men who are assertive in the workplace are looked upon as great leaders. But women who are self-confident are viewed as pushy, mean or even unlikeable. These misperceptions hurt their careers. Add that to the many other challenges they face, and it is easy to see how tough it is for females to achieve success at work. In this talk, Dr. Taylor describes strategies for women to use in the workplace that lead to success and how to balance authority and likeability. She also offers guidance to organizations looking to make their workplaces more supportive of women in leadership.

Love of Self and Empowerment: Overcoming Unrealistic Body & Beauty Standards

Dr. Taylor raises awareness about the ways in which society objectifies and perpetuates negative stereotypes and discrimination toward women and those whose bodies do not adhere to today’s beauty standards. She shares how becoming your own biggest fan and accepting who you truly are leads to self-love and empowerment. She also gives you the tools to combat all the body and beauty shaming that is so rampant on social media and in today’s society.

How Teachers Can Address Trauma in Classrooms

It’s no secret that the last few years have been incredibly tough for students. The effects of the pandemic, an acute rise in mental illness and multiple school shootings are just a few of the issues these kids are dealing with every day. Many are traumatized. In this keynote, Dr. Taylor provides some ways for teachers to address trauma in the classroom, including relationship-building with teachers and students, bringing emotions into the classroom and finding ways to connect through empathy.

Promoting Gender Equity in Middle and High School Classrooms

Dr. Taylor gives insight into some of the challenges girls face in middle and high school classrooms around the need to be perfect, fear of making mistakes or failing and peer pressure She offers teaching strategies that encourage autonomy, independent meaning-making and authentic engagement for adolescent students.