Article

Putting Feminist Pedagogy to the Test: The Experience of Women's Studies from Student and Teacher Perspectives

Authors:
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.

Abstract

Critics of women's studies (WS) have charged that WS teaching overemphasizes students' personal experience and is overly politicized. They claim further that WS classes discourage critical, independent thinking and stifle open, participatory learning, causing student dissatisfaction. This study provides empirical evidence of the process of WS teaching from the perspective of 111 teachers and 789 of their students from 32 campuses in the United States. Contrary to WS critics, WS faculty and students reported strong emphases on critical thinking/open-mindedness and participatory learning and relatively weaker emphases on personal experience and political understanding/activism. In addition, student ratings of positive class impact were higher for WS than non-WS classes. The results support the pedagogic distinctiveness of women's studies.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the authors.

... Dialogue is valued for facilitating insights and consciousness about the influences of social structures on well-being and for inspiring social change. So co-learning, as engagement, is contingent on the facilitator enabling a social environment that encourages maximum participation and participant-centred outcomes (Freire, 1970;Stake & Hoffman, 2000). Thus, community learning is relevant to all participants concerns; affirms personal experience as a source of knowledge; encourages critical reflections about the influences of social structures on everyday life; incorporates multi-modal learning strategies to maximise participation (Bhawuk & Brislin, 2000); and is sensitive to language as a medium of communication . ...
... The social relevance of the course was illustrated by respondent #5 who said, "I see so many young mothers in our community who don't immunise their kids because they just don't care or they don't know the importance maybe ... now I feel empowered to confidently warn them of the consequences because of the education I have received here". Congruent with previous studies (Stake & Hoffman, 2000;Tett, 2006), course relevance seemed to have been enabled by linking the aims and objectives to participants' needs and priorities. Despite the reported relevance, participants also reported that some of the modules were too lengthy and detailed, requiring high-levels of concentration during sessions. ...
... So talking about our experiences helped us to get to know each other and accommodate each other". The sentiments of participant #11 suggest that the learning environment can also serve as a space for building interpersonal relationships, consistent with prior studies (see St. Germaine-Small et al., 2012;Stake & Hoffman, 2000). ...
Article
Full-text available
We report on the experiences of participants on a course which represented a pathway to community engagement. The 76 participants (20 males, 46 females), from two low-income South African communities, were part of a multi-lingual group representing English, Africans, isiZulu and Sesotho. Data were obtained from several participant group conversations. Data, analysed by thematic content analysis, showed that the engagement process during the course may have been influenced by perceived social relevance and beneficence of the course content, affirmation of situated knowledge and life experiences, the opportunities for maximum participation, and the language adopted for communication. The participants' tendency to dichotomise theory and practice seemed to have influenced receptivity to reflective components of the course. This analysis points calls for systematic studies on the value of community centred learning as engagement.
... Education also plays an important role in communicating gender expectations. In recent years, the interest in the link between higher education and students " feelings on gender equality has strengthened (Sharp, Miner, Bermudez, & Walker, 2008; Stake & Hoffmann, 2000; Thomsen, Basu, & Reinitz, 1995; Coates & Dodds, 1998). Courses founded on feminist ideologies emphasize participation as a form of learning, because the students are encouraged to express their opinions and share their experiences with the class as a form of learning. ...
... Courses founded on feminist ideologies emphasize participation as a form of learning, because the students are encouraged to express their opinions and share their experiences with the class as a form of learning. Classes of this nature also emphasize critical thinking skills and an open-minded approach in order for students to successfully learn the material and students are encouraged students to develop a political stance on the subject of equality and activism (Stake & Hoffmann, 2000). Some students experience a more difficult time than others as they come to terms with concepts that contradict what patriarchal society teaches. ...
... This provides validity to the practice of teaching feminist theory. Many studies show an increase in feminist beliefs as a result of feminist oriented classes (Bulbeck, 2001, Stake & Hoffmann, 2000 Thomsen et. al., 1995;), and the results of the current research are no different as they demonstrate the influence of classroom teaching and (wo)mentoring on young women. ...
... On an individual level, research indicates that college students taking WGS courses perceived an enhanced level of personal agency and social awareness compared to a control group of non-WGS students [26]. Additionally, when compared to non-WGS courses, research has shown a stronger positive correlation between WGS classes and students' reports that the class benefited their lives [60]. These findings demonstrate that participation in a WGS course is a positive experience overall for students [58]. ...
... As WGS courses and curriculum addressing gender and other social inequalities are an influential presence on college campuses around the world, it is important to continue exploring how students respond to such coursework and curriculum. The findings are consistent with other studies highlighting the positive outcomes and experiences that students of all genders typically associate with WGS [12,57,60]. This study, however, is unique in that it provides a picture of how men can experience the WGS classroom and the multifaceted ways that they navigate and grapple with their own gendered perspectives. ...
... In a related vein, this study also demonstrates how WGS courses foster an environment in which students can grapple with difficult social issues possibly for the first time [60]. The role of WGS courses is particularly important to continue studying in light of recent activism on US college campuses around issues of inequality, especially gender and race [10]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Certain types of masculinity undergird gender inequality, but different contexts may encourage individuals to conceptualize gender in new and unique ways. Women’s and Gender Studies (WGS) university courses support this for women, but less is known about men’s experiences. Through an analysis of interview data from 15 men who have taken WGS courses, we ask: What do men experience in the WGS classroom and how do men perceive that their experiences in WGS courses shape their conceptualizations of gender and gender relations? Men described developing their understandings of gender inequality after taking a WGS course and they applied this knowledge beyond the classroom. We address the different ways men negotiate gendered classroom dynamics, with some men articulating that their gender provided a unique position from which to participate and others reporting more discomfort. We discuss the findings’ implications regarding men disrupting or perpetuating hegemonic understandings of masculinity within educational contexts.
... It has been argued that feminism can serve as a " life raft " for women negotiating sexism (Klonis, Endo, Crosby, & Worell, 1997) and as a powerful explanatory framework for painful personal experiences of exclusion and marginality (Stewart, 1994). A central goal of the women's movement is the development of gender consciousness (HendersonKing & Stewart, 1999), and women's studies curricula in particular emphasize critical thinking skills (Stake & Hoffmann, 2000 ). Thus, feminists have the skills to recognize the ways in which mainstream media objectifies women's bodies and frequently critique these institutions and their harmful effects (e.g., Kilbourne, 1994). ...
Article
There are strong social pressures for U.S. females, particularly those of European heritage, to achieve and maintain an extremely low body weight. These pressures are reflected in a variety of media sources, including advertising. We argue that valuing thinness, exposure to thinness-depicting media, and lacking skepticism about tobacco advertisements have adverse effects on young women's decisions about smoking, particularly smoking for weight control. We tested these hypotheses in a study of 188 female undergraduates, both never-smokers and daily smokers. Believing that smoking controls weight, exposure to thinness-depicting media, and low levels of skepticism about tobacco advertising were associated with being a smoker. Among smokers, believing that smoking controls weight, internalizing thinness pressures, and low levels of feminist consciousness were associated with smoking for weight control. Results are discussed with the aim of encouraging public health anti-smoking campaigns targeted at women, and smoking cessation programs that are responsive to the needs of weight-concerned female smokers.
... Her research interests include gender issues in self-concept and achievement, the link between gender roles and wellbeing, interventions for the empowerment of women, and sexual ethics in psychotherapy. She is currently investigating the effects of feminist pedagogy and course content on student attitudes and activist behaviors in a national study of 32 women's studies programs (see Stake & Hoffmann, 2000 both developmental and social psychological perspectives to her research on gender and family relationships. Although her major focus is on middle-aged women and their aging mothers, she has published on family care-giving, the &vision of household labor, gender and power in close relationships, feminist pedagogy, and the place of feminism in the study of families. ...
... (BN 2.29) And, "I feel that the world has trapped me inside patriarchy and I have no conscious choice to participate so I must even though I have mixed feelings about it" (BN 2.62). Stake and Hoffmann (2000) noted that facilitators in the classroom should be "guiding students to understand connections between the course material and the political social context within which it is embedded" (p. 31). ...
Article
College students have been socialized within a patriarchal, male dominated system and have accumulated many life experiences prior to arriving on campus. These experiences could present challenges in communication, may limit the students' ability to develop intimate and meaningful relationships with others, and create struggles during and after college, personally and professionally, for students, their peers and community. This descriptive, embedded, multiple-case study was conducted to explore the effect a half-semester course titled Gender Justice has on male college students' perceptions, beliefs, and actions regarding gender role assignments and their ability to be social justice allies of women. The course provided students the opportunity to critically analyze what they believe about gender roles, how these beliefs support or limit interpersonal relationships, and how future relationships might be affected. Interviews were conducted with students enrolled in the course and after successfully completing the course. Students' course assignments were analyzed along with information from interviews with course facilitators to determine how the course affected students. Findings indicate that students can develop an awareness of social injustice, an understanding of inequity, and the skills to become social justice allies of women. Barriers remain that discourage these ally actions in covert and overt ways. The cost and consequence of being a social justice ally of women may be personally too great. However, the participants in this study did gain an understanding of the costs and consequences of acknowledging new awareness and responding in ways to support equity and social justice.
... Strategies for improving student performance were related to the type of instruction provided and strategy used. For example bias free instruction, peer support, cooperative group work, creating learning environment that encourage self-responsibility, and autonomy described in this synthesis, included five subsets of findings: participants' desire for bias free instruction and less prejudice in classroom assignment; 17-20 peer support and an emphasis on critical thinking to support females who were in single gender schools; [21][22] how group work improves student cooperation and learning outcomes; [23][24][25] environments that encourage student responsibility and for their learning and growth; [26][27] and the role of self-selection and self-management in improving student performance. [28][29] Findings in this category indicated that learning experiences, which stress student ownership, opportunities for reflection, and their application of concepts tend to promote better outcomes. ...
Article
Full-text available
Emancipatory research challenges conventional ways in which knowledge is constructed within educational research. Using the Johanna Briggs methods, the authors conducted a systematic critical appraisal of the 45 quantitative emancipatory research articles published between 2000 and 2011 and provide a synthesis of findings. Type of studies, participants, and outcomes measure served as criteria for considering studies. As the results shown, 125 key findings were assigned into 26 groups, 12 thematic categories, five overarching descriptions: agency in community health; instruction practice and student engagement; learning experience impacts student performance; participation, student characteristic and programmatic opportunity; and university support, international education, evaluation, and professor specialization. The findings suggested that: systematic appraisal practice could be used for other syntheses; teaching emancipatory research methods in graduate school is important; course design, teacher program preparation, and teaching activities should closely represent societal needs, social culture, and demonstrate an awareness of students' voice and cultural backgrounds.
... A common, yet seldom explored assumption throughout feminist discourse is that alternative pedagogies help students overcome avoidance, denial and resentment towards critical analysis (Allsup, 1995;Elliot, 1995). With the exception of a few scholars, however, few academics have studied whether feminist pedagogy can overcome student resistance (see Stake & Rose, 1994;Stake & Hoffman, 2000). ...
Article
Full-text available
Scholarship on feminist pedagogy suggests that challenges to traditional forms of knowledge help university students overcome resistance to discussions about oppression. Because students assume that ‘truth’ is objective, they are unwilling to consider alternative voices from the ‘margins’. This paper theoretically argues and empirically examines whether feminist pedagogy expands students' morally dichotomous frameworks and, thus, decreases students' avoidance, denial, and resentment towards critical analysis. I showed students in three Women, Gender and Society classes videos I created that depicted a lecturer and three students negotiating gendered‐conflict in the classroom. My goal was to see if exposure to feminist pedagogy throughout the semester reduced the likelihood that students used morally, dichotomous frameworks to resist engaging in analysis about oppression, inequality and difference.
... Students might also vary on how comfortable they are when such information is shared in the classroom, or on whether they believe it is conducive to educational advancement. Some students and observers have even accused college faculty of pushing political agendas in the classroom (Losco & DeOllos, 2007;Stake & Hoffmann, 2000), a charge that could lead to further trepidation among instructors. Given the nature of the topic of family, opportunities to openly discuss varying political and otherwise controversial perspectives could be beneficial to students. ...
Article
Instructors have many opportunities to disclose personal opinions on politics and controversial issues related to families and to share personal information about their own relationship circumstances. The current study investigates student preferences regarding these types of disclosure in the classroom. Student major and political ideology helped distinguish students with certain preferences. Overall, students from Family and Child majors, as well as more conservative students, desired less instructor self-disclosure (especially regarding political opinions) and reported more negative perceived consequences of instructor self-disclosure. A content analysis of the reasons students gave for their preferences highlighted the importance of relevant, positive, and balanced self-disclosure. Implications for pedagogy and future research are discussed. Link to article: http://www.familyscienceassociation.org/sites/default/files/4%20-%20Hall%20%20and%20Mitchell%202014%2019%281%29.pdf
... In one empirical study nursing students' perceived level of empowerment in a nursing course utilizing feminist pedagogy increased over the duration of the course, as evidenced by empowerment scores (Falk-Rafael, Chinn, Anderson, Laschinger, & Rubotzky, 2004). Stake and Hoffmann (2000) found that both students and faculty reported increased levels of open-mindedness. ...
Article
The healthcare system is dynamic and complex and requires innovative problem-solving to address inherent challenges and incorporate new knowledge and technology that may impact care. Nurses, as healthcare providers, need to be creative problem-solvers; hence nursing faculty must provide students with a foundation for problem-solving skills during their formative academic years. These skills may be enhanced through pedagogies that foster active learning supported by classroom participation. Feminist pedagogy reforms the faculty/student relationship and empowers students to be active participants in learning. The purpose of this study situated in feminist pedagogy was to determine factors that influence classroom participation of junior-and senior-level nursing students enrolled in pre-licensure baccalaureate of science programs in the New England region. A quantitative, non-experimental, comparative, survey research design utilizing the College and University Classroom Environment Inventory (CUCEI) and Assessment of Classroom Participation Scale (ACPS) were distributed on-line to junior-and senior-level nursing students enrolled in pre-licensure nursing programs accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges in the New England region from September 29, 2014 to November 10, 2014. Two hundred and seventy-four nursing students participated. Descriptive analysis was executed to analyze demographic data and responses to the CUCEI survey. Independent t-tests were utilized to determine a statistically significant difference between demographic groups and responses to the CUCEI survey. Pearson correlation was used to determine a relationship between scores on the ACPS and CUCEI. No statistically significant (p <.001) relationship between factors that influence classroom participation as measured by the CUCEI and reported classroom participation as measured by the ACPS for this sample of students was found. However, there were significant differences between subscales on the CUCEI. Classroom participation was reported to increase when faculty were personal and equitable with students. Classrooms that support cooperation and cohesion amongst students were reported to increase participation. Innovation teaching strategies and individualization allowing shared governance in the classroom were reported to decrease classroom participation. These results may provide insight for nursing faculty to incorporate behaviors in the classroom that engage students in learning and have implications for policy and future research.
... I see this as a shared pedagogical principle between these trainers that shows some parallel with feminist pedagogy. Research on feminist pedagogy emerges mainly from the educational field, and although this literature is diverse, there are some key unifying features ( Hoffmann and Stake 1998;Manicom 1992;Crabtree and Sapp 2003;Stake and Hoffmann 2000). Manicom (1992: 365) describes feminist peda- gogy as a specific orientation to knowledge: "the standpoint of a feminist teacher is political: to develop feminist analyses that inform/reform teachers' and students' ways of acting in and on the world. ...
Article
This paper explores the application of intersectionality in gender+ training. I present findings from research on the translation and transfer of feminist and gender knowledges, drawing from in-depth interviews with gender trainers working in Europe and internationally across private, public and civil society contexts. I outline the use of intersectionality by trainers as a theoretical, analytical and methodological paradigm. These equality actors call for historicization, a recouping of the genealogy of intersectionality and increased attention to the interrelation of systems of power and oppression over time. I apply an emic approach to intersectionality in training scenarios. This is grounded in responsiveness to workshop participants and is supported through affective connection and participatory learning. Dialogue between intersectional subject positions, including that of the trainer, is key to processes of knowledge exchange, reflexivity and social change. Finally, I consider the implications of these insights for engaged pedagogy and transformation oriented praxis.
Article
Full-text available
Predictors of change in feminist activism were studied in a group of 519 women and 143 men enrolled in 48 women’s and gender studies (WGS) classes on six college campuses in a large Midwestern urban area. Over the semester-long classes, students increased their feminist activist behaviors and intention to engage in future activism. Although women had greater activist behaviors and intentions than men, increases were similar for women and men across time. African American and Euro American students increased to a similar extent and more so than Asian American students. Predictors of change included student initial gender attitudes, changes in attitudes over time, and feelings of empowerment gained from the class. Feelings of distress and anger were unrelated to activism. Both awareness of sexism and gender egalitarianism were predictive of changes in activist intentions, whereas only awareness of sexism predicted changes in activist behaviors. Empowerment mediated the relation between attitudes and activism. Pedagogical and methodological implications are discussed.
Article
Full-text available
Previous research provides evidence that women's and gender studies (WGS) classes are successful in helping students to develop more egalitarian gender role attitudes, appreciation and acceptance of diversity, awareness of sexism and other social inequities, and agentic self-confidence in both women and men. The mechanisms by which these changes take place were the focus of this study. WGS students (n = 328) from 23 classes on four college campuses participated. Results indicated that (a) student readiness (positive WGS class expectations and capacity for positive interpersonal relationships) predicted the development of alliances with teachers and cohesion with classmates, (b) alliance and cohesion were associated with changes toward more egalitarian attitudes, (c) cohesion was associated with increases in confidence, and (d) links between student readiness and change were mediated by alliance and cohesion developed within the WGS classroom.
Article
This study surveyed 188 music therapy educators regarding their views and use of feminist pedagogy and feminist music therapy. The purpose of this study was two-fold: (a) to determine how many music therapy educators used feminist pedagogy and (b) to determine if there was a relationship between the use of feminist pedagogy and academic rank of the participants. Seventy-two participants responded to this study, with 69 participants included for data analysis. Stake and Hoffman's (2000) feminist pedagogy survey was adapted for this study, examining four subscales of feminist pedagogy: (a) participatory learning, (b) validation of personal experience/development of confidence, (c) political/social activism, and (d) critical thinking/open-mindedness. The results revealed that 46% (n = 32) of participants identified as feminist music therapists and 67% (n = 46) of participants identified as using feminist pedagogy. Results of a mixed analysis of variance revealed a statistically significant difference within the four survey subscales (p < .0001), no significant difference (p = .32) for academic rank, and no significant interaction (p = .08) of academic rank and the four survey subscales. Tukey's post hoc analysis of the data indicated that the survey subscale measuring political activism (p < .0001) was significantly lower than the other three survey subscales. In addition, a qualitative analysis on open-ended responses is also included. Discussion of the results, limitations, and areas for future research are addressed.
Article
"Feminist education—the feminist classroom—is and should be a place where there is a sense of struggle, where there is visible acknowledgment of the union of theory and practice, where we work together as teachers and students to overcome the estrangement and alienation that have become so much the norm in the contemporary university." The decade-long debate about the value of distance education (DE)—specifically online teaching—may become a moot one. The Chronicle of Higher Education recently reported on a 2004 study, revealing that, "By the end of 2005, Eduventures expects more than 1.2 million students to be taking such courses, making up about 7 percent of the 17 million students enrolled at degree-granting institutions" (Carnevale, "Online"). An even more recent study by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation reports that 89 percent of the over one thousand responding institutions offer face-to-face (F2F) instruction; 55 percent of them offer online courses (Allen and Seaman 5). Overall online enrollment increased from 1.98 million students in 2003 to 2.35 million in 2004 (Allan and Seaman 4). With numbers of such magnitude, it's hard to ignore the fact that online teaching is becoming a reality for more and more instructors at institutions traditionally offering face-to-face instruction. In times of budget crises and calls for efficiency and expansion into new student populations, discussions of online teaching are no longer just for the pioneers in the medium, new faculty pressured into teaching DE, or the cyber-savvy. The chances are high that more and more of us across rank, discipline, campus type, and level of technical ability will venture into the virtual classroom. As these chances increase, so do the objections about online classes: they exploit already overwhelmed faculty and adjunct instructors; they encourage a consumer model of education, with their accompanying marketing as "flexible" and "convenient"; the increased amount of reading and writing leads to instructor burnout; they are merely correspondence courses masquerading as intellectually rigorous, college-level education; online students are disengaged and even more "estranged and alienated" than hooks's on-campus students; the courses lack the sense of community made possible by face-to-face classrooms; etc. Many of these critiques, however, are not borne out by research. For example, the Sloan Foundation study reveals that at 74 percent of public colleges, online courses are taught by core faculty, as opposed to only 61 percent for their face-to-face courses—indicating that it is permanent, not temporary, instructors who are taking up the work of online teaching. Additionally, one of the criteria for engagement in the National Survey for Student Engagement is the amount of reading and writing students do for their courses—a gauge of engagement supported by the students' reflections on their courses in Richard J. Light's Making the Most of College. Many online classes by nature require plenty of both, in addition to the reading and writing assignments shared with their face-to-face counterparts. Given the growth in online education and the range of courses now being offered in computer-mediated environments, it is our contention as feminist teacher-scholars that the translation of feminist pedagogy to these educational venues is critical. If we don't clearly, publicly, and repeatedly define feminist pedagogy1 and discuss its benefits beyond current practitioners, many of our advances will either be limited to those already doing the work or credited to advocates of the more generic modes of active learning. In these circumstances, feminist pedagogy will remain a concept understood only by feminist educators, misunderstood by our colleagues, and invisible to our students. Furthermore, failing to outline the many ways feminist pedagogy is applicable to online environments will ensure that myths and misconceptions about online teaching flourish and that only the worst versions of online pedagogy persist. We argue here that feminist pedagogy isn't just applicable to many different disciplines; it's also applicable to nontraditional learning environments. We are particularly interested in how online environments can become sites of feminist pedagogy. Informing our recommendations on feminist pedagogy in the online setting are our combined experiences in teaching English and women's studies courses...
Article
Full-text available
Research examining the impact of women's studies courses provides evidence of student changes such as greater agreement with feminist and egalitarian attitudes, lower prejudice against women, and increased activism. Using a pre- and posttest design, the current studies assess students' awareness of male privilege, prejudice against women, support for affirmative action, and identification as feminist following courses with and without gender content. In Study 1, students taking a course entitled Psychology of Race and Gender completed identical surveys during the first and last weeks of the semester. Study 2 included students in Psychology of Women, Introduction to Women's Studies, and courses not addressing gender. Participants in diversity and women's studies courses in both studies exhibited more male privilege awareness and support for affirmative action at the end of the semester compared to pretest. However, the change in women's studies students' support for affirmative action and sexism levels was not significantly different from students in comparison courses. Women's studies students completed their courses with greater self-identification with feminism in contrast to non–women's studies students.
Article
The purpose of this study was to explore women students’ experiences and reactions to a core Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) class cross-listed with Women’s Studies (WS). Using 6 focus groups with 22 women, we found that the course increased awareness of gender (Theme A) but was limited partially because of patriarchical beliefs, evidenced by acceptance of sexism (Theme B) and men as central (Theme C). The beliefs were manifested in how students interacted with course material, which was predominately through rejection of the course (Theme D). Using skill theory framework, we explain our findings through the interplay of the environment and students’ cognitive skills. Implications for HDFS/Women’s Studies cross-listed courses are discussed.
Article
This article describes experiences in an Irish context of education programs delivered in 2 communities, 1 based on class (a working class urban community) and 1 based on sexual orientation (an urban lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community). It aims to illustrate how feminist education can play an important role in feminist community psychology. Principles and practices of feminist education, or feminist pedagogy, have a great deal in common with feminist community psychology, but have been most often practiced in academic rather than in community settings. Feminist education in community settings provides a participatory and dialogical context in which knowledge can be cocreated from the bottom up. It allows for the exploration of diversity and the development of a political analysis that can further involvement in change at a number of different levels. Research on the feminist education programs described here indicates that participants were more likely to make changes in their lives, to obtain employment and/or further education, and to be more involved in community and other forms of action for change. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Article
Full-text available
Where can a graduate student interested in a specialty track in the psychology of women apply for internship? Until recently, there was no American Psychological Association (APA)-approved internship site in the United States offering such an experience. In addition to the generalist training that typifies APA internships, the internship year also presents an opportunity for specialization. If internship sites are to produce psychologists well equipped to address women's unique mental health needs, then it is vital to create opportunities for trainees to specialize in the psychology of women while on internship. This article describes the development of a Psychology of Women Track as part of a predoctoral internship program, including the context of the track, the specific training experiences included in the track, and a conceptual model of psychology of women training that can be used at other internship sites. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
This article presents the importance of feminist pedagogy in undergraduate psychology education and proposes the premise that men doing feminist work can be effective allies when they acknowledge their privilege, are actively self-reflective, confront a tendency to conform to masculine norms, and are active in their pursuits of social justice. The article then summarizes four major themes in feminist pedagogy as they apply to undergraduate education. In addition, examples of course scenarios and anecdotes from students are provided to assist in demonstrating some of the attempts the primary author has made to incorporate feminism in his work as an instructor. These initial educational steps are argued to provide a baseline for future endeavors in feminist thought and application.
Article
The aim of this study is to evaluate the extent to which negotiated pedagogy as a decolonised pedagogy that calls for more social forms of learning is capable of enabling students to acquire skills for future practice in Nigeria. The curriculum of architectural education in Nigeria has been predicated on the British and American pedagogic learning models. These models do not reflect the diverse cultural practices and rarely enable students to acquire and develop capabilities to self-initiate projects and create jobs without waiting for commissions. The study utilised critical review of existing literature to expose the weaknesses of the current studio models in enabling students and future architects to acquire skills for future practice. The paper employed interview and case study to examine how negotiated pedagogies at the margins are opening up new ways of engaging in practice. The findings reveal that negotiated pedagogy challenges the orthodoxy of existing studio models by empowering today’s graduating architecture students to develop a critical voice to question how their learning is equipping them for practice. By negotiating and integrating multiple approaches to learning and producing architecture, the line between education and practice, architects and users, educators and students and real and imagined is redrawn.
Article
Full-text available
Women's and gender studies (WGS) classes and programmes have been developed on many university and college campuses around the world. Despite some success in the establishment of WGS in higher education, WGS has been the target of significant criticism. Detractors of WGS have charged that WGS is intellectually frivolous and that WGS teachers focus excessively on students' personal thoughts and experiences, are intolerant of differing opinions, present a narrow political ideology and, in many cases, cause distress to students. In contrast, WGS pedagogists have emphasized the importance of allowing students to express their thoughts and opinions and of developing open‐mindedness and scholarly, critical thinking. Further, they have asserted that WGS courses promote important educational goals, including increased awareness of sexism and other social inequities, more egalitarian attitudes toward women and other traditionally oppressed groups, and active community involvement to promote social equality. This review considers the empirical evidence for these competing opinions of the value and impact of WGS.
Article
We report on the experiences of participants on a course which represented a pathway to community engagement. The 76 participants (20 males, 46 females), from two low-income South African communities, were part of a multi-lingual group representing English, Africans, isiZulu and Sesotho. Data were obtained from several participant group conversations. Data, analysed by thematic content analysis, showed that the engagement process during the course may have been influenced by perceived social relevance and beneficence of the course content, affirmation of situated knowledge and life experiences, the opportunities for maximum participation, and the language adopted for communication. The participants’ tendency to dichotomise theory and practice seemed to have influenced receptivity to reflective components of the course. This analysis points calls for systematic studies on the value of community centred learning as engagement.
Article
Full-text available
Goals of higher education have included the development of understanding and acceptance of diverse groups, commitment to working for social justice, and personal confidence. The effectiveness of women’s studies (WS) and non-women’s studies (NWS) classes in bringing about these student outcomes was assessed on 32 college campuses; 548 WS and 241 NWS students participated. Both repeated (pretest, posttest, and follow-up) and subjective change measures indicated that WS students increased more than NWS students in egalitarian attitudes toward women and other stigmatized groups, awareness of sexism and other forms of discrimination, activism for social causes, and intention to engage in social activism. Teachers’ pedagogical practices, as assessed by students, related to student outcomes but accounted for only a small portion of the difference between WS and NWS classes. Implications for higher education are considered.
Article
Courses in women’s studies and gender studies within US contexts have long prioritized content that critically examines the social construction of bodies and sexualities, consciousness-raising about how social identities interface with disciplinary and institutional practices, and the notion that ‘the personal is political.’ This article examines the social and pedagogical implications of an extra-credit assignment where I asked women to grow out their body hair and men to remove their body hair for 10 weeks in several upper-division women’s studies courses. Students’ response papers and weekly logs from 87 students over four semesters highlighted the social policing of gender and sexual identity, pervasive disgust and misinformation about body hair, raced and classed dimensions of students’ experiences, configurations of masculinity as agentic and powerful, and postexperiential reflections on challenging social norms. This assignment showed how temporary excursions into rebelling against body norms can generate sociopolitical awareness, particularly for living as Other (e.g. queerness, fatness, disability). I also consider implications for ‘ripple effect pedagogy’ and ‘peer generated pedagogy,’ along with pedagogical reflections about using the assignment as a consciousness-raising tool in feminist classrooms.
Article
Feminist and liberation psychologies have emerged in contexts of marginalization and oppression and have developed in diverse, and sometimes synergistic, ways. I identify key themes for fostering critical consciousness and political action that arise from the intersections of feminist and liberation psychology. These themes include the need for more complex and diverse understandings of the personal and the political and of the connections between the two. These themes form the basis for a three-component model for courses and workshops that were delivered in communities in Ireland over a 5-year period. Questionnaires completed at the end of the courses and workshops indicated that participants benefited from a clear structural analysis, from making links between the personal and the political, and from exploring political action as a cyclical or developmental process. Political action is also seen as relational, that is, as involving interpersonal processes such as support, solidarity, and engagement with diversity in groups and communities.
Article
This article explores the use of feminist pedagogy in higher education and considers how educators in the field of creative arts therapies (CATs) can incorporate this theory. It outlines the emergence of feminist pedagogy as a response to the lack of equity in higher education and explores feminist pedagogy's evolution as part of the grassroots women's movement to promote social change for oppressed groups, as well as the pedagogical shift towards education for the emancipation of oppressed people. Drawing on literature from the creative arts therapies regarding gender issues, race, and social change, this article offers theory about how creative arts therapies can incorporate feminist pedagogy as a foundation for their teaching in higher education. This suggestion has wide implications for revising curriculum and content; teaching strategies; de-programming the pedagogical banking system; and advocating for social change.
Article
The aim of the current study was to investigate the roles of beliefs about beating, traditional gender myth endorsement, ambivalent sexism, and perceived partner violence in determining an individual's own reported violence toward his or her partner. The sample consisted of 205 (117 women; 88 men) Turkish and Turkish Cypriot undergraduate students, aged between 16 and 29 years. Participants completed measures of beliefs about beating, traditional gender myth endorsement, and ambivalent sexism and rated the extent to which they experienced abusive behaviors from their partner as well as the extent to which they were themselves abusive to their partners. Results showed that positive beliefs about beating, endorsing traditional gender myths, and experiencing partner abuse were all predictive of self-reported abuse to one's partner. Furthermore, the relationship between myth endorsement and self-abusive behavior was mediated by beliefs toward beating-only in men. Results are discussed in light of the traditional gender system evident in Turkish societal makeup. © The Author(s) 2015.
Article
Full-text available
This article presents a case study analyzing the relationship between the Socratic method and feminist pedagogy in a team-taught undergraduate classroom in the United States. Specifically, we analyze the feedback provided by our students to determine the ways in which the Socratic method conflicted with, but also complemented, feminist pedagogy. Data were collected through two online surveys and an in-class open-ended response. The results suggest that the Socratic method is compatible with feminist pedagogy as it improved critical thinking and consideration of diverse points of view. On the other hand, the results suggest that students felt discomfort when analyzing and discussing their own views, as opposed to the views of others. This discomfort potentially undermines the benefits of a feminist pedagogical approach to classroom discussion. We suggest several ways to improve compatibility of these techniques in undergraduate courses and suggest avenues for future research to better understand the relationship between these pedagogical approaches.
Chapter
When I teach a course called “Gender, Bodies, and Health,” designed to explore topics that include everything from pregnancy and domestic violence to orgasm and food politics, nothing provokes more disgust, hostility, and discomfort than the week on menstruation. Male students have left the class on the first day when I merely mention that we will study menstruation in the second week; women often gaze uncomfort- ably down at the syllabus and have later characterized menstruation as a topic they do not discuss. Certainly, the panics that surround men- struation have long rendered the menstruating body shameful, taboo, silent, and even pathological. From the historic separation of women’s menstruating bodies into “menstrual huts” (Guterman, Mehta, and Gibbs 2008) to the pervasive insistence upon the (pre)menstruating body as disordered (for example, PMDD, accusations of women “on the rag” when they express anger, etc.), women have had to confront their internalized body shame and cultural expectations for the absence of menstruation for some time.
Chapter
In a very literal sense, since its inception, the interdisciplinary field of Women’s Studies had to “make room”1 for itself and its students “within” the academy. It has for decades been creating, contesting, resisting, and celebrating its various spatial contexts including, though by no means limited to, disciplinary, institutional, conceptual, aesthetic, political, and pedagogic. In carving out spaces of feminist knowledges, practices, and pedagogies within the academy, it has been challenging the history of women’s exclusion from the “formal” knowledge-making arena while simultaneously contesting the terms of knowledge construction and legitimization (Macdona, 2001).
Article
Feminist beliefs have been identified as a potential protective factor in the relationship between media awareness and thin-ideal internalization; however, the precise reason why feminist beliefs serve this role is unclear. A series of three studies examined the reasons why feminist beliefs may be protective in non-student samples, considering as possible explanations open-minded thinking, critical thinking, and media attitudes and literacy. Study 1 showed that the moderating role of feminist beliefs on the relationship between media awareness and thin-ideal internalization held in a non-undergraduate sample. Study 2 found that feminist beliefs and self-identifying as a feminist were related to open-minded thinking, critical thinking, and media attitudes and literacy. Study 3 found that most of these constructs did not serve the same moderating role as feminist beliefs. However, a complex relationship emerged when both feminist self-identification and media attitudes and literacy were considered simultaneously as moderators, adding to the literature emphasizing that self-identifying as a feminist has a protective role over and above that of merely holding feminist beliefs. These results suggest that feminist beliefs may be a unique combination of these constructs or that there may be yet a different reason why feminist beliefs are protective against thin-ideal internalization.
Article
Full-text available
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Texas Tech University, 2002. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 138-149).
Article
Full-text available
The impact of women's studies courses on students' feminist activism and related behaviors was assessed through quantitative and qualitative methods. At pretesting, women's studies students (10 classes: 161 women and 18 men) did not report significantly more activism than nonwomen's studies students taught by women's studies faculty (9 classes: 73 women and 48 men) or nonwomen's studies students taught by nonwomen's studies faculty (12 classes: 107 women and 47 men). At posttesting, women's studies students, relative to the comparison students, reported more activism during the semester of evaluation, stronger intentions to engage in future feminist activism, and more important and more positive course-related influences on their personal lives (p < .0001).
Article
Full-text available
Stake, Roades, Rose, Ellis, and West (1994) reported that women's studies classes led to more feminist activism and greater personal course-related changes than nonwomen's studies classes. The present study tested the durability of the positive changes observed in women studies students 9 months following the last week of class. Comparisons between students who participated at follow-up (26.3%) and students who did not participate indicated that the follow-up participants were representative of all students who completed the courses. In the follow-up sample, class impact reported in the last week of class was sustained at follow-up. Women's studies students continued to report substantial changes in their interactions with others and willingness to adopt new roles and behaviors. Ratings of positive effects were significantly higher than ratings of negative effects (p < .0001). Students' responses indicated they were using their women's studies learning as a framework for understanding their experiences and making lifestyle changes.
Article
In this article, Kathleen Weiler presents a feminist critique that challenges traditional Western knowledge systems. As an educator, Weiler is interested in the implications of this critique for both the theory and practice of education. She begins with a discussion of the liberatory pedagogy of Paulo Freire and the profound importance of his work. She then questions Freire's assumption of a single kind of experience of oppression and his abstract goals for liberation. A feminist pedagogy, she claims, offers a more complex vision of liberatory pedagogy. Weiler traces the growth of feminist epistemology from the early consciousnessraising groups to current women's studies programs. She identifies three ways that a feminist pedagogy, while reflecting critically on Freire's ideas, also builds on and enriches his pedagogy: in its questioning of the role and authority of the teacher; in its recognition of the importance of personal experience as a source of knowledge; and in its exploration of the perspectives...
Article
This article discusses teaching survivors of violence in an introductory women's studies course and addresses the pedagogical question of whether we are able to promote individual agency and empowerment effectively and, if so, how might we best go about it. Survivors spoke out in their journals and in the classroom about their experiences, shared feelings about empowerment, and assessed the ways and extent to which the course helped them to heal. I found that survivors benefited from being able to talk about their experiences and from being encouraged to place their personal experiences in a broader political context, but that a crucial component was the affirmation, validation, and solidarity they felt with each other in the classroom.
Article
Mature women undergraduates bring to higher education a wealth of valuable, diverse, and common experiences, knowledge, and skills from which we all can share and learn. That is, knowledge and skills we have gained from our experiences of work, political activities, motherhood, our multicultural and class backgrounds, our diverse sexualities, friendships and special interests, to name just a few. These experiences constitute dimensions of who we are. Together they form our identities, consciousness-our whole living beings-and influence usin how we relate to other beings, nature, and society. Yet in general, in conventional Men's, and ironically in some Women's Studies courses, we find our knowledge continues to be devalued in higher education, and excluded from the shallow academic definition of what constitutes worthy knowledge. However, this is not to undermine or not to acknowledge that there are individuals in both Women's Studies and in some conventional disciplines who are determined in their concerns, efforts, and struggles to radically change learning/teaching practices and methods.
Article
This paper describes the authors' approaches to teaching courses and workshops on oppression from a feminist, process-oriented framework using racism as a case example. From the perspective of feminist theory the authors suggest that the way we teach about oppression is as important as the content itself. The process-oriented, feminist approach is discussed, and strategies and techniques for teaching about racism are offered.
Article
This paper explores the work and effects of gender reform in schools through the use of feminist post‐structuralist theory. Focusing on the discourses designed to enhance girls’ post‐school options, it examines the ways in which teachers and students, particularly girls, write, read and rewrite these discourses and on the basis of this suggests some new directions for researching, theorising and practicing gender reform in schools. In particular, it raises questions about the ways in which feminist pedagogies in schools deal with the female body, difference, pleasure and pain.
Article
This essay articulates two distinct sources for the set of teaching practices that have come to be called “feminist pedagogy.” The separate contributions of liberation pedagogy and of feminist theories of women's development are described. It is argued that neither approach taken by itself is adequate to produce a feminist pedagogy that fully challenges the androcentric universals of conventional teaching practices. By synthesizing the two approaches, however, feminist pedagogy can be developed in a way that will have a strong influence on contemporary education.
Article
Topics addressed include: issues of power and authority (establishing equality in the classroom, recognizing the power of language, acknowledging our power and authority), developing principles and strategies (using process to confront diversity, using process to empower students, dealing with content, reaching goals) and experience of feminist teachers (risks, rewards). (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
[This book argues that] the attempt to make Women's Studies serve a political agenda has led to deeply problematic results: dubious scholarship, pedagogical practices that resemble indoctrination more than education, and the alienation of countless potential supporters. The authors interviewed dozens of women—professors, students, and staffers—who, like themselves, have invested much time and effort in Women's Studies. These women speak eloquently of their frustration and even despair over the problems and conflicts they experienced in programs where a feminist agenda has been relentlessly pursued. [The authors] present an incisive analysis of the self-defeating ideological games feminists play in colleges and universities, among them IDPOL (identity politics), WORDMAGIC, TOTAL REJ, and BIODENIAL, an extreme form of social constructionism. The authors call on feminists in the academy to abandon their self-destructive ways if they are to regain the positive vision that attracted so many people to feminism in the first place. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Despite the fact that Women's Studies (WS) calls itself ‘an educational movement for change’, until recently, there has been a remarkable dearth of reflective writings on the theories and practices of the WS classroom dynamics. In this brief overview I first provide some suggestions as to why this gap exists in the literature on WS and then introduce some ‘themes’ that surface frequently in the existing articles on WS ‘gynagogy’, e.g. consciousness raising; interactive learning and teaching; being ‘other’ in the classroom; power and the hidden curriculum. Next I summarise a unique article on feminist values as guidelines for the WS teaching practice and two models on the dynamics of the WS classroom. I end this overview with the idea of ‘passionate teaching’ and suggest that in order to remain true to its origins in the Women's Liberation Movement, which is to empower women intellectually, personally and politically, WS needs to develop a body of both practical and theorectical knowledge on the dynamics of the learning climate in WS classrooms.
Article
Feminist psychologists have introduced feminist values, critiques, and methods into the science and practice of psychology. On the topic of teaching, feminist psychologists have done a thorough job of addressing curricula issues, but they have been involved marginally in developing the literature on feminist pedagogy. A comprehensive review of the feminist pedagogy literature was compiled based on a review of 60 articles, 25 chapters from books, 10 books, and 4 bibliographies. The review covers major aspects of the legacy of patriarchy in schools as well as feminist transformations of traditional educational practice. Explanations are posed for the minimal involvement of feminist psychologists in the development of the feminist pedagogy literature. Reciprocal benefits are identified for both the field of psychology and the feminist pedagogy scholars if more bridges are built between the two.
Article
This article first summarizes the origins and aims of Women's Studies—its “Idea Power” — which led to the impressive worldwide expansion of Women's Studies in the last twenty years as the educational arm of the Women's Liberation Movement. Then it discusses the “Woman Power” in Women's Studies and its promise of diversity followed by its subject matter, which is equally diverse and is conceptualized from revisionary to visionary and revisionary/visionary standpoints. Next are mentioned some obstacles to feminist vision and sisterhood, such as the libertarian ideology informing the theory and praxis of Gender Studies and post-structuralist discourse/deconstructionist epistemology. I contend that whilst there is much cause for celebrating the achievements of Women's Studies, there is also cause for concern with this latest resurgence of fragmented and disconnected theory, which mirrors similar developments in reproductive and genetic engineering. The article ends with some strategies of how Women's Studies might avoid colluding with compartmentalized frameworks and move “passionately forward” into the nineties and beyond.
Article
Feminist academics in Women's Studies in the United Kingdom have used feminist pedagogy as a way of equalising the power relationships within the traditional structure of the university. As feminist pedagogy has been concerned to focus on the experience of the student as a valuable resource for learning, it is surprising that there are so few publications within the field of Women's Studies that focus on the experiences and perspectives of students. This gap in the body of knowledge that constitutes Women's Studies will be used as a basis for exploring some of the aims of feminist pedagogy. Data from interviews with students of Women's Studies will open a debate on the impact of feminist pedagogy. The students' own “expert” knowledge could become a basis for a better understanding of the successes and failures of feminist pedagogy, thereby illuminating problems within the wider practices of feminist scholarship in general. If a link between theory and practice is missing, the goals of feminist pedagogy need to be reexamined in order to understand why.
Article
In this paper, the author aims to share some thoughts on the role Women's Studies plays in bringing about change in women. This involves a critical examination of some of the factors which, if left unattended, can inhibit change and obstruct the consciousness-raising process. The author is particularly interested in how the concept and expression of difference interacts with women's internalised oppression in the study of gender in women-only groups.
Women's studies, difference, and internalised oppression. Women's Studies Intwnational Forum Professing feminism: Caution-a y tales from the strange world of women's studies
  • L Morley
  • D Patai
  • N Koertge
Morley, L. (1992). Women's studies, difference, and internalised oppression. Women's Studies Intwnational Forum, 15, Patai, D., & Koertge, N. (1994). Professing feminism: Caution-a y tales from the strange world of women's studies. New York: Basic Books.
The long-term impact of wom-en's studies on students
  • J E Stake
  • S Rose
Stake, J. E., & Rose, S. (1994). The long-term impact of wom-en's studies on students' personal lives and political
Gendered subjects: The dynamics of feminist teaching
  • M. Culley
The politics of dislocation. Some mature undergraduate women's experiences of higher education
  • A. Karach
Shaping the future of feminist psychology
  • E. Kimmel
  • J. Worell
Feminisms and critical pedagogy
  • J. Kenway
  • H. Modra
Teaching feminist process
  • N. Schneidewind
Who stole feminism: How women have betrayed women
  • C. Sommers