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Education Feminism

Classic and Contemporary Readings

Barbara J. Thayer-Bacon

Publication Year: 2013

Collection of important essays by feminist scholars from cultural studies, philosophy of education, curriculum theory, and women’s studies.

Published by: State University of New York Press

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. vii-x


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pp. xi-xii

Notes to the Text

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pp. xiii-xvi

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Barbara J. Thayer-Bacon, PhD

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pp. 1-14

In 1994 Lynda Stone published an outstanding collection of feminist writers who were writing about feminist theory and pedagogy in connection to educational theory and practice.1 Right around the same time, Barbara Thayer-Bacon developed a “Feminist Epistemology and Education” course that she began teaching at Bowling Green State University (BGSU). This course employed Belenky, Clinchy, Goldberger, and Tarule’s...


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pp. 15-16

i. Education and schooling

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1. Male Hegemony, social Class,and Women’s Education

Madeleine arnot

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pp. 19-40

According to Sheila Rowbotham (1973) in Woman’s Consciousness, Man’s World, the concept of male hegemony, like that of female oppression, is not new, but then as she also points out, it is one thing to encounter a concept, quite another to understand it. That process of understanding requires one to perceive the concept of male hegemony as a whole series of separate “moments” through which women have come to accept a maledominated...

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2. Excluding Women from theEducational Realm

Jane Roland Martin

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pp. 41-58

In recent years a literature has developed which documents the ways in which intellectual disciplines such as history and psychology, literature and the fine arts, sociology and biology are biased according to sex. The feminist criticism contained in this literature reveals that the disciplines fall short of the ideal of epistemological equality, that is, equality of representation and treatment of women in academic knowledge itself—for example...

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3. Race, Class, and Gender

Bonnie Thornton Dill

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pp. 59-74

The concept of sisterhood has been an important unifying force in the contemporary women’s movement. By stressing the similarities of women’s secondary social and economic positions in all societies and in the family, this concept has been a binding force in the struggle against male chauvinism and patriarchy. However, as we review the past decade, it becomes apparent that the cry “Sisterhood is powerful!” has engaged only a...

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4.Toward Understanding the Educational Trajectory and Socialization of Latina Women

Ruth Enid Zambrana

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pp. 75-86

The overwhelming majority of Latina women have had to teach themselves.2 An analysis of educational attainment of Latina women reveals that Latinas indeed lag far behind middle-class majority culture Anglo-American women. In part, this situation reflects the fact that access to higher education only became a viable option for a significant number of Latinas in the 1960s and 1970s.3 Nevertheless, the educational experiences of Latinas...

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5. Conception, Contradiction, and Curriculum

Madeleine R. Grumet

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pp. 87-110

I suspect that I am about to present a feminist argument, and that’s not easy. A feminist argument is unavoidably convoluted:
It is the argument of whoever is fed up with being a “dead woman”—Jewish mother, Christian virgin, Beatrice beautiful because defunct, voice without body, body without voice, silent anguish choking on the rhythms of words, the tones of sounds, without images; outside time, outside knowledge—cut...

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6. Only the Fittest of the Fittest Will Survive

Barbara McKellar

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pp. 111-124

People often ask me how I have managed to progress from the primary classroom to a post in the teacher education department at a London polytechnic. This question is pertinent when there is evidence of black underrepresentation in higher education. I would not find unreliable the informal survey of teacher education institutions carried out by the Anti-Racist Teacher Education Network (Table 1). This showed that I would be one...

II. Teaching and Pedagogy

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7. Toward a Transformational Theory of Teaching

Lynda Stone

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pp. 127-136

In an elegant little volume introducing epistemology to undergraduates, W. V. Quine and J. S. Ulian describe knowledge as a web of belief.1 Beliefs are tied together by a network of experience, cause, and justification. Some are easily changed through observation, some are almost impossible to change. These clusters contain explicit beliefs as well as strings of implicit beliefs that undergird them. Change of belief structures occur...

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8. An Ethic of Caring and Its Implications for Instructional Arrangements

Nel Noddings

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pp. 137-150

Until recent years, most Americans seem to have assumed that a fundamental aim of schooling should be the production of a moral citizenry. It could be argued that, although this assumption is sound and still widely held, the hypocrisy inherent in a blend of Christian doctrine and individualist ideology has created opposition to traditional forms of moral education. What is needed, then, is not a new assumption but a more appropriate...

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9. The Absent Presence

Patti Lather

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pp. 151-162

Through the questions it poses and the absences it locates, feminism argues the centrality of gender in the shaping of our consciousness, skills, and institutions as well as the distribution of power and privilege. The central premise of feminism is that gender is a basic organizing principle of all known societies and that, along with race, class, and the sheer specificity of historical circumstance, it profoundly shapes/mediates the concrete...

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10. Schooling and Radicalisation

Sue Middleton

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pp. 163-186

Sociologists of education have become increasingly concerned with the school as a site of social and cultural reproduction. Rejecting the liberal view that schools are agents of social mobility and human emancipation, many sociologists have focused their analyses on how schooling constructs and reproduces the social relations of class, racism, and gender...

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11. Why Doesn’t This Feel Empowering?

Elizabeth Ellsworth

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pp. 187-214

In the spring of 1988, the University of Wisconsin–Madison was the focal point of a community-wide crisis provoked by the increased visibility of racist acts and structures on campus and within the Madison community. During the preceding year, the FIJI fraternity had been suspended for portraying racially demeaning stereotypes at a “Fiji...

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12. Dysconscious Racism

Joyce E. King

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pp. 215-228

The new watchwords in education, “celebrating diversity,” imply the democratic ethic that all students, regardless of their sociocultural backgrounds, should be educated equitably. What this ethic means in practice, particularly for teachers with little personal experience of diversity and limited understanding of inequity, is problematic. At the elite, private, Jesuit university where I teach, most of my students (most of whom come from relatively..

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13. When is a Singing School (Not) a Chorus?

Deanne Bogdan

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pp. 229-238

This paper addresses the conundrum of why, for some of us, the more we become sensitized to the imperatives of democratic education and student ownership of their own learning, the harder they can become actually to accomplish in a classroom. This is especially true in literature education and feminist/critical pedagogy, where personal...


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pp. 239-240

I. Education and Schooling

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14. Gender Disidentification

Cris Mayo

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pp. 243-252

As I get older, I am more and more tempted to think that students who disagree with me are just wrong. Clearly this is not a fully educational approach, but, particularly in the area of gender, I have increasingly encountered young women of high school or college age who distance themselves from their gender in ways that seem to me definitely wrong, and even foolhardy. This has been particularly striking in public high school discussions...

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15. Situated Moral Agency

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pp. 253-262

In her essay, “Identity: Skin, Blood, Heart,” Minnie Bruce Pratt speaks of her struggles to understand racism, sexism, and anti-Semitism.1 In the process, she examines the moral education she received as a young, white Christian girl growing up in the United States South. Pratt maps her learned ways of seeing (and not seeing) what morality is all about...

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16. Not the Color Purple

Audrey Thompson

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pp. 263-292

While working with kindergartners to better understand how young children perceive race, White researcher Robyn Holmes was asked by a young African American boy, Christian, to “draw a picture of him that he could keep.” Christian’s own drawing of Holmes had rendered her in purple, so Holmes asked Christian if she could color him...

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17. Befriending Girls as an Educational Life-Practice

Susan Laird

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pp. 293-302

In Sapphire’s contemporary African-American bildungsroman, Push, Miz Blue Rain befriends its 16-year-old girl-hero, abused by her mother and expelled from school because she is pregnant by her father a second time.1 Illiterate after many years’ schooling in Harlem, Precious Jones becomes a student in Miz Rain’s basic literacy class of six girls. There, besides reading and writing, she learns to live her life as an affectionate, proud...

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18. Befriending (White) Women Faculty inHigher Education?

Barbara J. Thayer-Bacon

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pp. 303-322

As a little girl, I started first grade when I was 5½ years old, two weeks after my peers’ first day of school, as my parents were on leave when school started. I remember my first grade teacher well, Mrs. Rogers, as I was terrified of her. Mrs. Rogers gave me some ditto sheets to do when I arrived in her class, without giving me any explanation of what I was supposed to do. Since I could not read, I could not read the instructions. I...

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19. Ecofeminism as a Pedagogical Project

Huey-li Li

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pp. 323-340

In 1974, French feminist Françoise d’Eaubonne, in suggesting that women have the potential to solve today’s ecological crises, coined the term “ecofeminism.”1 Gradually, ecofeminism has come to refer to a variety of feminist modes of inquiry into the conceptual linkages between sexism and other forms of oppression, such as racism, class exploitation, ...

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20. Transformando Fronteras

C. Alejandra Elenes

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pp. 341-354

My vision of education and teaching centers on social justice and constructing counternarratives that offer alternatives to contemporary hegemonic discourses of race, class, gender, and sexuality. My efforts are to open educational spaces where multicultural democracy can be enacted. This philosophy can be described as a multicultural liberal arts perspective that is more concerned with constructing knowledge and critical thinking...

II. Teaching and Pedagogy

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21. Feminism and Curriculum

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pp. 357-372

Many of us share some uneasiness about the millennial moment. This artifact of calendars and clocks issues from no material cause. It is one more thing we have made up, but it is a popular fiction, reaching around the globe, and its subscription list is sufficient to give it meaning. Those of us in curriculum studies care about what matters to other people...

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22. A Womanist Experience of Caring

Tamara Beauboeuf-Lafontant

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pp. 373-388

Over the last 15 years, educational researchers and theorists have decried the lack of caring in our schools (Grumet, 1988; Noddings, 1984; Valenzuela, 1999). As researchers have sought to address this problem, they have called for teachers to transform themselves into adults who can relate to and thus more effectively teach all children in our schools (e.g., Bartolome, 1994; Cochran-Smith, 1995; Delpit, 1995; Nieto, 1999)...

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23. Critical Race Theory, Latino Critical Theory,and Critical Raced-Gendered Epistemologies

Dolores Delgado Bernal

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pp. 389-408

Although students of color are holders and creators of knowledge, they often feel as if their histories, experiences, cultures, and languages are devalued, misinterpreted, or omitted within formal educational settings. The above quotes address how two undergraduate students of color reflect on what counts as valid knowledge in schools and...

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24. Turning the Closets Inside/Out

Heather Sykes

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pp. 409-430

Only in my most fanciful dreams could I hope to emulate Janette Winterson’s imagery; all the same, this paper is similarly concerned with bodies, boundaries, tombs, and writing. My concern is with female bodies in physical education—how genders and sexualities are written onto these bodies. Like her, I am concerned with boundaries—not the (im) penetrable boundaries of the bones of the skull, but the boundaries between...

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25. Queer Politics in Schools

Claudia Ruitenberg

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pp. 431-448

In 1996, the Salt Lake City School Board (Utah, USA) was so desperate to keep a Gay- Straight Alliance from being formed as an official school club that they “voted 4-3 to keep all noncurricular clubs from the district” rather than allow one Gay-Straight Alliance among the other sports and social clubs (Lee, 2002, p. 15). It wasn’t until 2000 that the school board, under legal and community pressure, reversed its decision and allowed...

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26. Cold Case

Ann Chinnery

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pp. 449-458

Although tolerance was long considered a core virtue for citizenship in a pluralist democracy, it has recently fallen out of favour. In a nutshell, tolerance suggests having to put up with something (or some person or idea) that one would really rather not have to put up with. And while tolerance is obviously better than hatred or overt discrimination, it is, at best, a minimal...

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27. Unveiling Cross-Cultural Conflict

Sharon Todd

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pp. 459-468

Drawing on political theorist Bhikhu Parekh’s work, which lists the twelve most common cultural practices that give rise to clashes between cultures,1 Seyla Benhabib raises an important question: “How can we account for the preponderance of cultural practices concerning the status of women, girls, marriage and sexuality that lead to intercultural conflict?”2 Here she is referring to the overbearing weight that gender carries in relation...

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Lynda Stone

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pp. 469-472

Twenty years ago, with the wonderful assistance of Gail Masuchika Boldt, we organized The Education Feminism Reader. Out of print for a while now, it nonetheless has had a long presence as the only collection of feminist papers in and for professional education— it is a classic many say...


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pp. 473-482

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9781438448978
Print-ISBN-13: 9781438448961

Page Count: 498
Publication Year: 2013