ERIC Number: ED337380
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984
Reference Count: 0
Feminist Transformation: Teaching Experimental Psychology. Working Paper No. 140.
Integrating the new scholarship on women into the mainstream college curriculum is an important task for feminist teachers, not withstanding considerable resistance among traditionally minded male colleagues. Efforts to transform the psychology curriculum have met with additional problems because of psychology's commitment to the experimental method. With psychology, focusing on method is necessary to achieve the goal of integrating the new scholarship on women. Teaching of mainstream psychology is premised upon the experimental method and underlying assumptions: human behavior is determinative; there are laws governing how people behave; and it is possible to predict with certainty and in repeatable, observable form how people will behave. Underlying the experimental method is a series of assumptions, including objectivity and value neutrality. Undue reliance on the experimental method severely limits the understanding of human behavior. Feminist research explores the meaning of behavior rather than relying on measurement, and acknowledges rather than denies the intersubjectivity of the interaction between knower and person-to-be-known. Psychology can be taught in a manner inclusive of and consistent with the principles of the new feminist scholarship. If the college curriculum is to truly include women, then the basics, such as the introductory methods courses, where the tenets of the discipline are taught and learned, must be transformed. An 18-item reference list is included. (DB)
Descriptors: Curriculum Development, Educational Change, Experimental Psychology, Females, Feminism, Higher Education, Instructional Innovation, Psychology, Scientific Methodology, Social Science Research, Teaching Experience, Womens Studies
Center for Research on Women, Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA 02181 ($4.00 plus postage).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Wellesley Coll., MA. Center for Research on Women.
Identifiers: Feminist Scholarship