ERIC Number: ED348116
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-May
Reference Count: 0
Feminist Pedagogy and the Teaching of Science: An Experiential Workshop.
Steiger, Arlene; Davis, Fran
While women's representation in math and the physical sciences has improved over the past decade, it will be 20 years before women achieve equal representation at the bachelor's level in these fields. In a series of interviews conducted with students in college-level science programs in Montreal (Canada) community colleges, the majority of female students saw science education as a way of keeping their options open and did not appear committed to a life in the sciences. Despite the higher drop rate for women in science programs, there are no significant differences in achievement levels between men and women. In an effort to alter the attitudes which might influence women's persistence in the sciences, a project was undertaken to develop and implement a feminist pedagogical practice more conducive to women's learning. A teacher workshop was conducted to afford participants the opportunity to consider the significance of gender differences in the teaching of science at the college level, and to experience first hand a number of feminist pedagogical strategies. One important behavior encouraged of teachers was the practice of self-disclosure, by which teachers reveal themselves as people to their students and thereby make personal experiences pedagogically relevant. Another strategy emphasized in the workshop was the integration of informal writing in the science classes as a means of providing female students with access to the teacher, a place in the learning discourse, and an opportunity to develop confidence. A third strategy involved the establishment of permanent peer support partnerships of the student's own choice for work and study inside and outside the classroom. Such partnerships can encourage female discourse and disclosure with peers. Preliminary findings from a study of community college physics classrooms taught by teachers who completed the workshops on feminist pedagogical strategies revealed a consistent pattern of reduced anxiety, improved relationships between students and teachers, and increased enjoyment of the subject among both men and women. (PAA)
Descriptors: Academic Persistence, Classroom Techniques, Community Colleges, Experiential Learning, Females, Feminism, Foreign Countries, Free Writing, Learning Theories, Science Instruction, Science Teachers, Self Disclosure (Individuals), Teacher Improvement, Teacher Student Relationship, Teacher Workshops, Two Year Colleges
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Feminist Pedagogy
Note: Description of a workshop conducted at the Annual Conference of the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (Montreal, Quebec, Canada, May 24-27, 1992).