ERIC Number: ED345954
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983
Feminist Transformation of the Curriculum: The Changing Classroom, Changing the Institution. Working Paper No. 125.
Schuster, Marilyn R.; Van Dyne, Susan R.
Feminist scholarship has given a multicultural, interdisciplinary perspective to education that has produced an impatience with curriculum that is predominantly white, male, Western, and heterosexist in its assumptions. This approach to education tends to see invisible paradigms of the academic system and the larger cultural context that marginalize or trivialize the lives of all those outside the dominant class or culture. To understand the process of curriculum transformation, this research began with the classroom and ended with conceptual models for institutional change. Five key questions were asked: (1) Who can change? (2) What is the stimulus for change? (3) What are the forces and forms of resistance? (4) What is the locus for change? and (5) How do we measure change? Within the changing classroom, the issues focued on rising expectations of women, women-focused classrooms, women teaching, women learning, and conflict as an agent for change. Changing the institution requires an assessment of change in a context of crisis, of women's studies and transformation, and of curriculum transformation. Curriculum transformation projects have at least three common characteristics: (1) long term sources of funding developed within the institution; (2) long range commitment to faculty development at all levels; and (3) a means to continue to involve more faculty and adminstrators in the transformation effort. Three curriculum models, a top-down model, a piggy-back model, and a consortial model, are discussed and analyzed in relation to the five key questions. It was concluded, from the experience with all these models, that when real transformation begins to happen individuals also need to recognize the pervasive and unconscious ways in which the dominant culture is reproduced in the classroom. (KM)
Descriptors: Attitude Change, Classroom Environment, Consciousness Raising, Cultural Awareness, Curriculum Development, Curriculum Problems, Educational Philosophy, Feminism, Higher Education, Social Science Research, Teaching Models, Womens Studies
Center for Research on Women, Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA 02181 ($4.00, plus postage).
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: Wellesley Coll., MA. Center for Research on Women.