ERIC Number: ED355562
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Oct-31
Using Feminist Thinking in the Classroom: Discovering New Ways of Knowing.
Swarts, Valerie R.
To understand the myths and assumptions upon which most people's knowledge of themselves is constructed, there must first be a way to identify them that releases the individual from their control. Thus, a new way of knowing is needed. A new way of knowing requires a new means of interpreting, which stems from a discovery of assumptions and a re-examination or "re-visioning" of those assumptions. The study of gender roles and their cultural prescriptions provides fertile ground for this re-visioning process. A false feminine vision has imposed an impossible standard by which American women are asked to judge themselves. According to the writer Susan Faludi, this false feminine vision has proven very disturbing, and its consequences make a fresh examination necessary. Students should be exposed to the findings of researchers who challenge such feminist backlash myths as male shortages, the infertility epidemic, female depression, daycare crises, and the plight of misfit single women, and should be given opportunities for inquiry, discovery, analysis, and re-vision of culturally mandated myths. A time capsule project asking students to explore popular culture's notions of gender roles across many decades would engage students in all of these processes. For this project, student groups are assigned a decade for which they must prepare a time capsule that represents the gender roles dictated by the popular culture of that decade. After the project is prepared, the groups must try to answer certain critical questions about the capsule, focusing on the nature of the myths and assumptions represented. Through projects like this, a new way of knowing within an explicitly feminist perspective can be achieved in the classroom. (Fourteen footnotes are included.) (HB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (78th, Chicago, IL, October 29-November 1, 1992).