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ERIC Number: ED408590
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Mar
Pages: 12
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Teaching Women's Studies: An Historical Perspective.
Hearn, Pamela Hindman
In the 1970s, the relatively new discipline of Women's Studies was taught by educators whose primary fields were literature, psychology, sociology, or history. One problem that faces many instructors is the double-bind situation that Women's Studies courses are popular, so the dynamic teacher may find herself/himself teaching more courses--sometimes with as many as 120 undergraduates--writing more papers, and attending more conferences. Some students see literary readings such as Doris Lessing's "To Room Nineteen" as an attack on their traditional mothers. Explanation and re-explanation of truths and realities in society, while necessary in the classroom, are energy-draining over a period of time, and can cause instructor fatigue and "burn out." Additionally, evolving consciousness sometimes turns student rage on the instructor; also, the Women's Studies instructor can find herself/himself spending more and more time with more and more students. The final hurdle for many instructors is that Women's Studies is seen as a "mongrel" discipline, which is not helpful in the tenure process. Many academics fail to perceive the legitimacy of feminist literary criticism, but feel that anyone writing is this area can get any article or book published. The vulnerability of courses in Women's Studies to educational budget cuts is another drawback. Those who teach Women's Studies, however, feel that it can go a long way in helping men and women to more completely understand each other and the society which shaped their attitudes. (NKA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A