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ERIC Number: EJ1123207
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 16
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0882-4843
Hearing Women's Voices in General Education
Haigwood, Laura
Feminist Teacher: A Journal of the Practices, Theories, and Scholarship of Feminist Teaching, v23 n1 p1-16 2012
"The voice of women needs to be heard" because "when we truly take their lives seriously it changes our whole understanding of who we are and what we are called to become" (Chilcote 10). The revolutionary impact of feminist theory and practice in all areas of contemporary culture illustrates the world-transforming potential of women's voices. It is now essential to any liberal education, as well as to the intellectual development of individual women students, that women's voices be richly and intentionally integrated into general education core skills and knowledge requirements, beyond gender and women's studies programs. Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame, Indiana, one of about fifty women's colleges remaining in the United States, has designed a new general education structure, the Sophia Program in Liberal Learning, which foregrounds women's voices in precisely this way. Their general model and the lessons they have learned in implementing it are easily adaptable to coeducational and/or secular institutions, even though their distinctive identity as a Catholic women's college has shaped the specific details of their curriculum. This article describes the College's women's voices requirement--a "cognitive and communicative skill" that does not add credit hours. Every student completes four "Women's voices" learning experiences, including: three academic courses and one additional women's voices learning experience, which may be a fourth academic course or a faculty-supervised, out-of-class learning experience, such as an internship, an independent study, community service, or civic engagement. The name of the requirement, "women's voices," reflects Saint Mary's primary reason for existing (and persisting) as a women's college, which is to give women confidence in the transformative power and authority of their own voices and to guide them toward making their voices well-informed, authentic, constructive, and effective.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Indiana
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A