Making Space: Merging Theory and Practice in Adult Education

By Vanessa Sheared; Peggy A. Sissel et al. | Go to book overview

Chapter 3

Challenging Adult Learning: A Feminist Perspective

Daniele D. Flannery and Elisabeth Hayes

If the imagination is to transcend and transform experience it has to question, to challenge, to conceive of alternatives, perhaps to the very life you are living at the moment. You have to be free to play around with the notion that day might be night, love might be hate, nothing can be too sacred for the imagination...tocall experience by another name. For writing is re-naming.

—Adrienne Rich (1979), 43


INTRODUCTION

In this chapter, we critique the hegemony of adult learning through the perspective of feminism. In particular, we focus on the social construction of gender for women and the challenges to adult learning which a focus on gender offers. This chapter comes from our reflections and feelings on our own varied learning experiences. It is a beginning. We offer it to you in the hope that through your pondering of your own life experiences, you will offer further alternatives.


PERSONAL EXPERIENCES OF LEARNING

Daniele

In my (Daniele) life I’ve always had a learning style which was different from the kind of learning promoted in most formal learning settings. I learn through feelings, experiences, and information incubating within me for a while. It’san affective and kinesthetic thing! When it finally “feels right,” “I know,” “I’ve got it.” To people who make sense of things the way I do, I don’t have to use many words, complete thoughts, or logical sentences to share what I have

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