Woyshner, Christine A. and Holly S. Gelfond (Eds.). Minding Women: Reshaping the Educational Realm. Vol. 30

By R, Carolyn | Transformations, March 31, 2000 | Go to article overview

Woyshner, Christine A. and Holly S. Gelfond (Eds.). Minding Women: Reshaping the Educational Realm. Vol. 30


R, Carolyn, Transformations


Woyshner, Christine A. and Holly S. Gelfond (Eds.). Minding Women: Reshaping the Educational Realm. Vol. 30.

Cambridge, MA: Harvard Educational Review, 1999. Paperback. 250 pages. $21.95

Carolyn R. O'Grady teaches in the education department at Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota.

Minding Women: Reshaping the Educational Realm is #30 in the Harvard Educational Review Reprint Series, which brings together a number of review articles into a single volume united by a common theme. As the editors describe in the introduction, their purpose was to bring together influential scholarship from the 1970s to the 1990s that placed women at the center of the educational research agenda. In doing so, they have provided a roadmap of the ways in which research on women and girls has changed over time, and how this scholarship has changed the educational landscape itself.

The book is organized thematically into five sections: Classics, Feminist Pedagogy, Girls and Young Women, History, and Identity. Each section includes, in chronological order by date published, what the authors consider pioneering articles within that theme. The guiding questions which were used to shape the selection are compelling in their own right, and worth our time to ponder as we move into a new millennium:

How has the research on girls' and women's development evolved over the past twenty years? How have new understandings of girls' and women's development influenced the educational realm? What is a feminist pedagogy and how can it be implemented? What are the experiences of women in the past and what can we learn from these experiences? What are the complexities and conundrums of a woman's identity as she explores the intersections of her experiences as a person of color, or as an Indigenous American lesbian, a gay or bisexual youth? How do a woman's multiple identities intersect with her role as researcher, teacher, writer, growing girl? (x)

As the authors note, the essays which attempt to answer these questions are of such value that their significance transcends the era in which they were written. There are 19 chapters in total. The book begins with Carol Gilligan's "In a Different Voice," originally published in 1977, and ends with Stacy Lee's 1997 analysis of Hmong women's perspectives on and challenges in attending higher education. Just a small sampling of what is in between includes Marilyn Schuster and Susan Van Dyne's "Placing Women in the Liberal Arts: Stages of Curriculum Transformation," (1984), Kathleen Weiler's feminist reading of Freire in "Freire and a Feminist Pedagogy of Difference," (1991), Michelle Fine's analysis of adolescent female sexuality in "Sexuality, Schooling and Adolescent Females: The Missing Discourse of Desire," (1988), and Kathleen Weiler's 1997 "Reflections on Writing a History of Women Teachers."

Reading this text helped me to catch up on some of the research and perspectives I had missed the first time around. …

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