Women’s Ways of Knowing. Mary Field Belenky Blythe McVicker Clinchy Nancy Rule Goldberger Jill Mattuck Tarule. 5 Epistemological Perspectives. Not stages Not fixed or universal Abstract The 5 Perspectives Silence Received Knowledge Subjective Knowledge Procedural Knowledge
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Women’s Ways of Knowing Mary Field Belenky Blythe McVicker Clinchy Nancy Rule Goldberger Jill Mattuck Tarule
5 Epistemological Perspectives • Not stages • Not fixed or universal • Abstract • The 5 Perspectives • Silence • Received Knowledge • Subjective Knowledge • Procedural Knowledge • Constructed Knowledge
Silence • Deprived socially, economically, and educationally • “Deaf and Dumb” • Deaf – had to be shown how to do something and not told • Dumb – voiceless • Need a supportive environment to learn • Women are passive and incompetent (seen but not heard) • Conceiving the self • Can only describe themselves from an inside point and not an outside point • Cannot describe future changes because they do not anticipate the future
Silence continued • Quotes from Women’s Ways of Knowing • “I deserved to be hit, because I was always mouthing off.” • “I don’t like talking to my husband. If I were to say no, he might hit me.” • “I had to get drunk to tell people off.” • What College Professors Can Do • Realize that women question their capabilities and intellectual capacity more than men • Have students use personal experiences to find meaning and understanding • Do not ignore good answers but give praise
Transition to Received Knowing • Experiences that led to development… • formal education • childbearing • family trauma • difficult or challenging relationships • exposure to other cultures • a new kind of work • psychotherapy • By communicating to their children, silent women found that they could communicate and pass on knowledge.
Received Knowledge • Learn by listening • Listening to friends • Enjoy have a lot in common with others and may change their own thoughts to match • Listening to authorities • Authorities knew everything and did not disagree with each other • Learning=Memorizing • Cannot read between the lines and take everything literally • Conceiving the Selfless Self • Can only see themselves from how others see them
Transition to Subjective Knowing • Experiences that led to development… • Relationships exhibiting mutuality, equality, and reciprocity • Praise and reinforcement • Exposure to a diversity of opinions • Education alienated these women and did not help them to develop, instead their personal life did. • Women who did not advance cognitively usually dropped out of college.
Subjective Knowledge • Sexually harassed and abused • The inner voice • Their own authority (external to internal) • Relied on their experience and feelings for knowledge • The quest for self • Left current situation to live for self rather than others • Concepts of self • Beginning viewing themselves differently because their life was changing
Transition to Procedural Knowing • Experiences that led to development… • An inner sense of self, voice, and mind begin to develop and create an inner contradiction. • Their personal experience leading to their own sense of authority. • Realized they could know things that they never came in contact with. • Could hear themselves think while they were listening which would soon develop into reflecting and critical thinking.
Procedural Knowledge • Privileged, intelligent, white, young, homogeneous, and attended or graduated from college. • The voice of reason • More active and powerful voice • Old ways of knowing challenged • Spoke with the voices of separate and connected knowing. • Separate knowing • Sought knowledge and evaluated knowledge claims. • Mastery over the knowledge but separated from knowing. • Connected knowing • Sought to go beyond knowledge, to understanding. • Understanding the knowledge gave a relationship to it.
Transition to Constructed Knowledge • Experiences that led to development… • Self-Reflection/Self-Analysis • Removing themselves from the current life either psychologically or geographically • Needed to integrate thinking with feeling and rationality with emotionality. • After a self examination they realize how knowledge, truth, and self guide their life.
Constructed Knowledge • Reclaiming self • Integrating the voices • Integration of self, mind, and voice. • Articulate and reflective • Rise to a new way of thinking • Realize that knowledge is constantly being constructed, deconstructed, and reconstructed.
References Belenky, M.F., Clinchy, B.M., Goldberger, N.R., & Tarule, J.M. (1986). Women’s ways of knowing. New York: Basic Books. Gallos, J. V. (1995). Gender and silence: Implications of women's ways of knowing. College Teaching, 43(3), 101-105. Love, P. G., & Guthrie, L. (1999). Women's ways of knowing. New Directions for Student Services, no. 88, 17-27. Other Readings Gose, B. (1995). "Women's Ways of Knowing" form the basis for Ursuline curriculum. Chronicle of Higher Education, 41(22) [No Pagination]. Handy, T. J. (1991). "Women's Ways of Knowing": Explanations and implications for gender differences in substance abuse. College Student Affairs Journal, 11(2), 16-24.