Laura Parson #fundie

[from page 111; the article is titled "Are STEM Syllabi Gendered? A Feminist Critical Discourse Analysis"]

Initial exploration of the STEM syllabi in this study did not reveal overt references to gender, such as through the use of gendered pronouns. However, upon deeper review, language used in the syllabi reflects institutionalized STEM teaching practices and views about knowledge that are inherently discriminatory to women and minorities by promoting a view of knowledge as static and unchanging, a view of teaching that promotes the idea of a passive student, and by promoting a chilly climate that marginalizes women. First, the STEM syllabi explored in this analysis promoted the male - biased STEM institution by reinforcing views of knowledge as static and unchanging, as it is traditionally considered to be in science, which is a masculine concept of knowledge (Mayberry & Rose, 1999). Syllabi promote the positivist view of knowledge by suggesting that there are correct conclusions that can be drawn with the right tools:

- A critical thinker considers all available evidence with an open mind and uses appropriate techniques to analyze that evidence and reach a conclusion (Lower level geology).

- The main goal is to attain knowledge and comprehension of major concepts and techniques of organic chemistry (Upper level chemistry).

As these examples show, the STEM syllabi explored in this study demonstrated a view of knowledge that was to be acquired by the student, which promotes a view of knowledge that is unchanging. This is further reinforced by the use of adverbs to imply certainty such as "actually" and "in fact" which are used in syllabi to identify information as factual and beyond dispute. For example, "draw accurate conclusions from scientific data presented in different formats". Instead of presenting the idea that knowledge is constructed by the student and dynamic, subject to change as it would in a more feminist view of knowledge, the syllabi reinforce the larger male dominant view of knowledge as one that students acquire and use to make correct decisions.



So were we! You can find all of this, and more, on Fundies Say the Darndest Things!

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