Feminist challenges to curriculum design
Over the past decades with the growth of feminist writings in so many areas of enquiry, the emergence of this new consciousness is affecting the underlying philosophy and the practical tasks of curriculum design. For the most part, the impact of feminism has been one of challenge, and this chapter is an attempt to give a broad overview of some of the issues which arise at the points of intersection. [ ... ]
The challenges of feminism have generally been of two kinds. One kind of challenge is critical, since its major concern is with questioning the present order of things, asking for more clear justification of existing practices, and suggesting that there are social, psychological, moral and philosophical reasons for considering serious alternatives. Obviously at this level of challenge, feminists are most threatening and learn to shield themselves against the accusations of being 'militant', 'aggressive', or 'destructive'. The second kind of challenge is constructive, and in this area feminists are concerned to develop new practices, to think more openmindedly and laterally about methods and resources, and to create new areas of enquiry which may redraw the map of traditional academic disciplines altogether. We need to examine both of these kinds of challenge to understand and assess the potential impact of feminist thinking.