EDPS 360 (A2) Fall 2013

Archive for November, 2013|Monthly archive page

Do women need to be freed from oppression?

In Uncategorized on November 28, 2013 at 10:04 am

(by Brent, Kim, Savannah, Yvonne)

About the Author:

Linda Briskin is presently the Professor Emeritus at York University, in Toronto, in the Department of Social Science and the School of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies. Briskin has been a lifelong activist. “Her work addresses unions, globalization and women’s power, union renewal, equity bargaining/bargaining equity, worker militancies, pedagogies and power, and privileging agency: a strategy for women’s studies in troubled times” (York University). She also worked for sometime as a high school teacher. As Briskin footnotes in her paper, this article was originally written as a keynote address for “the symposium of the Coalition for Equity in Science, Mathematics, and Technology” at Glendon College, in 1989 (Briskin, 1994, p.443). It was then revised and published, in 1990 and 1994 (Briskin, 1994, p.443).


About the Article:

In her article Briskin tackles the concept of feminist pedagogy and the “acknowledgement of women’s oppression”, which seems to have some freirean inspiration (Briskin, 1994, p. 443). Briskin looks at contradictions women face in their various roles, as learners, teachers, feminists, and activists/change-makers. Briskin tackles three sets of contradictions: in the messages women carry around, in their experience as educators, and in their experience as activists. Out of these three contradictions emerge three strategies: teaching leadership, promoting anti-sexism (as opposed to the flawed strategy of non-sexim), and reclaiming feminism in the classroom, situating the classroom in the greater context of the world outside it.


The first set of contradictions about women is in their messages; we can see this as devaluation mothering, and that women need to be protected by men due to their inherent weak nature, and also that women do not receive equal education because they are viewed as “prey”. The contradictions of women’s’ experiences as educators is that students may not see a female teacher as of much of an authority figure as a male teacher. This creates more a of challenge for feminist as students might not see them as equals. The contradictions of women as effective change makers, this idea is that to change the world as well as ourselves we must develop our individuality. The ability for students to have the desire for change, and be able to act on it.

The three coping strategies that Briskin identifies would help with changing the dynamic of the classroom or school. The first strategy teaching leadership focuses on changing the power dynamic rather than sharing it, also with this strategy one would teach through liberal ways. Believing that by teaching good attitudes it could potentially erase discrimination. The second method is anti-sexism which focuses on empowering students through knowledge. This strategy makes gender and issue in the classroom and get students to think about relationships of power. The third coping strategy is reclaiming feminism in the classroom this is to promote social change and making connections outside of the classroom with your students. It is less about the individual and more about collective strategies to enable students to understand the issues.

Briskin discusses the standpoints of Feminist Pedagogy, which does not have a unified perspective, yet she wishes to unmask power dynamic of gender within society. It identifies that females have different experiences than males and therefore different perspectives and challenges, mainly androcentrism. This pedagogy also acknowledges that it will take more than overcoming sexism in one classroom to change society.


Our Take:

We think that Briskin may have had some valid points at the time that she was writing this article, however we like to believe that there has been a shift since then. There is much less talk of sexism and females being held back only because they are females and when you do hear about it, and when it is, it is almost used as a way out. Some people say or think that they are being held back specifically because they are female instead of taking other factors into consideration. In some cases, females can almost be their own worst enemy when it comes down to equality. Often you hear a female say oh no I don’t do that I need a man to do that, whether or not it is about cars or fixing something or even killing a bug. Now not all females say these things but there are a large amount that do and those stereotypes are still alive in our society today. However, just because these stereotypes are still alive does not mean that our society treats women unequally or as unequally as Briskin would suggest. To say that women cannot achieve or cannot break through the ‘glass ceiling’ would ignore the accomplishments of many women that have already fought and won this war of inequality. This is not saying that the world is perfectly equal and that everyone who pushes for womens rights should stop because we know that there are many countries where women don’t have rights; however, as of now, in most of the developed world, many of Briskin’s ideas are slightly less meaningful today than they were 20 years ago.With this being said, it’s clear that gender inequality still exists within even developed societies. In the workplace women still tend to be associated with less prestigious positions and are often paid less for their labour.


Something to think about:

Because this was such a major issue in the past and still is even today, you hear about how they have to have a certain minimum % of female employees however you never hear about having a minimum % of male employees. An example is if you look at co-ed sports team rules, you have to have a minimum of 2 females on the court at all times but you dont have to have a minimum of 2 males, so my team played as an all girl team. We would like to ask you, should equality be an all or nothing type of issue or should there be limitations or restrictions? Should pay be equal across the board as well as opportunities in general? What questions has this article brought to mind regarding gender equality?


Briskin, L., & Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women (1994). Feminist pedagogy: Teaching and learning liberation. Ottawa: CRIAW/ICREF.

York University (n.d.). Linda Briskin. Retrieved from http://people.laps.yorku.ca/people.nsf/researcherprofile?readform&shortname=lbriskin


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Are women an oppressed group in science and technology?

In Cooperative Blog Posts on November 26, 2013 at 9:20 am
(by Colby, Erin, & others…)
Joyce Nyhof-Young is a researcher and scientist at ELLICSR, as well as an associate professor at the University of Toronto, and an adjunct professor at Ryerson University, she received her Ph.D in curriculum teaching and learning at the University of Toronto. Judith K Bernhard is a professor of early childhood education at Ryerson with a special interest in the education of disadvantaged groups, she received her Ph.D at the University of Toronto.
Together Bernhard and Young have written Read the rest of this entry »

Queering the Classroom

In Cooperative Blog Posts on November 19, 2013 at 9:04 am

The topic we are exploring is about gender, sexuality, identity, and difference and the controversial nature of this subject. The two articles are “Generation Queer” by Kristopher Wells and “The Marc Hall Predicament” by Andre Grace and Kristopher Wells. These articles discuss the history surrounding sexuality, specifically LGBTQ individuals and the current issues that are being faced today. A further analysis of these articles will be discussed as well as questions will be presented after reading these two articles.

The authors propose that the “status” of LGBT citizens goes Read the rest of this entry »

The Debate on the Redistribution of Recognition

In Uncategorized on November 13, 2013 at 5:59 pm

Written by Morgan, Kirsten, Cheyenne, Kiel

Axel Honneth has been a professor for many years and for a variety of universities. Currently he is at the Columbia University as a professor of Humanities. His area of expertise are social and political philosophy, ethics, and social theory. Nancy Fraser is the Henry A. and Louise Loeb Professor of Political and Social Science and Department Chair. Her main areas Read the rest of this entry »

Reel Racialization

In Uncategorized on November 6, 2013 at 6:33 pm

By: Kaitlin Filipchuk, Daneka Hrywkiw, Sean MacGregor, and Ryan Stephens
​Race and racialization are two very important terms but are also two extremely different ideas. While “race” is often used in everyday language, “racialization” is still somewhat unknown to many people. The term “race” is what people use as a descriptor of who they are and provides a sense of commonality, as well as a sense of difference, with others. “Racialization” on the other hand is a process of the identification of these races. The material from this week discusses different perspectives on race and racialization.
In the film titled, Reel Injun, Read the rest of this entry »

Racialization, History, Tension

In Uncategorized on November 5, 2013 at 6:51 am

(By Stephanie, Jordan, Anthony & )
In the review of Cole Harbour District High School this was mentioned:
The line between flexibility (treating people differently because they are different) and discrimination (treating people differently because of the group they belong to) is not always clear. An active teaching process is required to encourage an understanding of differences while also ensuring fairness.
This was an excellent reminder for myself. We touched last class on how students are using the “you are being racist Read the rest of this entry »

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