Wednesday, May 27, 2009

gender in higher education

someone on facebook just posted this and it's fascinating:

here is a great quote in response to the article:

"This is an interesting piece and some of the responses are fascinating, and troubling, as well. To "Guilty": what institution has mandatory women's studies courses? And, to Kate: who is the "they" and who is the "we"? Initially, I read your response along gendered lines; that is, the "they" are male students while the "we" are female students. However, I, then, saw several references to race and nationality; is the "they" students of color, or those students with non-European heritage?

"In interacting with my male students, I definitely note a sense of loss. The lower-income white men with whom I come into contact are angry--not at any one group; rather, they astutely recognize the changing economic order, and many of them note that with this decline, so goes their guaranteed affluence. The majority of these men do not see other groups being privileged over them; instead, they perceive that living the so-called American Dream--a fantasy that was closer to reality for white men above all others--is not automatic. I live in a part of the country with a low cost of living; thus, many of my lower-income students come from economically stable backgrounds. These young men see that their parents did not have to go to college in order to live a life with lots of stuff; as such, they are frustrated that now, if they want stuff, they must go to college. Many of them do not see the cause-effect relationship of intellectual strength and prosperity; rather, higher education and stuff are intangibly related to material wealth. (This lack of recognition seems to be inherent in the majority of 18-year olds, no?) Many of my young male students also suffer loss because they realize that their prior successes in HS, which were, most often, athletic in nature, mean nothing in the world of higher education. They go from being celebrated and recognized in the small world of their high schools, to being just another body in a classroom whom no one knows.

"What I find particularly sad is that the majority of these young men do not realize that they can regain their power and autonomy by investing in themselves intellectually. (However, as any CC prof can affirm, the majority of our 18 and 19 year old students do not understand this.) To see "political correctness" (read: inclusiveness) as the cause of this identity loss in male is nonsense; rather, the changing economy, dependant as it is on the highly technical knowledge that requires at least a four-year degree, is a primary cause for identity loss among many young men, as it is the cause of distress for many Americans in general."

No comments:

it's not just for the classroom!