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Course Information

Instructor Info:Kristen Luschen
Office Extension x5357
Term: 2013S
Meeting Info: Wednesday Friday
10:30 AM - 11:50 AM Franklin Patterson Hall (FPH) 102
10:30 AM - 11:50 AM Franklin Patterson Hall (FPH) 102

The relationship of girls' empowerment to education has been and continues to be a key feminist issue. Second wave liberal feminism, for instance, strove to make schools more equitable places for girls, demanding equal access and resources for girls and boys in schools and the elimination of discrimination specifically impacting girls. Yet the relationship of gender inequality and schooling is a complicated and contentious site of research and policy. In this course we will examine how various feminist perspectives have defined and addressed the existence of gender inequality in American schools. By analyzing research, pedagogies, policies and programs developed in the past few decades to address gender inequality and schooling, students should complete the course with a complex view of feminism and how these different, and at times contradictory, perspectives have contributed to the debates around educational inequality and the design of educational reform.

Evaluation Criteria:

Project and Assignments:

1.  (Personal) Educational History (3-5 pages): DUE, February

In a 3-5 page typed essay, please discuss if and how gendered mattered for you in school.  Were there patterns of times/spaces that you were acutely alert to your gendered identity and other times when you felt it was of little consequence?  In what ways did your gender identity offer you experiences of privileges and marginality? In what ways did these gendered experiences interact with your race/class/sexual identities?  Please draw on these examples from your experiences to respond to Sadker and Zittleman’s position that schools are “still failing at fairness.” Please type and carefully edit your paper.  Don’t forget page numbers!

2. Observation Assignment:

  • Observation notes due Friday, February 8
  • Paper (3-4 pages) due Wednesday, February 13

3.  Critical Media Analysis: Due March 8th

4. Semester Projects:

In this class each student will undertake a semester long research project.  Students will have the opportunity to pursue an independent research question or participate in collaborative group project. Every project will involve: a proposal and bibliography; annotated bibliography & outline; draft (peer reviewed); presentation;

  • Project Proposal: March  15th
  • Outline & Optional Annotated Bibliography : Wed. April 10
  • Project Draft: April 17th

Independent or collaborative group research project:

Students may elect to conduct research (library, media, theoretical, observation, etc) on a topic that interests them related to gender and education.  Students doing independent work will submit pieces of their project throughout the semester.  Student planning to pursue this option should plan to submit a research/creative proposal and initial bibliography of at least 5 sources on March 15th.  Students will submit an annotated bibliography, draft and present their work.  Final papers will be due with the portfolio on the last day of class.

Teaching/Curriculum Workshop Group: A Day at Hampshire College:

The Critical Studies of Childhood, Youth, and Learning program will host over 50 seventh grade students from the Peck School in Holyoke for A DAY AT HAMPSHIRE COLLEGE on Wednesday, April 3.  For a course project, individual or pairs of students may research and develop a 45-60 minute workshop for the event.  The workshop and research must link to the scope of this course.  Each student will submit a lesson plan, and submit a paper that reflects on the process within the context of their research.

5. Course Retrospective (2 pages)

Additional Info:

Requirements for an Evaluation:

I have expectations of students who would like to receive an evaluation for the course. In order to follow the flow of the conversation and build a respectful and open classroom community, all participants must invest their time and intellectual energy. 

  1. I expect student to attend class regularly and promptly.  Your evaluation will reflect your absences and inconsistent participation if more than two classes are missed.  I will not write an evaluation for students who miss more than four classes.  I recommend students who do so to withdraw from the course rather than receive a “no eval” designation.
  2. All reading assignments are mandatory and you should come prepared to discuss why they did/did not engage you, raise questions, and critically examine their assumptions, methods and arguments.
  3. I expect that you will participate in creating knowledge in the classroom.  For many of you, this will mean active participation in discussion, small groups, and class exercises.  That is, contributing your experiences and perspectives as they relate to the theories, projects, and texts we are discussing, reflective listening, acknowledging the perspectives of other participants, and formulating critical observations and questions about our own positions and others.
  4. I expect that you will complete all course assignments and submit them when they are due.  Late work will only be accepted if the student requests and receives approval for an extension before the day the paper is due.  My goal is to read and respond to written assignments carefully and offer feedback that will help you to improve your future work.

Policies and Expectations:


Classroom Climate

The dynamics of a class greatly impact what we are able to explore in the time we are together.  It is important to remember that we are responsible to and for one another in the micro-community created by this course.  In terms of assignments, this includes my expectation that students will complete all assignments, readings, group work, and any other class work in a timely manner.  I also expect that students communicate any difficulties they are experiencing completing the coursework.   Likewise, I will strive to provide constructive and useful feedback and to assist students when they are experiencing academic difficulties.


Respectful conduct and collaboration are essential to a rich intellectual experience.  Creating an inclusive, meaningful class will require that when entering into critical discussion, we must listen, be willing to suspend personal judgment, and seek to understand others’ perspectives and how they came to them rather than dismiss them out of turn.  Disagreement will and should remain, yet rather than defend and close down our ability to learn from one another and the texts, I expect that each person will approach readings and discussion with the purpose of gaining a more complicated understanding of a topic than that which they had prior to class.

Electronic Devices such as Cell Phones & Laptops:  LAPTOPS ARE ALLOWED IN CLASS as this is an important medium for reading articles.  However, do not use the laptop for activities other than note taking and referring to readings. Unless we are doing an assignment that might be enhanced by the laptop, your laptop should remain closed.  If I notice you are checking facebook, email, etc., I will ask you kindly to stop.  If I notice it a second time, you will be withdrawn from the classDO NOT use your cell phone, if you are expecting an emergency call, please alert me before class, put your device on silent, and leave the classroom when the call comes in.  


On Plagiarism from NSNS “Ethics of Scholarship”

Plagiarism covers everything from inadvertently passing off the work of another as one’s own (whether due to ignorance, time constraint, or careless note taking) to hiring a ghostwriter to produce an examination or course paper. This range of possibilities includes False Citation, False Data, Intentional Poor Documentation, Papers Written by Others, unacknowledged multiple authors or collaboration, or unacknowledged multiple submission.  Disciplinary action will be taken if a student plagiarizes.  So don’t do it – learn how to cite your sources correctly. If you’re not sure if you need a citation, veer towards the safe route and cite. In this class, I will expect you will use the format recommended by the American Psychological Association (APA).  Guides to this format and others (Chicago, MLA) can be found on the library website at:

Disability Statement

Students with documented disabilities who need academic accommodations should contact Joel Dansky, M.S.W., disabilities services coordinator at or x6098.