Feministische Forschung beleuchtet die Naturwissenschaften:
This study explored the gendered nature of STEM higher education institution through a feminist critical discourse analysis of STEM course syllabi from a Midwest research university. I explored STEM syllabi to understand how linguistic features such as stance and interdiscursivity are used in the syllabus and how language and discourses used in the syllabus replicate the masculine nature of STEM education. Findings suggest that the discourses identified in the syllabi reinforce traditional STEM academic roles, and that power and gender in the STEM syllabi are revealed through exploration of the themes of knowledge, learning, and the teaching and learning environment created by the language used in the syllabus. These findings inform and extend understanding of the STEM syllabus and the STEM higher education institution and lead to recommendations about how to make the STEM syllabus more inclusive for women.
Finally, a review of the syllabi for gendered language and discourses involves an exploration for the discourse of STEM higher education as creating a chilly climate, one that is difficult, competitive, and lacks support. The syllabi explored in this study promoted a view of the classroom as academically difficult, with high standards that were not flexible. For example, “please be reminded that all writing you do in this course will be expected to meet a certain standard of competency and quality” (Lower level geology). The language used promotes the idea that the high standards of the course were inflexible and difficult, and exceptions would not be made if students could not meet expectations. That difficulty is reinforced through the use of comprehensive exams,“Each exam is semi-comprehensive. And the final exam is fully comprehensive. This means that tests may contain information from throughout the semester” (Lower level geology). Also reinforcing the difficulty of the courses was the treatment of prerequisites as skills or topics that the instructor would not have time to cover in the course. Good algebra and trig skills are essential if you expect to be successful in this course. In addition, you are expected to have sufficiently mastered the material
in Calculus I to be able to use it when needed. We will not have time in this class to devote to prerequisite materials (Lower level math).Instead of only listing prerequisite courses, these syllabi included prerequisite knowledge and skills, creating an even more intimidating view of the course. That language implied that not only would students be held to difficult high standards, but also that there was also a base of knowledge that was required to be successful in the course. While it is not unrealistic to include prerequisites in a syllabus, the language used to discuss the prerequisites indicated that students who had not learned or did not remember that knowledge would be unsuccessful because there was not support within the course or from the instructor. The language used in this corpus of syllabi created an impression of extremely difficult courses, which contributes to the chilly climate in STEM courses, and would be prohibitive for those not confident in those areas, such as women and minorities. Additionally, a chilly climate is reinforced with a focus on the individual instead of the group and is a characteristic of a masculine learning environment (Mayberry & Rose, 1999).
Another aspect of the chilly climate is competitiveness, and the STEM syllabi were also framed as competitive courses, exemplified by grading on a curve, “The final grading scale may be curved based on class performance” (Lower level biology). Grading on a curve is one way that the literature has found to be competitive and discouraging to women and minorities (Shapiro & Sax, 2011). Finally, the competitive, difficult chilly climate was reinforced in the syllabi through the use of unfriendly and tough language, “Do not ask me to figure out your grade standing. I’ll be glad to show you how to do it yourself, but the homepage includes that explanation already” (Lower level geology). Like this statement, many of the syllabi used language that was unfriendly and reinforced the individualistic, difficult and competitive nature of the STEM classroom. Throughout the syllabi, the chilly climate was reinforced through language use and the selection of assessments and teaching methods.
In response to research question three, gender is not explicitly referenced within this corpus but the masculine or male-biased views of knowledge, learning and teaching that are seen in the STEM education institution are reinforced in the syllabus. Throughout the syllabi, knowledge is represented as static and unchanging, with some nods to collaborative and active learning to encourage students to acquire course content. Language used in the syllabi reinforces the unfriendly and difficult nature of STEM courses, and STEM teaching is framed as the instructor’s role to deposit static knowledge into students. In those ways, the syllabi replicate the gendered STEM education institution and are gendered to the disadvantage of women.
- es gibt gesichertes Wissen
- Der Lehrer bringt es bei
Weiblich wäre anscheinend eine subjektive Sicht auf Wissen. Wie soll man sich das feministisch korrekt vorstellen: E=mc2? Auch nur so eine sexistische Gleichung, die die Lichtgeschwindigkeit priviligiert. Berechnungen in der Physik? Masse kann auch durch gute Worte Empowerd werden, alles andere ist Massshaming.
Gut, dass wir die feministische Forschung haben. Endlich wissen wir, dass Wettbewerb nichts für Frauen ist und sie nicht damit umgehen können, wenn es auf harte Leistung ankommt.