Studies in Philosophy and Education 30 (4):385-402 (2011)

Two humanist, critical approaches—those of Dorothy Dinnerstein and Immanuel Kant—are summarized, compared, and employed to critique gender bias in science education. The value of Dinnerstein’s approach lies in her way of seeing conventional “masculinity” and conventional “femininity” as developing in relation to each other from early childhood. Because of women’s dominance of early childcare and adults’ enduring, sexist resentment of that dominance, women become inhumanely associated with the non-adult qualities of immaturity, dependence, and childish vulnerability and punish-ability; and male human beings—to whom woman-resenting convention assigns the impossible task of absolutely triumphing over “the feminine,” childhood experience, and all human vulnerability—become inhumanely held to unachievable standards of super-hero invulnerability and god-like mental and practical infallibility. The value of Kant’s approach lies in his insistence that our sense of what is right and necessary for social progress must arise in a practically engaged and experientially full manner, rather than from concepts conceived as being detached from sense experience and as arising from an otherworldly, divine or quasi-divine realm of moral infallibility, or from a sense of being trapped in what—in a given historical, cultural, or experiential moment—may appear as an absolute and unchangeable reality of embodied human experience. I demonstrate that critique integrating these approaches is useful in a science education setting.
Keywords Kant  Dinnerstein  Gender  Science education
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DOI 10.1007/s11217-011-9230-2
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Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals.Immanuel Kant - 2009 - In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), Exploring Philosophy: An Introductory Anthology. Indianapolis: Oxford University Press.

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