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Development of Self Voice and Mind A Womans Systematic Approach

Oct 17, 2007
Research have found that a large percentage of women have different ways of acquiring knowledge. Knowing can be defined as a way of achieving knowledge and learning. The researchers conducted interviews from 135 women and studied these interviews. These interviews yielded some facts and theories, which support the idea that women acquire knowledge in different ways.

This research gave birth to a book called A Women's Ways of Knowing. The subtitle is development of self, voice and mind. The five different ways of knowing is probed and discussed in this book. It is well written and very informative and brings to light how important self-perception is.

In this way of knowing, the learner views words as weapons and is worried and concerned about the effects of using strong words or voicing out an opinion. Silence here means the woman keeps silent to avoid conflict and debate. Most of the interviewed women acknowledge a desire for development of a sense of voice, mind and self. Silence encourages blind obedience to authority figures to avoid conflict. The ability to voice out vies and opinions are almost non-existent.

On the other hand, there is another way of knowing that leaves the women in a state of confusion and self-doubt. Self-starting is not part of this way of knowing. They are incapable or even unwilling to trust themselves to gain knowledge or wield it. Words are usually thought of as integral to the knowing process, these women appreciate learning by listening to authority figures.

The female individuals have little or no confidence in their own opinions and voice. They are also prone to thinking that peers are also of the same category or capacity as they are. Therefore, they do not easily believe their peers and instead prefer to believe figures of authority as the source of facts and truth. These women equate receiving, keeping and returning the words of authority figures with learning. They are like puppets, which just retain the knowledge and mouth the words but do not really understand and analyze it.

Further, women in this certain way of knowing do not trust logic, analysis, abstraction and language is called subjective knowledge. They perceive these as manly qualities or characteristics, which belong to the male gender.

Most of these women refrain from using confrontational ways to support or sanction their opinions in fear of jeopardizing relationships with others. They do not assert their opinions even if they know this may be the truth or may be a fact. Instead, they meekly offer advice or just keep quiet. They perceive first hand or hands on experience as a valuable source of learning and knowledge. These women have a sense of voice but they are not confident in themselves.

This is a step closer to development of self, voice and mind. It is a start to these women becoming their own authority. Inward listening and watching is the predominant learning mode.

However, there is something called the procedural knowledge that stresses that knowledge is encapsulated in systems. Some of the women who use this way of knowing may be liberal or conservative but seldom or never radicals. They believe that the simple act of gleaning information or knowledge needs careful observation and rigid analysis. This way of knowing comes in two versions.

Moreover, connected knowing is based in one's capacity for empathy. This means the woman wishes to understand and learn other individuals' opinions and ideas by sharing the experience that has lead to the formation of the theory or concept. They believe that this sort of non-aggressive discussion or forum will lead to better understanding of each other. It is not a confrontational meeting of the minds but instead it is an open and frank discussion of the different aspects and facets of the subject.

Further, separated knowing is based on the concept that everyone may be wrong including the person involved. This may lead to debate or confrontation within the meeting. This line of thought leads to the realization that there are no risks when arguing with authority figures.

The last way of knowing, both subjectivity and objectivity is called the constructed knowledge. Here one can cope with anything that comes along. The woman integrates her views and opinions with a sense of reason. As the woman acknowledges her self worth, she is capable of constructing and deconstructing frames of references.

With these abilities, one is capable of analyzing and developing the systems for constructing knowledge.
About the Author
Floyd Bogart

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