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Development of Self, Voice and Mind: The Knowing Women

Oct 19, 2007
A certain book came out and it tackled the way that women acquire knowledge. This book is a product of an al woman team of surveyors/ researchers who focused on the way that women think or acquire learning and knowledge. The book is called A Women's Ways of Knowing. The researchers interviewed 135 women about their gender, relationships with other people, their ways of accepting or acquiring knowledge and their various moral dilemmas. As we learn about these, improve our chances for development of self, voice and mind.

These interviews yielded five ways of knowing. These ways of knowing delve into how women perceive themselves and how they approach the world at large. It was gleaned from the in-depth interviews that the way women think regarding education and knowledge affect self-perception and self-perception also affects the way we acquire knowledge.

One of the ways of knowing or acquiring knowledge is silence. In silence, one perceives the authority figure as the ultimate source of learning and knowledge. This type of learning or way of learning encourages blind obedience to authority figures. According to philosophers, the women do not even question or try to analyze the why and how of the information imparted by the authority figure, they just accept it as the truth. Incases like these, the women perceive themselves in stereotypes which are lower than authority figures. Again, according to philosophers, they have difficulty defining themselves as individual thinkers and thus they accept what is feed to them without any resistance for fear of rejection or conflict.

The next way of knowing is received knowledge. In this way of knowing, some of the interviewed women listen to the views and opinions of other people. These women have difficulty forming their own ideas and opinions. The have self doubt regarding their capabilities and even if they want to ask or doubt anything, their self-doubt is palpable and brings them down. It is the same as the way of knowing stated above, they also have this idea that authority figures are sources of facts and truth. They do not even seem to acknowledge that they have the capability to think.

On the other hand, subjective knowledge is the way of knowing wherein women have acknowledged their sense of worth and they are aware of their brain. The development of self, voice and mind is apparent here. The women separate themselves from their sense of obligation to follow and obey other people's ideas and opinions. These women have learned to value and respect their own voice. But despite finding their voice, they are oftentimes too rooted in the feeling of insubordination that they cannot and will not try to rock the boat just for the sake of voicing an opinion. The women have difficulty-seeing things the other way even if the other way makes sense. Te feeling of self-doubt is very strong and the interviewees are not so confident in stating their ideas.

In this way of knowing, the women have their voices of reason. There are two kinds of Procedural Knowledge, the connected knowing and the separated knowing. The connected version is described as where women delve into a certain source or author or theory and they dissect it with gusto. This way of knowing is non-confrontational and very enjoyable to most women. They share their ideas and opinions without any conflict and they also get to know each other through this way. Te idea or theory or author is well chewed out and discussed in any way which satisfies the women in the forum without any debate. This way of knowing is in a way, gossiping which can be very enjoyable to some of the women.

The separated version relies more on objectivity. There is a sort of confrontational attitude towards other people with other opinions, which may not conform to theirs. The discussion could turn heated and may end up in a debate among the people sharing or expressing their opinions. Constructed knowledge is the last way of knowing. Here women integrate their own voices and their own sense of self with reason. They accept that subjectivity and objectivity are essential elements in knowledge. For the knowledge to be gained these two must be conquered and made to work for the acquiring of knowledge.
About the Author
F Bogart

http://www.squidoo.com/power-of-now/
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