LEERAY M. COSTA AND KAREN J. LEONG Despite its now celebrated status in numerous institutions of higher learning across North America, civic engagement remains a contested topic among feminist scholars and teachers. This is not because feminist teachers are unsupportive of engaged and experiential learning. In fact, "long before Campus Compact was even a gleam in civically engaged presidents' eyes, the young discipline of women's studies was designing community-based learning options for students" (Musil, "Educating" par. 7). As evidenced in previous issues of Feminist Teacher, women's and gender studies (WGS) teachers and practitioners have successfully created and launched numerous courses, programs, activities, and events that illuminate for students how and why social problems manifest, how as members of this society they are implicated in those problems, and how they may practically and actively engage in addressing those problems. Yet, feminist scholars remain highly suspicious of civic engagement projects advanced by university administrators and colleagues in other disciplines because of their perceived potential for reinforcing the very power inequalities that feminists have worked so diligently to expose and challenge. As some have noted, civic engagement discourse in U.S. higher education is rooted in a neutral and universalizing language that
Feminist Teacher – University of Illinois Press
Published: Aug 21, 2012
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