The myth of choice :a critical feminist examination of barriers to degree completion for mothers in college


McDowell, Theresa Lynn.. (2008). The myth of choice :a critical feminist examination of barriers to degree completion for mothers in college. Theses and Dissertations Collection, University of Idaho Library Digital Collections.

The myth of choice :a critical feminist examination of barriers to degree completion for mothers in college
McDowell, Theresa Lynn.
Mothers--Education (Higher) Working mothers--Education (Higher) Sex discrimination in higher education Feminist criticism
Adult education falls short when it comes to meeting the needs of today's mothers and their families. Current workforce literature provides evidence that families in contemporary American society are suffering due to discrimination against mothers in the workforce. Noticeably missing in the current debate related to mothers' wellness and socio-economic viability is the importance of family-friendly policies and practices that address discrimination against mothers enrolled in degree programs for the purpose of skill building and professional career preparation. Of the existing literature, the majority focuses on family and work policy improvement, minimizing higher education's responsibility to ensure educational access to mothers enrolled in degree programs.;Education has long been known as an important intervention into the cycle of poverty for many families; however, traditional academic programs lack the collective commitment toward developing a philosophy of critical feminist transformative education. Barriers related to infrastructure, universal access, and negative maternal bias continue to impede mothers' access to educational opportunities. While many adult educators recognize the need for open, flexible education and infrastructures that support such flexibility, institutional policies and instructional practices have been slow to follow. Additionally, the current socio-political landscape is such that mothers are continually bombarded with messages that devalue the need for transformative educational experiences and reinforce the myth that mothers who pursue such goals are selfish and neglectful of the needs of their families.;The purpose of this feminist action research study is to understand, describe, and impact factors related to institutional and instructional barriers within degree programs as experienced by mothers through strategies of feminist action research. A critical feminist lens is utilized to examine the social, political, and emotional factors related to such experiences. Three major themes were identified: Disempowerment, Merging Mother and Other, and Women's Ways of Leading . A feminist action research methodology was utilized to develop and begin to implement a philosophy of critical feminist transformative education in the context of MAASE (Mothers and Allies Advocating Supportive Education). MAASE is described in detail in Chapter Six. Findings and implications for future work are presented through the conceptualization of MAASE.
Thesis (Ph. D., Education)--University of Idaho, December 2008.
Major Professor:
Jerry R. McMurtry.
Defense Date:
December 2008.
Format Original:
xi, 213 leaves :ill. ;29 cm.

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