Synthesis/Regeneration 5   (Winter 1993)

Feminist Principles        
of Classroom Interaction

Development of an Atmosphere of Mutual Respect, Trust, and Community in the Classroom:
When women have opportunities to come to know each other as people, speak honestly, take risks, and support each other in the classroom, feminist values of communication, community, equality, and mutual nurturance are reinforced.

Shared Leadership:
Feminist values argue for replacing hierarchical authority with participatory decision-making. This does not imply structurelessness, but structure that is democratic.

Cooperative Structure:
A classroom based on cooperative norms is desirable from both feminist and educational perspectives.

Integration of Cognitive and Affective Learning:
Feminism values both intellectual and emotional capabilities. Feminists struggle to change the overly rational premises of male-dominated social relations and institutions and to incorporate priorities appreciative of human needs and feelings.

As long as we live in a sexist society, feminism inevitably implies taking action to transform institutions and values.

(Excepted and reprinted with the kind permission of Radical Teacher: Nancy Schniedewind, n.d., Feminist Values: Guidelines for Teaching Methodology in Women's Studies, Radical Teacher, 18, pp. 25-28.)

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