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Curriculum Integration in the Social Sciences: Syllabi and Teaching Materials Updating the Core Psychology Course: Integrating

Gender into the Curriculum by Toby R. Silverman-Dresner; Feminist Resources for Schools and Colleges: A Guide to Curricular Materials by Anne Chapman; An Inclusive Curriculum: Race, Class, and Gender in Sociological Instruction by Patricia Hill Collins; Margaret L. Anderson; The Sociology of Sex and Gender: Syllabi and Teaching Materials by Barrie Thorne; Mary McCorm ... Review by: Sandra Fluck NWSA Journal, Vol. 3, No. 3 (Autumn, 1991), pp. 462-467 Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press Stable URL: . Accessed: 09/12/2011 19:53
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Review Essay

Curriculum Integration in the Social Sciences: Syllabi and Teaching Materials Sandra Fluck

Course: Updatingthe CorePsychology IntegratingGenderinto the Curriculum Toby R. Silverman-Dresner.New York: Peter by Lang, 1989, 105 pp., $24.95 hardcover. FeministResources Schoolsand Colleges: Guideto Curricular A for Materialsby Anne Chapman. 3rd ed. New York: Feminist Press, 1986, 190 pp., $12.95 paper. An InclusiveCurriculum: Race, Class, and Genderin Sociological Instruction edited by Patricia Hill Collins and Margaret L. Anderson. Washington, D.C.: American Sociological Association Teaching Resources Center, 1987, 168 pp., $13.00 paper. The Sociology Sex and Gender:Syllabi and TeachingMaterials of edited by Barrie Thorne, MaryMcCormack,Virginia Powell, and Delores Wunder. Washington, D.C.: American Sociological Association Teaching Resources Center, 1985, 300 pp., $14.00 paper. TheSociology Sexuality of and Homosexuality: Syllabiand Teaching Materialsedited by Martin P. Levine and Meredith Gould. Washington, D.C.: American Sociological Association Teaching Resources Center and the Lesbian and Gay Caucus, 1987, 110 pp., $9.00 paper. The books under review are concerned with how academic curricula can be and is being transformed by the critical perspectives of race, ethnicity, class, affectional preference, age, and disability. When we look at curriculafrom these perspectives, we begin to understandthe necessity
Correspondence and requests for reprints should be sent to Sandra Fluck, 746 North Pine Street, Lancaster, PA 17603. NWSA Journal, Vol. 3, No. 3, Autumn 1991, pp. 462-467 462

Sandra Fluck


for integrating new content into college and high school courses using flexible and inclusive approaches. These resources remind us how the core curricula have been burdened with a narrow and exclusive agenda since the end of the Vietnam era. All of these manuals and books will make a significant change to existing academic culture. In her fine introductory chapter in Updating the Core PsychologyCourse, Toby Silverman-Dresner claims that the integration of the canon is difficult because of several resistances, the primary resistance being that of "listening to the voices of women, people of color, the elderly, the poor, the gay and lesbian community and others who are demanding change throughout the educational system." In analyzing these resistances to integration, Silverman-Dresner cites the five-phase model of Peggy McIntosh which elucidates the stages through which integration of the canon theoretically occurs. According to Silverman-Dresner, because integration cuts across all disciplines, we need a major overhaul of the monolithic structure that we know presently as the academic institution. Control over academic curricula resides in college departments, narrowly defined by their disciplines. Multidisciplinary, holistic programs can flourish if certain conditions exist, such as networking, greater faculty awareness of bias, improvement of campus resources, and changes in the institutional climate for women. These constitute the necessary components for a successfully integrated curriculum and campus culture. In Updating the Core Psychology Course Silverman-Dresner offers an insightful overview for rethinking the methodology of psychology. By reviewing and highlighting past and present research in psychology and reconstructing, or constructing a holistic and feminist approach to the study of psychology, she establishes a theoretical framework for integrating gender into the academic culture. In later chapters she discusses the specific interest and topics of a core psychology course, but in the first chapter she establishes the framework in which we will read her book and study psychology. She is quick to point out that teachers of psychology not only need to integrate gender issues into the curricula but also to include issues of race, ethnicity, and class. It is a matter, she claims, of building a relativistic framework that takes into account people's lives and culture. In addition she emphasizes that the traditional curricula cannot be reconstructed without recognizing that psychological research and interpretation is distorted by a male bias. Removing male bias is instrumental for reconstructing the canon. Realizing that the putative "objectivity" hailed by science and psychology is not pure objectivity-a point feminists have reiterated for at least the last twenty years-Silverman-Dresner urges readers into a different and more relevant paradigm that sees the obstinacy of "objectivity" as a biased tool, stripping research of significant context. In the case of the psychology


Social Science Curriculum

core curriculum, this significant context is the context of the social milieu of personal existence. Most important to feminist understanding is the bias of male science which places women in the context of depressed, average, and pathetic creatures, a context that has unfortunately shaped the present psychological paradigm. Silverman-Dresner urges immediate change, not only in integrating gender issues into the core curriculum but also in reconstructing a more fundamentally feminist methodology for the study of psychology. Just as Silverman-Dresner shows a way for opening the psychology canon, so Anne Chapman, the editor of the third edition of Feminist Resources for Schools and Colleges, offers teachers an opportunity for educating younger women in feminist thought and action. Feminist Resources gives teachers and upper-level students a comprehensive resource for developing curricula and building upon already-designed courses. As a thorough and well-organized examination of resources available for educational purposes, it motivates people to look up good reading material. The book is an annotated bibliography of nonsexist curricular materials using a multicultural perspective sensitive to gender, race, and class. It is designed for high school and undergraduate college teachers and students who want to find a balance to the traditional Eurocentric male curricula that is taught in most schools and found in most libraries and resource centers. Chapman briefly describes and critically evaluates the entries in order to give teachers a better idea about how to integrate the material into the curriculum. The focus of the guide is on the classroom, teaching, and academic subject areas. It surpasses the typical bibliographic resource guide because of its inclusion of multicultural audiovisual resources. The first half of the guide discusses print resources (books, articles, pamphlets, and periodicals), and the second half of the guide discusses audiovisual resources (films, filmstrips, records, cassettes, and slides). Of the total 445 entries, 310 are print, and 135 are audiovisual. The entries are arranged alphabetically by author under academic subject areas. The compilation includes materials collected from 1975 to 1984, each entry personally checked by the author. An estimate of the age level and reading level is included for the high school audience. Perhaps one of the most important advantages of this bibliography is its multicultural listing, with books such as African Women South of the Sahara edited by Margaret J. Hay and Sharon Stichter (1984) and Muslim Women edited by Freda Hussain (1984) as examples of print resources. After reading through the resources listed in this bibliography, one realizes that not only should these resources be included in specialized women's studies programs or the single course on women's European history or the high school unit on gender roles, but these resources are a foundation for integrating the core curriculum as well as developing

Sandra Fluck


a new curriculum base. A class on World War II should and could include these nonsexist curricula materials with women's perspectives so that Becoming Visible: Women in European History edited by Renata Bridenthal, Claudia Koonz, and Susan Stuard (2nd ed., 1987) becomes a standard text. Or a class in religion would explore Women in Israel: Biblical Times to the Present by Susan H. Gross and Marjorie W. Bingham (1980). On reading the annotations of the entries, it is evident that many resources and opportunities explore all women's lives, not just the lives of privileged women. This bibliography offers women the opportunity to examine the status of their internalized oppression. In using this bibiliography, we can learn how to integrate feminist perspectives into the classroom, thus making learning more holistic as well as continuing to develop and explore women's studies as its own intellectual and academic field. An Inclusive Curriculum:Race, Class, and Gender in SociologicalInstruction edited by Patricia Hill Collins and Margaret L. Anderson illustrates further how we are presently going through the fifth phase of reconstruction of the canon as mentioned above. As the title indicates, the focus of this curriculum is to create an inclusively integrated curriculum for the teaching of sociology in the classroom. The editors point out that race, class, and gender can be and are often treated as separate subjects within the discipline of sociology. Thus, these topics are accordingly treated in seminars and classes where students spend the semester reading and studying sexism, racism, and classism, independently of each other. The question, however, becomes: How will we make these variables a central part of teaching sociology? This volume of syllabi and essays is "part of the ongoing work of reconstructing sociology by bringing race, class, and gender fully into the center of the discipline's teaching." One of the main purposes of this inclusive sociological curriculum is to help sociologists become better teachers because, as the editors have found, "the process of inclusive teaching is often what engages a larger number of sociologists in rethinking the discipline." No greater aim exists than to show how the increasing amount of "conceptual and research literature on the interactive nature of race, class, and gender can be used to revitalize traditional approaches to sociological instruction." Published in 1987, this volume is the first one of its kind to collect syllabi and other teaching material with an inclusive perspective. And indeed it does a splendid job of organizing the submitted syllabi and creating a comprehensive resource for teachers interested in inclusive curriculum and for those who are now beginning to rethink sociological perspectives. An important asset is the collection of essays written by teachers who have encountered problems or situations that challenge their purpose. Others offer suggestions on how to incorporate race,


Social Science Curriculum

class, or gender into the classroom-learning situation through various formats and exercises. The syllabi offer a wide diversity of approaches, shown by the following titles: "Genealogy of Race, Sex, Class Oppression," "Teaching New Ways to Think About Race, Class, and Gender," and "Class, Status, and Power." Overall, the resource guide offers a comprehensive and useful starting point for an inclusive approach to examining the core of sociology. It emphatically reveals that fundamental changes are now taking place in reconstructing the core curriculum, and it motivates teachers to explore new ways to think about this change. Published in 1985 The Sociology of Sex and Gender edited by Barrie Thorn, Mary McCormack, Virginia Powell, and Delores Wunder updates the widely used American Sociological Association 1980 publication Teaching the Sociologyof Sex and Gender edited by Barrie Thorne. Unlike An Inclusive Curriculum, The Sociology of Sex and Gender provides perspectives only on sex and gender, an approach that seems limiting compared to the holistic effect generated by a more inclusive curriculum. This point, however, does not diminish the importance of this volume of far-reaching syllabi for the sociological study of sex and gender. As the editors state in the introduction, "this collection reflects currentand overdue-attention to the variety of women's, and men's experiences. Singular terms like 'woman,' while used to highlight the centrality of gender, have often assumed the experiences of privileged womenwestern, white, heterosexual, class-privileged. We have far to go in understanding intersections of gender, race, sexuality, class, and age." Although a review of the table of contents indicates how far knowledge has come in the last decade in this field, gaps still exist, especially gaps in our knowledge about men as "men." Specialized studies in content areas such as work, economy, family, sexuality, and health and medicine are the most prevalent areas, with fewer submitted syllabi on gender and politics, and fewer still in demography, religion, or community, rural, or urban sociology. The ASA Teaching Resources Center and the Lesbian and Gay Caucus cosponsored the collection of syllabi and teaching material in Sociology of Sexuality and Homsexuality edited by Martin P. Levine and Meredith Gould. This is the first compilation of any such material on the sociology of sexuality and homosexuality, and indeed it is a comprehensive resource in this specialized field. Designed for the novice instructor-and especially for the instructor who approaches this subject with trepidationthis manual functions as a resource book offering syllabi, assignments, and pedagogical aids. It is grouped into three main areas: sexuality courses, sexual variation and AIDS courses, and lesbian and gay studies courses. The course context, which appears in brackets in front of each syllabus, offers a profile for the audience of the course. Course assign-

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ments and exercises follow the unit containing the syllabi. Most of the materials were solicited by the editors.

The Sociologyof Sexualityand Homosexuality exemplifies the flexible

approach that is needed to reconstruct the curriculum. It opens up the canon in ways that traditionally oriented material cannot, and it seeks to be critically sensitive to the subject. Grouped as it is into three major areas, each division reflects the diversity of content and approach to teaching this relevant field. Many syllabi show the instructor's approach to be interdisciplinary, focusing on the psychological, biolgical, sociological, and political aspects of sexuality. Other syllabi show the instructor's approach to focus on either the social dimension and construction of sexuality or the political constructs which deal with power and sexuality. In the third division, the pedagogical essays and resources illustrate ways to handle problems when teaching about sexuality and homosexuality while at the same time offering solutions. Perhaps the most important aspect of this curriculum-and all the curricula that have been reviewed-is that in its publication, reconstruction of the canon can no longer be ignored in the academic institution. We should reflect, instead, on the possibilities that will emerge when men are studied from an inclusive perspective and men's studies are integrated into the canon.