Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-59b7f5684b-z9m8x Total loading time: 0.314 Render date: 2022-10-03T22:54:08.645Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "displayNetworkTab": true, "displayNetworkMapGraph": false, "useSa": true } hasContentIssue true

3 - What Might Have Been: Women's Traditional Interests

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 June 2015

Nel Noddings
Affiliation:
Stanford University, California
Get access

Summary

What might the school curriculum have looked like if women had been involved in its planning from the start? Women are not all alike, of course, and it would be a mistake to suppose that they could be represented by a single, universal mind. Indeed, to build on that supposition would be to repeat the error made by so many men in the past. However, it is undeniable that women lived for centuries under the expectation that they would spend their lives maintaining a family and household. In the “best” homes and families, girls learned at home how to manage this challenging work. But how should these “best” homes be described? Just as we must continually deepen our exploration of what should be meant by a “better adult,” we must similarly examine the nature of “best homes.” If we can discover some powerful possibilities, it would make sense to include this information in the school curriculum.

There is a great emphasis today on the connection between poverty and education, and it is often assumed that schools could be more effective if something were done to alleviate poverty. This is almost certainly true. However, it should be worthwhile to explore the idea that educating for better home life might contribute not only to a reduction in poverty but to the greater effectiveness of schools in teaching the standard curriculum. The single most important factor in determining children's success in school is almost certainly the quality of their parenting, and yet we teach little or nothing in our schools about parenting. A whole chapter (Chapter 5) will be devoted to this topic. What else about home life should appear in the school curriculum?

HOUSEKEEPING

It is not unusual for thoughtful critics to poke a bit of fun at neatness. Witold Rybczynski, for example, writes: “Hominess is not neatness. Otherwise everyone would live in replicas of the kinds of sterile and impersonal homes that appear in interior-design and architectural magazines.” He goes on to describe the condition of his own study and writing desk: “covered three-deep with a jumble of half-opened books, encyclopedias, dictionaries, magazines, sheets of paper, and newspaper clippings.” He follows this with a long paragraph listing the “many personal mementos, photographs and objects” that fill his study. But notice that he has a study in which to pile up his treasures.

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2015

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×