Edited by Deborah M. Figart and Tonia L. Warnecke
Chapter 6: Teaching and learning for economic life
Feminist social economists have long recognized the interconnection between the teaching of the discipline and the goals of reformulating assumptions and transforming knowledge necessary for achieving ethical and fair development and progress in economic life. Seeing knowledge, including its categories of race and gender, as socially constructed, for feminist economists the practices of teaching and the knowledge content of the discipline are integrally related. As teacher-scholars participating in the production, dissemination, and institutionalization of knowledge, we have acknowledged the contradictions involved in coupling e mancipatory feminist research with traditional hierarchical teaching practices. For feminists these practices reinforce inequalities based on biased and disempowering values, assumptions, categories, and institutional arrangements and are therefore anathema to the underlying values of fairness, equality, and dignity (see Ferber and Nelson, 1993; Bartlett, 1997; Aerni et al., 1999; Peterson and Lewis, 1999; Strassmann, 1999; Aerni and McGoldrick, 2002; Mutari and Figart, 2003;Barker and Feiner, 2004). The assumption that social economic development and progress are more than the growth of gross domestic product or rise of personal incomes or industrialization or technological advance is the foundation of my thinking in this chapter. Supporting Nobel laureate in economics Amartya Sen, I see development as a process of expanding the reach of substantive freedoms that people enjoy in the context of social and economic arrangements and institutions including families, communities, for-profit, not-for-profit and nonprofit organizations, and governments.
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