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"All this talk!" : stories of women learning 1996

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" A L L THIS T A L K ! " : STORIES O F W O M E N L E A R N I N G by VALERIE-LEE C H A P M A N B.A Hons., The University of London, 1971 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE F A C U L T Y OF G R A D U A T E STUDIES (Department of Educational Studies, Adult Education Program) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September 1996 ©Valerie-Lee Chapman, 1996 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of Q u O ^ t i V l ^ A O l W l f e The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date Abstract My own experience as a mature woman student led me to question how women learn. A review of literature on adult learning theory, feminist scholarship, postmodern thought and educational program planning was undertaken and a research question synthesised. I asked five mature women program planners who had returned to formal graduate education, either as part time or full time students: How has your experience of learning as a woman affected your program planning practice? The organizing methodology for the study was narrative or storying, infused with the principles of feminist research practice. There were three individual interviews, and then a group meeting. An initial life story analysis was given to the five women and we discussed interpretations. The study was then written up to include my own learning experiences, and the whole text analyzed to see what our personal narratives revealed about the larger educational discourse. The women's stories of learning fell into three categories of experience: In the first, the metaphor is talk, in the second, the metaphor is opposition—from the "old, male model", in the third, the metaphor is power. Some conclusions: The women's stories validated much of the feminist literature on women's ways of learning; women struggle to learn under the "old, male model"; learning at school was more challenging than learning at work; good teaching is as important as how learning is designed; power-knowledge structures in higher education are well hidden, but still regulate and discipline women learning; that these women resisted regulation; that while men and women are often alienated, seeing their opposite sex as the Other, there is "another way", and, finally, that the (male) use of planning as a metaphor for negotiating power and responsibility is not sufficient to describe how the women plan. Rather, their metaphor might be that planning is creative modelling, an embodying of good learning experiences in planning practice. Their suggested model for planning focuses on intention, modelling, courage and creativity. Implications for practice include making gender visible, making power visible and honouring feminist work. i v A L L THIS T A L K ! " ; STORIES O F W O M E N L E A R N I N G T A B L E O F C O N T E N T S Abstract u Table of Contents i v Acknowledgments v i PROLOGUE: SCRAPING CARROTS 1 T H E SIXTH WOMAN. 4 Personal Experiences, Or, What Happened at the Photo Copier Problem Statement, Or, Does This Pain Have a Point? Purpose of the Study, Or, Who Learns From Our Learning? Significance of the Study, Or, Does It Matter At The End of The Day Perspectives on Adult Learning Feminist Learning Theory: Gender and Liberatory Models Feminism, Research and Postmodernism New Directions in Program Planning Definitions and Questions Plots and Subplots, Or, A Collection of Stories Becoming a (Narrator) Researcher, Or, Chapman, V.L.,(1996) How I Found Stories, Or... .Yes, There is a Methodology! Get Me An Epistemology While You're Up My Dramatis Personae, Or, Five Women And This Is The Plot We All Followed Resistance to Research, Or, My Hands Hurt! What Did You Say My Name Was? Or, Whose Ethics Are These? Analysis....Couched in Two Voices I N T E R L U D E ; T H E FIRST W E E K OF T H E J O U R N E Y , H O P E 98 T E T E A T E T E . . .WITH T H E LITERATURE 18 PLOT LINES 64 FIVE W O M E N 104 Honoring Voices Yolanda Sonia Lee Jane Lana Postscript: I Packed My Bag And In It I Put.... A RIVER OF T A L K 200 Learning is Talking Learning is A Struggle Learning? It's All About Power! And, Planning Learning I N T E R L U D E : T H E M I D D L E OF T H E J O U R N E Y , C O N F L I C T 256 DENOUEMENTS, T H E STORIES UNFOLD 267 Gender A Foucauldian Story Is There Room to Hope? Feminising Foucault with/and the Other Planning and Power and Women Gender, Organization and Technology I N T E R L U D E : T H E J O U R N E Y E N D S , R E S O L U T I O N S 3 1 6 FINALES, OR, R E A L L Y M Y L A S T WORDS O N T H E SUBJECT. 320 EPILOGUE: AFTER T H E PARTY'S OVER 327 BIBLIOGRAPHY 331 APPENDIX A: Interview Guides 343 APPENDIX B: A Poem and Reflections 348 v i Acknowledgments This thesis is dedicated to Heloise, who did not live to see it completed, to the Five-plus- one Women who made it possible, and to all women who struggle to learn. I would like to thank those people who made my going back to school possible—Chris, Gary and Kaye, and Jane, and those who through financial or emotional support, encouraged me to continue—all my friends, especially Johanne and Donna, Margaret and Leslie, Lynn, the women at Avalon, my family in England—Barbara and Derrick, and my mother. My mother never had the formal chances that I did, to learn and to grow, and she is a not a feminist. But when I decided to return to university to resume my education she surprised me by being my best supporter; all along the way she has encouraged me, supported me and through the judicious use of the postal system and food parcels, she has made sure that, at least this time, unlike my years away at boarding school, I had enough to eat! I would also like to thank my Committee for being so patient, for letting me be "outrageous" and "unconventional", and for letting me write, talk and learn subversively. P R O L O G U E : S C R A P I N G C A R R O T S I stood in my kitchen scraping the carrots I had just bought at IGA. At five o'clock, just five hours away, five women would arrive at Room 3 08A in the Education building up at the University. They were coming for a group interview, taking out time from their lives, sandwiching in a research session with me to help me complete my thesis research. When I started out, back in late December, I had thought this session would take place in March, April at the latest, but I had not reckoned in to the design the complex scheduling it would take to set up just the three initial, individual interviews with each of the five women, let alone getting them all together in one room at the same time. Feminists argue, as do many good educators of either sex these days, that theory and knowledge produced collaboratively is more equitable, socially authentic and valid than that constructed in isolation or individual encounters. So I had been very excited about getting my five participants together, after our individual engagements, to see just what they would come up with as a group. But now I was really nervous.... What if they didn't like each other? What if they didn't come and I sat there like Charlie Chaplin in the Gold Rush? At least I would have more to eat than a boot--I had promised them food, coming as they were straight from work, hungry and tired and frazzled as I was sure they would be....Hence the carrots. And the zuchinni, celery, apples, oranges and grapes, dips, mineral water and juice, bagels and cream cheese—from Benny's of course—and the guilty carrot cake that I was sure the two nurses would frown upon...No body would go hungry and no mind either....I just hoped they would have something to say. I wondered if a male researcher would feel the need to feed his participants, and then chastised myself for construing every act, every thought and whim as part of my thesis analysis. (That was something else the text-books didn't tell you—that your life is not your own when you are fully immersed in research, even the most private thoughts and moments are scrutinised, 2 theorised and analyzed. There should be a place on the Ethics form for a declaration of care and support for one's own self, a precaution against self-deception, invasion of privacy and non-ethical treatment of self as subject). I arrived two hours early, bags of food, two tape recorders, two table microphones, five little packages for them to read and comment on, six—one for me~agenda/ers with the three questions I wanted them to address, water, signs up on the door "Research Study: Private", what else, what else? I arranged the room with the food at one end of the long table, the tape recorders and mikes set up at the other end. I decided we would have snacks while we were waiting for everyone to come—Oh God, what if they forget? I had only phoned them all twice to remind them, I should have called again this afternoon—and then they would talk and then we would finish up with another snack. I only put out the healthy stuff, the carrot cake I kept hidden in its Safeway bag. Time for that at the end. Shouldn't I be thinking of the research questions, the design or something? All this obsessing on whether they would be comfortable, have enough to eat, drink, and where were the bathrooms in this building, anyway? I knew no man would go through this—or was I stereotyping? No, I knew several male grad students who were researching, they didn't do this....One bought a super sharp $150 microphone....Well, I had settled for what I could get free from the University's Audio-Video Services, but I had Benny's bagels and carrot cake! At ten to five, I looked up and there was Yolanda. Carrying a tin of cookies her mother had made and thought we would like....And then Lana came in, introductions, and as we spoke in walked Jane, "Oh, of course I know you, you're in this too?", and then Sonia, more hello's, introductions, and where was Lee? I just knew she had forgotten, but no, here she is, hello's to all, and Sonia and Yolanda have never met but have found already a common acquaintance, a male friend of both, a student, and Lee and Jane are catching up.... We ate, they all ignored the text, the microphones....The bagels were a hit, not enough cream cheese, where's the water, and 3 then I said, "Maybe we should move to the other end and start?" "No!" they all said, "bring the tape players down here, we'll sit and eat and talk here", and so we sat among the Safeway bags and the carrots, the blue-berry cream cheese and the orange juice and the text, and they started to talk about women learning at work and at school, about planning programs, about what it means to be a feminist, about betrayals and triumphs, about power, about models, about being involved in the " Val Study" (Sonia), what it had been like for them and how it had altered their practice.... They talked from five o'clock to seven forty-five, and I said they could go, but they talked until past eight, Lee had to leave, and then Jane...but Sonia, Yolanda and Lana were still talking as I locked up at nine, standing on the stairs, moving to the doorway, still talking, down the sidewalk, me with them, still talking, talking, talking.... Here's what got that talk going.... 4 T H E S I X T H W O M A N Well, do you want to introduce yourselves? Shy?.. Words of one syllable? Anybody want to start? Keep on eating, please I Oh, you've all gone quiet! Where are the microphones? (HERE! and HERE!) Should we move that one a bit closer to us and the food, Sonia? Thanks. (SCREECH as microphone slides down the table). I'll start, I'm Jane I can go next, my name is Lana I'm Yolanda And I'm Lee My name is Sonia Oh, I have a mouthful...I'm Valerie (GT.l) And I am the sixth woman. This study is about the experiences of five women learning and planning, but of course, it's about me too. So here I am, wearing my Academic Voice.... *** A few words, a commodity ][ never seem to run short of, about Voice and Fonts. This is the first of the personal asides, narrative time-outs, that y o u will encounter in the reading of this text; if we were talking, one of us would say, Oh, yeah that means or, Oh, y o u don't get that? Well, what it means is....Because we are having a conversation, the two of us, reader and writer, and so at times I will pause, realising that in m y desire to produce a writerly text I may be forgetting you, the reader, so II will need to jump in and tell you, Oh well, this means.... Also, it allows me a space in the writing', a "Refuge Area" like those y o u see in newer buildings and shopping mall parkades (what should we be seeking refuge from? I always wonder, but the signs don't say that, just state, curtly, "Refuge Area", perhaps if y o u are a shopping mall refugee they make sense to you?), a space to linger in, one where personal reflections insinuate themselves into m y writ ing mind, and then lodge in the text, known to me, but now to you. So, when y o u see this font (and it took me a long time to f ind one that looked like the kind of hand-writing m y computer would use if it could write in m y Voice), you'll know it's time for an explanation, or a rumination, or just time to take a poetic break...J'd also like to suggest y o u might like to cast your m i n d into your own spaces, reflect perhaps, on where your own story and our stories, the Five-plus-one Women's stories overlap. Or is that too uncomfortable? A t any rate, it's a narrative tea-break, so take advantage of it. In a more conventional thesis, ][ think these would be footnotes, but this isn't a conventional thesis, so take a sip of tea, pause and think about life.... A n d a word about Voice. Later on, in the next chapter I will talk a lot more, and a lot more academically, about the development of voice as a metaphor for women's intellectual, ethical and personal development. It's a phrase often used in the literature of personal growth, or of transformative learning, but for me it represents as well the development almost of another personality, one with a Voice of its own, a life of its own, and, disconcertingly, a V o i c e t h a t is c r i t i c a l o f m u c h t h a t i t h a s e n c o u n t e r e d i n i t s e d u c a t i o n . I h a v e s t r u g g l e d t o m u t e i t , t o s t a y w i t h i n t h e a c c e p t e d a c a d e m i c b o u n d s , b u t t h i s V o i c e h a s g r o w n l o u d e r a n d l o u d e r , a n d i t h a s f i n a l l y e a r n e d the r i g h t to C a p i t a l i s e i t s e l f . A f t e r a l l , i t h a s a l o t m o r e c o u r a g e t h a n m o s t o f its c o l l e a g u e s , a c a d e m i c m i m i c s t h a t t h e y a r e , a n d i t h a s a l o t m o r e f u n t o o . It c a n t a k e o n A c a d e m i c c j u a l i t i e s , o r b e S e r i o u s , o r b e S a d , o r A n g r y . O v e r t h e l a s t two y e a r s , f r o m t i m i d b e g i n n i n g s , s m a l l i n t e r j e c t i o n s , t i n y i n t e r l o c u t i o n s , i t h a s g r o w n b i g e n o u g h a n d l o u d e n o u g h t o t a k e o v e r t h i s t h e s i s . M y t h e s i s c o m m i t t e e c a p i t u l a t e d b e f o r e I d i d , g i v i n g t h e V o i c e p e r m i s s i o n t o t a l k a n d to w r i t e . . . . ! s t i l l t r y t o m u f f l e i t s m o r e o u t r a g e o u s c o m m e n t s , h e n c e t h i s R e f u g e A r e a . S i m i l a r l y , o t h e r w o r d s h a v e t a k e n o n t h e i r o w n l i v e s , b e c o m e l a n g u a g e e m b o d i e d ; y o u w i l l n o t e t h e i r a p p e a r a n c e t h r o u g h o u t t h i s t e x t , f o r t h e y , too, h a v e c l o t h e d t h e m s e l v e s i n C a p i t a l s . H o n o u r t h e m w h e n y o u see t h e m . I f e e l c o m p e l l e d t o t e l l y o u t h i s b e c a u s e t h e A c a d e m i c V o i c e h a s n o t e d t h e w o r d s of o n e o f i t s T e a c h e r s — h e t e l l s u s h i s s t o r y o f t h e g r o w t h o f V o i c e a n d h o w h e h a s e n c o u n t e r e d t h o s e w h o c o n d e m n h i m / i t , a t t e m p t to e x i l e h i m / i t , w i t h t h e p h r a s e , W e l l , t h i s p o e t i c s t u f f is o k , b u t c a n h e w r i t e A C A D E M I C A L L Y ? So, b e f o r e y o u e v e n s a y i t , Y e s ! I c a n w r i t e a c a d e m i c a l l y , I c a n p u n c t u a t e , I c a n b e m o r e g r a m m a t i c a l t h a n y o u , b u t o f t e n m y V o i c e is b e t t e r h e a r d i n its o w n l a n g u a g e , c o n s t r u c t i n g i t s e l f i n i t s o w n c o n v e n t i o n s , d e f i n i n g i t s o w n e x i s t e n c e i n d e p e n d e n t o f t h e a c a d e m i c s t r i c t u r e s . . . . B u t s o m e t i m e s t h e V o i c e b e c o m e s 7 A c a d e m i c So, on with the story! What was I talking about? Oh, photocopiers and stories.... ««« Personal Experiences, Or , What Happened at the Photo Copier.... My own experience as a mature, female student returning to post-secondary education to pursue a graduate degree in Adult Education led directly to my research question. A personal desire for a change in the quality of my life led, in turn, to a desire for a new career that would reflect that change philosophically and practically. This meant a transition from a financially secure, professional social status to a marginal existence as an adult student. I was prepared for dislocation, having read Bridges' book on life-transitions, but anticipated few real problems that my own enthusiasm and innate intelligence could not overcome. I enroled in a program which values its students' life experiences and abilities, consciously striving to do so in a learning environment that offers a hospitable climate to all its adult learners, regardless of age, gender, race or cultural and ethnic background. But to my dismay I still felt left-out, even silenced, as I struggled to learn. Often in class, and too, in small group discussions, I literally had to shout to be heard as other voices overlaid mine, drowning out my comments and observations. Some instructors either ignored, or didn't notice, it seemed, the quieter or more reticent learners: they also mandated learning activities that some, including myself, found distasteful or unhelpful. Other students disparaged truly collaborative methods of inquiry, preferring to offer a collection of self-directed learning projects in group assignments, or have a leader direct tasks. One of the more humiliating experiences came during a group presentation. The three male students on our team, all strong personalities, had fought each other to a standstill to see 8 who would control the group. They made the arrangements for the team presentation, refusing our help. Each spoke for an exact third of the total time allotted; us women students were assigned non-speaking roles as "facilitators" of the small group discussion which was to follow. We stood there at the front of the class, three womanly bookends, not sure where to put our hands, whether we should smile or look stern, mutely supporting the male presenters. We were a dumb female Chorus, reflecting bodily back to the audience a sub-text on inequity in education-- we were there to be read by all, or none, in that classroom. The most revealing experience came at the end of that term, and although I knew it was important at the time, now it really underscores Yolanda's story, Sonia's words as they talked to me about what they think about men and women learning....But I'm getting ahead of myself....Here is the Photocopier Story, based in part upon my writing for an assignment on personal learning experiences. A Story: What was Said and Done at the Photocopier.... As the term wore on, our case study group had begun to fray apart and the dynamics within our group had become aggressive and confrontational. It was so far from the supportive learning climate I had looked for. I felt alienated, dis-empowered and disillusioned. I often drew upon me the wrath of the man who dominated the group and had, unilaterally, decided to appoint himself leader. One of the others in the group pointed this out, remarking that whenever I spoke, the Leader, even if he had nothing to contribute, would simply begin talking over my words, louder and louder until I surrendered and became silent. The worst of this situation was that I had no support from the others, who were prepared to commiserate after our meetings but not to intervene at the time. 9 I began to leave campus on Wednesday's after an all-morning class and all-afternoon study/case group meeting in an increasingly hopeless and despairing state of mind. I was disillusioned at what I saw as an antithesis of good educational practice. My sense of worth as a person and as a beginning scholar sank to a point lower than I could have believed possible. My sense of moral purpose was diluting too. In my other classes I was beginning to think about what kind of philosophy would guide my practice. I had read about the need for an ethical foundation (for example, in Barer-Stein and Draper, 1993), and had thought my future work as an adult educator would be so founded, but within my group value was placed on the bankability of the degree to be earned, the monetary results of practice. There were no social activists or even moralists in my group, no critical theorists.... Three broad questions concerning learning and purpose remained unanswered for me as the term drew to a close. Why, even though I now understood that we all construct our knowledge as individuals, did some of us seem to share more similarities and more shared conclusions than did others? Why did our group seem so differentiated? And why was I so ambivalent about an articulation of a personal philosophy—was my disillusion so total? Would I accept expediency as an ideology? Troubled, I wasn't able to celebrate with the others the completion of the Case from Hell, nor its decent burial (in the re-cycling pile for some of us~a fitting interment in non-consecrated ground). But the answers came, and from an unpopular source, feminist theory and research, a sea of words I was just starting to dip my toes in.... Ironically, the critical incident occurred at the photo-copier where I was copying a piece of MacKeracher's (1993) writing, all about women's learning, reading parts of it to the other woman from the study group as I went along. The Leader and one of the other men from the group walked up to wait their turn at the copier. The Leader turned to the other, and in total disregard for us, silenced our discussion by telling the other man they should set a time to meet to 10 study, elaborating (for our benefit?) that he meant just the two of them. It was then that I realised that while we women had agonized about what we should d o - should we leave the study group, or re-format it so that we could all benefit from each others learning styles, how should we be valuing the connections and relationships in the group—the separated knowers had judged our style, our "ways of knowing" as irrelevant, or wanting somehow, and excised us. We, the two women, felt the abrupt dis-connection, the cutting loose; later the other men would confirm our dismissal. At that point I knew that my sense of disjuncture in the group was real and that I had learned a great truth for myself. MacKeracher's work had suggested that most men, most often, would not learn as I did, nor would most men value my way of knowing. There was a certain comfort in finally understanding the jangling disharmony. Ironically, I had received my formal education in just the kind of academic setting that Perry (1988) had researched and until that moment I had always rejected the "emotionalism" of feminism, seeing myself as a genderless learner in an equal environment. As I stood there I realised I had never been viewed as that by the Others, the gendered learners. Luckily, I have always had a sense for the absurd and it was a relief to laugh with the other woman later on over lunch at the Funky Armadillo, about the totally different construction placed upon one learning experience by the several persons involved in it. Somehow it also freed me of my doubts about a personal philosophy—now I felt quite cut off from the rational and logical position which had argued for adopting a pragmatic expediency and taking what our degrees would offer in the business world. I decided then and there to take a different path. * Not all my learning experiences were this difficult but there were a sufficient enough number to cause me, and other women students, to question the decision to return to formal 11 education. For my study of the research about adult learning theory confirmed that, as a woman, I was not alone in my experience. Although other factors may influence women's feelings of self- worth, leading them to a sense of alienation and exclusion from the academic community, my own struggle had been especially intense in classroom learning contexts, as it was for other adult women learners. These discomforts were much better understood when I examined them in the light of what several researchers have referred to as gendered learning (MacKeracher, 1993, Burge, 1990). Three epiphanies1 (Denzin, 1989), two of the cumulative, one the minor kind, occurred in my personal story as a student. Each shed light upon my own and other women's struggles in the academy, and even intimated at a remedy for them. Firstly, in a cumulative epiphany, I discovered how gender affects learning, the gradual sense I had crystallising for me that afternoon at the photo copier. Then another cumulative epiphany, as over two terms and two courses on program planning theory, I learnt how power is vested in those who control the design of learning experiences. And finally, in a minor, but illuminative, epiphany, how the old cosy, male-stream, scientific, well-ordered world of certainty and finite knowledge is now being challenged by those it previously Othered. Those Others whom it had presumed muted and disadvantaged by class, race, ethnicity or gender. Sitting reading bell hooks one cool March day in my ethnography class, I thought, Oh! Now I see! I can challenge them too! 1.Denzin refers to four kinds of epiphanies. Epiphanies are " i n t e r a c t i o n a l moments and experiences which leave marks on people's l i v e s . . . i n them personal character i s manifested. They are often moments of c r i s i s . . . a n d a l t e r the fundamental meaning structures i n a person's l i f e " (1989, p.70). They may be a) the major event, which "touches every f a b r i c of a person's l i f e " , or, b) the cumulative or representative kind, "reactions to experiences which have been going on for a long time", or c) the i l l u m i n a t i v e or minor epiphanies which "symbolically represent a major, problematic moment i n a person's l i f e , or d) the r e l i v i n g of an experience as a r e l i v e d epiphany. 12 The first starting point for this research study becomes then, the whole notion of gender as it affects adult learning. The next question that then came up for me was, if gender was a significant factor, why hadn't my learning experiences been designed to recognise that, or at least validate my way of learning? The (mandatory) courses on program planning theory and practice in my degree program clearly demonstrated to me that diverse learning styles could be accommodated, and should be, in designing the learning and instructional components of any educational activity. Surely gender and its effects on learning could be recognised too? And if not, why not? So, the second area of curiosity for me was about the nature of the planning process in adult education and how the newer theories that have emerged over the last ten years might be influencing program planning practice. A browse through this field of study revealed how issues of power, interest and conflict are now being recognised by planners like Forester and Cervero and Wilson as fundamental to their work; they write that the planner must negotiate these issues, with social responsibility, during the design process. My understanding here was helped by memories from my years in the world of business, of Company Board Meetings—no matter how omnipotent the Directors on the Board appeared to be, the secretary who wrote the agenda for those Board meetings wielded the real power, and most of us knew it. Because it's she or he who decides whose project is brought up, whose darlings are discussed and whose pet gets left out. And so, too, does the planner in education hold the key, for it is she or he who decides whose interests are to be served, and whose voice will be heard and whose knowledge honoured when determining the structure, goals and design of learning activity. Another epiphany had come for me, as I have said, when I could connect my legitimate right as a gendered individual to have my way of knowing and constructing knowledge validated and not scorned as "different". In readings, in class-work and through the life experiences of those first two terms came the awareness that I, and the Leader, too, had the right to our own worlds of 13 learning. This right is now recognised in part, because of the battles which have been fought over it in the "paradigm wars" (Guba, 1994, p. 116). These wars have broken out in all research arenas, but they are especially fierce in the social sciences. Both learning and planning theory have been irrevocably changed by the first paradigm shift, from a positivist to a post-positivist epistemology, and in some cases, to a subsequent shift to one of the three alternative, interpretive paradigms—critical theory, constructivism and the twins, post-modernism and post-structuralism. As a woman, and as a mature one at that, my personal knowing or meaning-making system should be as acceptable now as any other human's. But was it? Was I, as a female still living and learning on the educational margins? In good company to be sure, with people of colour, of non-heterosexual orientation, with those of a different size or class or ethnicity, but still out there on the edge? Do we now have as much legitimacy as the white, middle-class male, who, under the shelter of the modernist, positivist paradigm of the Enlightened, Euro-centric educational world, has always had his interests and needs met as that paradigm's only legitimate knower? In the post-modern world, He is now being dethroned, by the crones and slaves, the Colonised, the Others Newer theories of learning, as being constructivist, socially situated and collectively mediated, have brought back to education the possibility of humanness, and of subjectivity. Long missing during its domination by grim, behaviouristic instructors, doggedly transmitting a body of "correct and right" knowledge to passive students, diverse adult learning theories now give more license to the individual. It is now theoretically possible to honour knowledge constructed in contexts more familiar and comfortable than those traditionally found in the colder, formal institutions and methods of education. Thanks to Kuhnian paradigm shifts and those newer ideologies that challenge the old Enlightenment ideals, neither learning nor planning will ever be quite the same in adult education. 14 And perhaps the ideology that informs the planning process is all that may distinguish a gender-equal model or design for education from one which reproduces old inequalities? New directions for framing and justifying the planning process are emerging that allow ideological space to plan for women's learning as different from men's learning. But is this happening? Problem Statement, Or, Does This Pain Have a Point? I believe, with Brookfield, Mezirow and Jarvis, that until a personal experience highlights a theoretical or abstract belief about our world and our place within it, we can not make the necessary transformational shift in our thinking to take us to another level of perception. So, for many women in educational practice, it is only a traumatic or intensely "lived experience" that can provide the "disorienting dilemma" (Mezirow, 1991) or "disjuncture" (Jarvis, 1992) that precipitates the perspective transformation necessary for them to move to praxis—the unity of reflection with action. As Gilligan phrases it: to disrupt a tradition in which 'human' has for the most part meant 'male'...a phenomenon must occur to block the conventional (story) and...transform their lives, to oppose the only narrative available to them. (Cited in Clandinin, 1991, p. 71) My own painful shift in views led to this desire to investigate the lived experience of women planners, to hear from them stories of how they made personal meaning of, or conceptualised, gendered learning, if indeed they had, and how this had shaped or transformed their planning practice. The primary research question is, then: What lived experiences have helped form the beliefs that women planners hold regarding women's learning: have their experiences as women learning shaped their 15 practice? Purpose of the Study, Or, Who Learns from Our Learning? The purpose of this study was to describe the personal learning experiences of five women planners and how they felt those events had shaped their practice. Using narrative or "story", in a blend of phenomenological and interpretivist inquiry infused by the precepts of feminist research practice, I collected from five women their stories of learning and planning. As the common themes and patterns emerged from the women's stories, they blended with the "stories" gleaned from the literature and with my own life story. During this melding, I have come to believe that gender does affect the personal learning experience, but that this can be positively enhanced by incorporating feminist values and feminist instructional processes into the design of educational activities. A new Story~a union of the stories of the Five Women, my story, the literature and the story of the research project, took on a life of its own. This new Story answered many of my main research questions; it also answered questions I had not even thought to ask as I began. As a feminist I had hoped some personal and social change would result from the involvement of researcher and participants—the Five Women, and me the sixth-in this project, and it has! The "Val Study" has, for me and for them, achieved significance in our lives. But how does it contribute to the greater Story, the grand narrative of Education? Significance of the Study, Or, Does it Matter at the End of the Day? 16 Adult education has been historically shaped as a discipline and a profession by male actors, male thinkers and male values. In the last few years a feminist critique has made possible a more gender-balanced, less andro-centric, approach to the education of adults, but there is much work still to be done. Payeur, Taylor and Warren (1994) identify four areas of concern: 1) that women are not fairly represented in, or seen as contributing to, the field historically; 2) conceptualisations of the field in epistemological and research practices do not consistently acknowledge the realities and interests of women; 3) women are not equitably included as learners in adult education settings; and 4) women are not equitably included in their adult education work settings. This study addressed each of these four areas at some level. Specifically, there are two areas of scholarship which have been strongly influenced by male hegemonies: adult learning theory and program planning. Both fields of study are considered fundamental and are required core courses in most post-secondary institutions offering credentialed adult education programs of study (Burstow, 1994). But the female position and perspective has been overlooked, or ignored, in these two areas of scholarship and practice until very recently. Here, in this study, is a beginning attempt to restore a gendered balance in these two powerful discourses. All research should contribute to knowledge, illuminate the policy arena, and be useful to practitioners (Marshall and Rossman, 1989, p.31). This study was exploratory, but it increased my understanding of learning and planning in adult education; it also affected the lives and practice of the five women who participated in it, and I hope, will enlarge the understanding of all those read it. Through this understanding, our Story may then touch other lives—for we have come to see that women's gender does affect the way they learn, that this experience should be communicated to other women, and to men. How they or others might then use this knowledge in program planning practice in educational settings is now up to them. 17 If, as Foley (1993) states, "our task as adult education researchers is to find our feet in the worlds of adult learners and adult educators and to communicate those worlds to those with an interest in them" (p. 77), then I hope that these stories have communicated "worlds of learning". Those of us involved in this study were female, but I hope our stories will resonate and cross borders—of gender, race, ability and class—and that the five women's reflections on how best to plan learning for women will be of value to any educator. Theory, that is, the production of a form of knowledge, should illuminate the practice of adult education, wherever that occurs. This study has implications for many classrooms, training schemes and organisations, and, I hope, for policy and future directions in the area of gendered learning. I was pleased to see, as a beginning to the work that can be done, a draft for a "Gender Lens", an initiative from the B.C. Ministry of Women's Equality, that indicates that studies like mine have begun to make an impact on policy and analysis. 18 TETE A TETE WITH THE LITERATURE Yolanda: You see, I think talking is everything and I'm coming to realise that I'm really looking at conversation, and what happens between people in conversation, because that's where it all occurs. Even if it's conversation with yourself that's where it happens. And it's the only way we can come to any sense of meaning between us...and I think there's non-verbal discourse that happens as well and I think that that's part of talk, that's part of conversation. And that's touch and looking, and writing...and sometimes it's just being in the room. (Y3:7) I l i k e Y o l a n d a ' s d e s c r i p t i o n , of c o n v e r s a t i o n as m e a n i n g ' m a k i n g , a n d I h a v e l i n k e d i t w i t h t h e n o t i o n of t e te a tete.. . . it c o n j u r e s u p t w o heads t o g e t h e r , b u t a lso h e a d to h e a d , a c o m b a t i v e s i t u a t i o n , a n d t h i s c h a r a c t e r i s e s t h e n a t u r e of m y c o n v e r s a t i o n w i t h s o m e of t h e l i t e ra ture . . . . ][n t h e y e a r p r e c e d i n g m y d a t a c o l l e c t i o n , II b e g a n t o p u t t o g e t h e r a d r a f t , a p r o p o s a l f o r a thesis , a n x i o u s l y c o u c h e d i n a n i m p e r s o n a l , o h so p a s s i v e , a c a d e m i c v o i c e . S o m e w h e r e b e t w e e n t h e n a n d n o w , m y o w n V o i c e d e v e l o p e d , b u t i n t h e F a l l o f 1 9 9 5 II was w r i t i n g s t i l l a c c o r d i n g to t h e " R e g u l a t i o n s a n d G u i d e l i n e s f o r R e s e a r c h i n t h e F a c u l t y o f G r a d u a t e S t u d i e s " . I n m y c o n v e r s a t i o n w i t h t h e l i t e r a t u r e II d i d n o t t r u s t m y s e l f o r m y V o i c e to b e m o r e t r u e , o r r i g h t , or a c t i v e e v e n , t h a n a l l those o t h e r v o i c e s . . . . M u c h of th i s n e x t c h a p t e r is s t i l l s p o k e n / w r i t t e n i n a n a c a d e m i c v o i c e , b u t I a m s e c u r e i n m y k n o w l e d g e t h a t my V o i c e r e t u r n s n o w a n d t h e n , o f f e r i n g c o m m e n t s , d i s p u t i n g t h e d r y v o i c e s of t h e 19 U t e r a t u r e , b u t e n e r g i s e d n o w a n d t h e n b y a m o r e s u b j e c t i v e , p e r s o n a l , p i e c e of w r i t i n g , w h e r e It a c t u a l l y h e a r t h e a u t h o r ' s v o i c e h o l d i n g a t r u e r c o n v e r s a t i o n w i t h m y Voice . . . . I t is h a r d t o k n o w h o w t o a n i m a t e , h o w t o d e - c o n s t r u c t t h e p a s s i v e , i n w r i t i n g a b o u t o t h e r s w r i t i n g , b u t II a m c o n t e n t t o l e t t h i s issue r e s t - a f t e r a l l , i t is t h e k n o w l e d g e I a m a f t e r h e r e , n o t t h e l a n g u a g e . L a n g u a g e I'll t a l k a b o u t l a t e r . *** I completed a broad literature review to determine what research had been carried out in linking gender to traditional learning theory. I now present, firstly, an overview of that research and then follow it by outlining some of the feminist scholarship and pedagogical theory which re- evaluates women's place within the traditional perspectives on adult learning. I will then examine these perspectives in the light of what effect postmodernism has had on feminism, educational research and adult education. A summary of the new directions taken in program planning will be offered, and then linked to the literature on the "Learning Organisation", to show how this has impacted on program planning in the work place. At that point, I draw some conclusions regarding the limitations of existing research in the area of planning for learning, and interrogate definitions of key words and terms which bound the study. I then use the summary to frame secondary research questions; these questions influenced the conversations I had with the women participating in the study, sometimes being supplemental to the main question, at other times helping to frame it more precisely. 20 Perspectives on Adult Learning Adult Learning as a Distinctive Process Adult learning has been seen by most theorists as distinct from children's learning and is often further characterised by them as having other distinguishing features. So, for example, it has been cast as voluntary (Cross, 1981, cited in Cranton, 1994); a way to complete self-awareness (Rogers, 1969); self-directed (Knowles, 1980); participatory (Rogers, 1969); practical (Dewey, 1916, cited in Cranton, 1994); related to self-concept (Knox, 1977; Brundage and Mackeracher, 1980); having distinct learning styles from children's (Kolb, 1984); being a sharing of experiences or resources (Kolb, 1984; Knox, 1977); and as anxiety producing (Smith, 1982 and Wlodkowski, 1990, cited in Cranton). The emphasis on a particular perspective of adult learning is often a product of the social context of the time in which it dominates educational practice (Jarvis, 1992). Thus, in the 1950s the perspective was behaviourist, in the 1960s humanistic-personal development, in the 1970s cognitive psychology dominated. Adult learning was therefore alternately defined as: a change in behaviour, attitude or skills; as individuation; and as a developmental process. In the 1980s and 1990s constructivist and emancipatory perspectives have helped to define learning as a process of constructing meaning or interpreting reality. Mezirow, building on Habermas (1987), used the three domains of Habermasian knowledge, and calls them instrumental, communicative, and emancipatory. Cranton (1994), following Habermas and Mezirow in the belief that adult learning can be transformative, suggests a re-categorisation into subject-oriented, consumer-oriented and emancipatory adult learning (pp. 14-16). 21 Recent Learning Theory A survey of research into learning theory in general, and how adult learning differs from children's learning, is offered chronologically and analytically by Merriam and Clark (1993). Their conclusion is that a phenomenon as complex as adult learning can not be adequately explained by one single theory. Therefore, an holistic perspective of adult learning, which incorporates behaviourist, developmental, humanistic, social, andragogical and transformative components, is proposed. This work illustrates the recent departure from the scientific, or positivist paradigm, which had previously proposed only one "right" way to perceive phenomena; most of the newer research on learning in adults has taken a multi-layered and constructivist, or post-positivist, paradigmatic approach to providing new insights into adult learning. Guba (1990) defines this shift to a new epistemological paradigm. A paradigm is distinguished by its ontology, methodology and epistemology, claims Guba, and he describes the movement from an objectivist, positivist and modernist stance, to one in which "the ontology is relativist, with the view that realities exist in multiple mental constructions, socially and experientially based, local and specific, dependent for their form and content on the persons who hold them" (p. 27). The epistemology is subjectivist with the inquirer and inquired interacting to produce the findings, while the methodology is hermeneutic and dialectic, where individual constructions are elicited and refined to generate a construction for which there is consensus (Guba, 1990; Candy, 1987). In other words, individuals construct their own reality, using their prior experience and social setting to do so, arriving at knowledge and meaning-making through social interaction. Knowledge is made by the person—it cannot be handed on, or down, to them by someone in authority such as a teacher. There is no objective, scientifically measurable reality that can be passed from one to another, no neutral or impersonal "right" way to learn or to teach. This 22 paradigm's perspective on adult learning sees it as individualistic and value-laden, and it respects and legitimates personal motive, intention and reason and morality. Flowing from phenomenology and symbolic interactionism, this constructivist paradigm validates personally much of my own world view which had been challenged by the rational, logical objectivity encouraged in my earlier educational experiences. The constructivist approach to adult learning makes gendered learning theoretically possible. Constructivism and Learning Theory An emancipatory theory of learning would be the most likely to include a consideration of gender, and it has as its foundation, a constructivist base. Constructivism is found in the paradigm of philosophical concepts opposing the positivist and post-positivist meta-theory. In simple terms, positivism is concerned with scientific or instrumental knowledge, where such knowledge is composed of invariant laws and objective data derived empirically. Positivism sees learning as a process of accumulating this information. On the other hand, constructivist perspectives see knowledge as constructed by the individual who perceives the world, and asserts that there is not an objective reality. Learning is thus a process of constructing meaning and transforming understanding. Mezirow (1991) describes the constructivist assumptions that underlie his theory of transformative learning as "a conviction that meaning exists within ourselves rather than in external forms such as books and that personal meanings that we attribute to our experience are acquired and validated through human interaction and communication" (p. xiv). Candy (1989), a leading researcher into constructivism, describes its assumptions as including these elements: a) people participate in the construction of reality, b) this construction occurs within a context that influences it, c) commonly accepted categories are socially constructed, d) given forms of understanding depend on social processes, e) forms of negotiated understanding are connected with other human activities, f) the subjects of research in the 23 constructivist world should be considered as knowing beings, g) locus of control rests within the subjects themselves, h) people can attend to complex communications and organize complexity, and i) and human interactions are based on social roles with often implicit rules (p. 321). This embracing definition would allow for diversity in learners, would also recognise that learning has commonly negotiated understandings that are reflected in the similarities of the process as it occurs for people, but would also recognise the individualism of the experience. Constructivism is a foundation for emancipatory learning, but it also recognises the socially embedded nature of adult learning, whether the learning is for everyday living or for transformation. Learning as a Social Construction In terms of social constructions, has research, then, been undertaken to show that gender, whether socially mediated or biologically driven, is a variable in personal learning? Socially situated learning theory seems to offer this possibility, as Jarvis and Elsey, for example, report. They contend that even if learning js constructed by the individual it "rarely occurs in splendid isolation from the world in which the learner lives...it is intimately related to that world and affected by it" (Jarvis, 1987, p. 11), and both site learning centrally in a social context. Elsey (1986), offering a sociological perspective on adult learners, foregrounds the marginality of adult learning to most social structures, touching on difficulties adults face with status passage and adjustment, with being perceived as deviant, with being perceived as requiring adult education to remedy social deficits and as becoming alienated from the family. This research on such societal disapproval of learning, for its disturbance of the balance of relationships and its condemnation of individuation, resonates in my own experience. But gender as a factor in adult learning is covered only peripherally by Elsey; for instance, in a discussion of family dynamics being upset when the mother returns to education. 24 Jarvis (1994), building on Kant's work in The Critique of Pure Reason, discusses Kant's claim that there can be no doubt that all knowledge begins with experience. He then defines learning as a process of transforming experience, either primary or secondary, into knowledge, attitudes, skills, values, emotions and the senses. Learning then, is the process of taking the experiences of disjuncture with the external world, transforming them, and then internalising the outcomes into a part of our meaningful biography...by so doing we are constructing our own biography. "Learning is the process by which we become, and we keep on becoming for so long as we continue to learn (p. 8)." This, says Jarvis, is a pre-requisite of social living, that we live in a learned community of socio- linguistic patterns and with learned places within social structures. Jarvis (1992) also sees learning as one of the great paradoxes of society. The individual is socialised by education and seeks the comfort of belonging to the community, only to be triggered to learn by "disjuncture" from experiences arising within that community. Disjuncture is Jarvis' term for that which people feel, with varying degrees of discomfort, when their personal biography fails to intersect with their experience-no previous learning can be brought to bear on that experience to understand it. Jarvis' definition of learning as the transformation of experience into knowledge, values, attitudes and beliefs, leads to his proposition that there are three categories of response to experience—non-learning, non-reflective learning and reflective learning. Learning, he states, occurs only when an experience fails to fit into our previous understanding of the world, our personal meaning system. If the experience is congruous no questions are asked and no learning takes place. Similarly, if the disjuncture is too great—between the meaning system and experience—no learning occurs and the individual may react with anomie. If anomie is not reached, then the discomfort will provide the motivation to learn. The learning may be non-reflective, and simply enable the learner to make sense of the new experience and to fit it into the current meaning system, or if it affects a deeper level of the learner's 25 biography, it is likely to be reflective. Jarvis ultimately draws the conclusion that self-directed learning may be the preferred method for the individual to resolve this conflict, but he acknowledges that society allows little private space for this to happen. Jarvis, like Elsey, fails to analyze in any depth the effect of gender on learning, even though the experience of gender must be a huge part of a personal meaning system, and experiences of a gendered nature are reported by women as being highly significant. Many other researchers cite experience as a key component in adult learning. Merriam and Clark (1993) state that, For learning to be significant, it (1) must personally affect the learner, either by resulting in an expansion of skills, sense of self, or life perspective, or by precipitating a transformation, and (2) it must be subjectively valued by the learner (p. 129). To validate the importance of experience in constructing meaning, they cite Carl Rogers, " A person learns significantly only those things which he or she perceives as being involved in the maintenance of, and enhancement of the structure of self (1951, cited by Merriam and Clark, p. 131). They continue with two quotations, one taken from Daloz, "Learning involves taking apart and putting together the structures that give our lives meaning (1986, p. 236), and one from Mezirow, "Learning is the process of making a new or revised interpretation of the meaning of an experience" (1990, p. 1). Current research is clear, then, that experience does play a major role in the learning process of adults. But what part does a gendered experience play? The issue of gender is not addressed in the work of the scholars cited above. 26 Emancipatory Learning Emancipatory or transformative learning, where we might expect to find reference to gender, is a topic addressed recently by many scholars and research seems to fall into two camps-- that which takes a personal empowerment approach, and that which has as its goal the transformation of the learner's domination from oppression. To consider the first, from a human perspective, it would seem that gender and its effects on personal conceptions of power or powerlessness should be covered. Indeed, many writers argue that transformative, or emancipatory learning is painful, as are the experiences which precipitate it, and it is not usually a kind of learning that is sought. Resistance to it comes from the self, or from social structures of the individual's life-world, including family, work-place organisations, friends and state bureaucracies. Brookfield (1988) talks of the comfort and appeal of routine, habit and familiarity, and of those whose life is a "quest for certainty, for a set of beliefs and values they can commit to for life" (p. 150). He goes on to describe learning, it seems as if there is a perverse psychological law...in which the strength and commitment to beliefs and values is inversely correlated with the amount of evidence encountered that contradicts the truth of these. The human capacity for denial knows no limits, (p. 150) Brookfield (1988) presents emancipatory learning as having the same stages as critical thinking~a trigger event is followed by a self-appraisal, exploration, the development of alternative perspectives, and finally an integration occurs. Mezirow's (1990) ten stages of transformative learning clearly serve as a foundation for this work on critical reflection and critical thinking; his ten stages begin with a disorienting dilemma, then a self-examination is followed by critical assessment, the relating to other's experiences, an exploration of options, the development of a plan of action, the acquisition of knowledge and skills, a provisional attempt to try the new, 27 and finally, re-integration. Although both Brookfield and Mezirow suggest valid models, an aroma of commodification, a step by step, do-it-yourself, popular culture kind of personal development training, clings to them—indeed, their work has been transformed into the "transformative learning techniques" now espoused in corporate 'HRD'; it has become a staple of re-engineering the learning organisation. Despite this popularity, often sufficient to guarantee death in the academic world, their theories of transformative learning still carry weight, and are relevant to this study. Transformative learning often results in alienation, which, as Mezirow's fourth stage suggests, can be countered by seeking out others in the same situation, as we see in the social phenomena of self-help and support groups. Community or connectedness seems to be an ameliorating factor. This seems to partially lessen the alienation for some, but not for all. Much of the trauma of emancipatory learning comes from upsets in the person's life-world. In some levels of society adult learning is regarded as deviant (Elsey, 1986); in all levels of intimate society it is regarded with anxiety by learners and their intimates (Brookfield, 1988). None of these researchers alludes to gender or race or class or ability as being a trigger for learning transformatively, although there is much literature of a practical nature concerning the manipulation of learners into a transformative state. But still no direct references are made to gender. I thought perhaps that research which examines the role of context or social settings as they affect adult learning might address gender, which is, after all, socially constructed. Context as a Factor Indeed, the effect of context in which the learning occurs is a rich area for research. Most of the research still focuses on learning together or alone. That is, whether learning is more effective if undertaken collaboratively, or at least in collective situations, or as individuals; the debate focuses on learning in work settings and learning in formal educational institutions. 2 8 At this point I decided to limit my literature review to formal learning situations, although I am aware that informal or non-formal learning is significant for most women, and most men. My study would focus on formal learning, that is "formally structured, institutionally sponsored, classroom-based activities" (Marsick and Watkins, 1990, p.6) as opposed to informal learning or incidental learning. Informal learning is "predominantly experiential and non- institutional" (p. 6) and may include self-directed learning, networking, coaching and mentoring; incidental learning is "often unintentional, a byproduct of another activity" (p. 6). I decided that if my participants wanted to offer reflections, stories or anecdotes about informal or incidental learning these would, of course, be welcomed, but the study's objectives would be to examine women learning formally in academic institutions or within training and development programs for work. I recognised, though, that incidental learning, as it internalizes meaning construction about the actions of others and produces tacit, taken-for-granted assumptions about the learning environment, may reveal the hidden curriculum in formal learning, if surfaced. But in the interests of the time available, and my chosen direction, I would have to draw some boundaries. The impact of gender on informal and nonformal learning would have to be another study. Collins and Brown (1990) believe learning must be sited in socially authentic situations, that it should be interactive, affecting the affective and cognitive domains and that it can be modelled by a master using scaffolding, mentoring and fading techniques. For example, a Math teacher can model the steps taken to solve a math problem, help the learner take the same route (scaffolding), and then fade (allow the learner to perform the procedure alone). The effect of the gender on learner and master~a value laden label if ever there was one-is not covered, although questions of social roles are addressed. Lave and Wenger (1992) have built upon the work of Collins and Brown in their studies of learning as cognitive apprenticeship. They wished to restore the credibility of working apprenticeships as a way of learning. This led them, they say, to explore modes of learning in a 29 situated context, as in traditional craft apprenticeship in tailors in Africa, midwives in the Yucatan and butchers in Mid Western American supermarkets. They believe learning is located in the process of co-participation, not in the heads of individuals, thus moving constructivism into the "fields of social interaction" (1992, p. xxi). This siting of constructivism in social practice theory, "the view that agent, activity and world mutually constitute each other" (1992, p. 33), differentiates their notion of situated learning from others. They insist this is not a pedagogical theory or method of instruction but a social practice theory of learning. It is a view in which social practice is the primary, generative phenomenon, and learning is one of its characteristics. They have also proposed a theory of limited peripheral participation, where the individual learner, instead of gaining a discrete body of abstract knowledge, which is then transported and reapplied in later contexts, acquires the skill to perform by engaging in the process of legitimate peripheral participation. Legitimate peripheral participation is a key notion in their theory, meaning that learners move gradually from the outer fringe of the community of practice to its centre through task performance and language and value acquisition. They also tie together the ideas of language and learning in communities of practice, and communities of discourse. Lave and Wenger see the learning of a work language as part of moving to full participation in the community, not as a Foucauldian attempt to exclude those who do not speak the language of discourse, (a view I contest in "Denouements"). My sense of their learning theory, however valid it is in putting learning into the authentic social context, is that it still sees learning as gender neutral. Further research on gender, as perhaps an expression of community of practice, or gender acting upon language would be useful. The case studies Lave and Wenger present are situated in work contexts—their work does therefore offer direction in planning learning in work settings. In some respects their learning theory is similar to the relational learning style proposed by some feminist researchers as being a woman's way of learning, but they do not draw or note this parallel. 30 Having examined most of the theorists and scholars working with questions of adult learning processes and finding most did not even touch upon gender as having more than passing relevance to learning, I felt it must be time to turn to those who start from a position that gender is the most important factor in any kind of societal relationship or social activity—including learning, I assumed. Feminist Learning Theory: Gender and Liberatory Models New Directions? The literature stemming from social practice advocates or critical theorists, that is, those concerned with education for transformation, whether it be personal (Mezirow, 1990) as addressed above, or societal (Freire, 1972), sees learning not simply as a cognitive process but also as a means of addressing the inequalities that stem from oppression of the learners by hegemonies of race, class, ethnicity, political belief and gender. Liberatory pedagogy (Kenway and Modra, 1992) sees learning as a tool and a process. Now I began to see the research address, at differing levels, the impact that gender has on education and learning. If, to paraphrase Freire, we say, There is no such thing as a neutral educational process, then can there be a gender-neutral educational process? Feminist scholars believe not. These observations from a social action or critical theory perspective are echoed by post- modernists, and are critiqued by Bagnall (1993). He believes that an increasingly post-modern cultural context has implications for adult and continuing education. He defines post-modernism as contemporary culture that is informed by: 1) a belief in and commitment to the interpretative nature of all perception, the contingency of all belief, and the ontological 31 contingency of being: and 2) a profound scepticism toward all claims to the privileging of knowledge, (p. 47) The voices of those from the margins are encouraged to be heard, and "ironical, deconstructive, skeptical, even cynical, criticism pervades...as postmodernity requires of all individuals that they construct their own identity" (Bagnall, 1993, p. 47). This is an offer to those whose gender has marginalized or Othered them in education to give voice to their criticism and to act for change. The fundamental questions of whose voice is heard, whose interests are served and whose power is confirmed or denied in an educational activity, have driven post-modernists and critical theorists alike, but it is feminist researchers who have tried to ask and answer those questions for women. The clash between postmodernism and feminism will be detailed below, following a discussion of feminism and educative practices. What Is a Feminist? Acker (1994) defines a "feminist as someone who believes that women suffer from systematic social injustice because of their sex., and feminism is the movement opposed to such injustice" (p. 28). She discusses the development of feminist theoretical frameworks, and her own use of middle range theories...to consider particular aspects of gender relations and specific sectors of social life such as education, the family or politics...without a feminist perspective I would have been unlikely to have initiated this hunt for gender, (p. 69) Both Acker (1994), MacKeracher (1993a), Hayes (1989) and Burge (1990) have very complete summaries of feminist research and scholarship, and all augmented my understanding of what gendered learning could be. 32 Tisdell (1993) examines the impact feminist research has had on both theorizing women's learning, and on adult education. She suggests two categories of influence, one—dealing almost exclusively with issues of personal empowerment—is based on gender, and the other—dealing mainly with pedagogy and its ability to challenge social structures of power—is termed liberatory. Tisdell makes the point that there is considerable overlap, and that feminist emancipatory educational research of the gender model (Belenky, et al, 1986; Collard and Stalker, 1991; Gilligan, 1982; hooks, 1989) and feminist pedagogy, or the liberatory model, (Briskin, 1990; Kenway and Modra, 1992; Weiler, 1988, 1991) have significant contributions to make to adult learning theory and adult education practice. Feminist Educational Research: The 1980s Synthesising this body of work, it is clear that feminist educational research has taken four lines of enquiry into a) women's self-development, b) women's experience in the educational system, c) the context and process of education, and d) education for women per se, or "women- only" education. From these inquiries have come the development of the disciplines of feminist education and feminist pedagogy. In considering these lines of inquiry as they relate to this study, the most significant for me was the work around women's development and how it differs from men;s in moral and in cognitive ways. The researchers who most illuminated my sense of women's learning as perhaps being different from men's, were Gilligan (1982) and Belenky, Clinchy, Goldberger and Tarule (1986). Indeed, their work has been foundational for most researchers in the fields of feminist research. Gilligan's work began as an outgrowth of her re-evaluation of Perry's original 1968 study of cognitive and intellectual development among Harvard students. Two of her findings seem 33 crucial in constructing a concept of gendered learning. The first is that she showed that men and women do construct learning differently, at the very least in how they arrive generally at different positions on Moral Reasoning. (I would wish to point out that although these differences are gender related, they are not gender specific. I draw upon personal experience to validate this; I have seen some men construct knowing in ways more common to women and vice-versa. It might have been closer to the mark to label these styles of learning as masculine or feminine, but the researchers involved did not do so, using instead male or female. I believe that ten years later we are much more careful about essentialising1, but when Gilligan and Belenky were working and writing in 1982 and 1986, the postmodern notions of communities of difference, or politics of identity were not yet common academic currency.) Women tend to develop a Care model of moral reasoning with a focus on connected-ness and the value of responsiveness to others; it is very contextual in its definition of morality. Men tend to develop a Justice model, which focuses on justice, equality and immutable laws; it honours the value of fair rules for all. The second point Gilligan makes is that so much of what is understood about human behaviour rarely includes reference to women, 51% of the human race. For example, previous research into morality, and she uses Kohlberg's work as an example, was based only on male examples. Such an approach also dominates Piaget's model of cognitive development, Freud's model of sexual development and Erikson's model of psychosocial development. Gilligan (1982) writes optimistically that a recognition of the differences in women's experiences and understanding expands our vision of maturity and points to the contextual nature of developmental truths...which could lead to a changed understanding of human development and a more generative view of human Essentialism here means of womanhood i s generalizable sexual o r i e n t a t i o n , class and the assumption of across a l l women, et h n i c i t y . some kind of unique regardless of race, "essence" a b i l i t y , 34 life. (p. 174) Belenky et al (1986) expanded this research, also starting originally with intentions of replicating Perry's study, but found it only reported on men's development, used only the male interviewees in the group of students involved in the project and then assumed that the model would fit both sexes. In an effort to redress the balance, Belenky et al interviewed many women from many social and educational settings. They report that women develop at a different pace and with different ways of constructing knowledge. They offer an alternative to Perry's stages, and demonstrate the difference between men and women in "ways of knowing." So Perry's dualist stage is in women the stage of silence, when they listen to external authority, which knows the truth and is all-powerful. When women move in to the received knowledge and procedural knowledge stages they hear other voices and truths prevail; there is no sense of an authentic or unique voice, little awareness of a centred self. At the position of subjective knowledge, quest for self is primary. This equates with Perry's critical reasoning stage. Along their way many women have been using relativist constructions of knowledge, Perry's final stage. But it is as if they understand that "to learn to speak in a unique and authentic voice women must jump outside the frames and systems authorities provide and create their own frame" (Belenky et al, 1986, p. 134). This is the stage of constructed knowledge that begins as an effort to reclaim the self by integrating knowledge learnt from others with what they feel is intuitively important. This is a gender different view of the constructivist perspective. To this can be added two other insights from research into women's development (Belenky et al, 1986; MacKeracher, 1993a). Firstly, the metaphors that women tend to use to ground their epistemological premises suggest speaking and listening. This is at odds with the common metaphors that are used by scientists and philosophers to express their sense of mind. The scientific metaphors are visual and encourage standing at a distance to see an object. Unlike seeing, speaking is suggestive of 35 dialogue and interaction. Additionally, those who use the visual metaphors seem to value an impairment of that sense, for example "blind justice" and "double blind tests". Women's constructivism puts the knower back into knowing, while the scientific, more often male, epistemology separates the two. This analogy is used by most feminist writers when they refer to Voice. Voice is not simply spoken language, in fact as Belenky et al (1986) put it, voice is an academic shorthand for a person's point of view...We became aware that it is a metaphor that can apply to many aspects of women's experience and development... [an] endless variety of connotations, all having to do with sense of mind, self-worth, and feelings of isolation from, or connection, to others. We found that women repeatedly used the metaphor of voice to depict their intellectual and ethical development; and that the development of a sense of voice, mind and self were intricately intertwined, (p. 18) Yes, indeed. I see and hear, again from my own educational experience, that women's voices are often silenced by those who value distance and do not believe that "all this talking" will help frame the "really useful knowledge" that women should acquire (Thompson, 1985, p. 89; Westwood, 1988). Secondly, two different "ways of knowing" are suggested to be gender related. The way most commonly identified as being masculine is the separated way of knowing that embraces "the doubting game", challenge, being tough-minded, and which is opposed to subjectivism. It is often centred in argument and reasoning. Many women tend to resist and dislike these games which silence (female) voices. They more often learn in a connected2 way, where the best knowledge comes from personal experience, where there is capacity for empathy but also an acceptance that one individual can only approximate another's experience. Learning through talking is honoured over challenge and debate; form is central, not content. Connected knowing is non-judgemental, 2. Noddings (1988) has c a l l e d t h i s "caring"; i n feminist l i t e r a t u r e caring and connection have often been taken to mean almost the same thing. 36 and often occurs communally, for group and collaborative learning is preferred. However, "separate knowers" will drift into individualised learning projects even when placed in collaborative groupings, preferring isolated knowledge acquisition. "Separate knowers" do not link thought to feeling, or personality to perception, whilst "connected" learners select the opposite approach. According to this research, most women, as connected learners, feel alienated from higher education which stills the voice of connection, and exposes them instead to the harsher tones of logical, separated knowing. A question arises here that may be relevant to the research problem— -is "knowing" and knowledge construction "learning"? Both Gilligan's and Belenky's works are fundamental to the feminist research perspective which often characterises women's learning as relational. Relational learning is occasionally used synonymously and perhaps inaccurately as being women's learning. This study will do no more than touch upon the question of whether "relational" is an accurate description of one kind of gendered learning. I prefer the term "connected", and will use it consistently. Following scholarship on women's moral and cognitive development, and the ways they process knowledge or learn, came research undertaken to understand the experience of women in adult education. This is well described by MacLaren (1985); such experiences are also vividly presented by Thompson (1985) and Thompson and the Taking Liberties Collective (1989). Their work validates the feelings of alienation from peers, instructors and family that many women experience, even when good adult education practice is observed. MacKeracher (1993) points out that good adult education practice should enhance "different" ways of learning. This is echoed by Kerka (1993), who says in a review of the literature in this area, The approaches that have been suggested for enhancing women's "different" ways of developing are remarkably similar to the central principles of adult education: teaching and learning that are collaborative and reflective, social action and social change, and validation 37 and use of the life experiences adults bring to the classroom in the teaching/learning process. (P- 1) I am disquieted to read that, although a case may be made for not providing "different" ways of teaching or learning for women because this could re-inforce stereotyping, or even the de-valuing of one gender of learner, the "safe" answer seems to be to stick with "good adult education practice" and make only a little space for some critical teaching as required. (Should we do more, I wonder?) Women's Education It seems for some educators, those working from a feminist or critical pedagogical view, that establishing a climate for learning, valuing each learner's experience and ability and contract setting with each learner, all defined as elements of good andragogical practice by Knowles (1980), are insufficient to accommodate women's needs. Such a belief led Coats (1994) to advocate women-only education, feeling with Thompson (1985) that andragogy only celebrates individualism, and a white, male middle-class one at that. So Coats (1994) defines women's education as provided by women for women; [it] focuses on the needs of women; [is] designed for women and about women; and removes barriers and improves practicalities. Education for women may encompass all or some of these characteristics but the notion of ownership is not included. "For women" implies that external providers are in control, deciding what is appropriate for women, recognising what women have traditionally wanted or appear to have wanted, what women are thought to want and what appeals to women...Ideally all education provision for adults should include women and recognise the needs of women...but the underlying difference is not., so much subject matter or method of delivery, in the type of 38 education provided or the structure of that provision, but in its intent. Women's education starts from a feminist perspective. The focus of education for women is on education, the focus of women's education is on women, (p. 1-2) (Emphasis mine.) Coats feels that gendered education is a corollary to gendered learning, and is the best way to enhance women's education. An excellent guide is given for planning women-only education, easily applicable for work or school environments. A similarly useful handbook has been developed by the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education, U.K. ( 1 9 9 1 ) to help educators at a very practical level in designing re- entry or training programs for women. It is a very comprehensive and pragmatic guide, offering many suggestions for the provision of good women's education; for example, it includes a checklist of good practice for planning educational provision for women, a selected reading list of 47 references on women's education, a list of supplemental resources and materials for women's education—self-help groups, child care, course materials for educational work with women, useful books for women learners, and guidelines for good practice in women's education. Would such a pragmatic guide work in planning programs for women in Higher Education, or continuing professional education, here in North America? Most probably. In fact, a model for gender fair teaching has been developed by Rosenberg (1989); stemming from practitioner knowledge, it is useful and workable. But how do such texts, aimed at gender-fair or woman-friendly education, work their way into the academy, or become incorporated into theoretical as well as practical training for adult educators, say in a graduate program? Feminist Pedagogy Some feminist scholars, including MacKeracher (1993a), Hayes (1989), Kenway and Modra (1992) and Burge ( 1 9 9 0 ) believe it is possible to incorporate feminist pedagogy into adult 39 education practice. This might mean including a "women's curriculum", vital when planning for course content and teaching and learning strategies (Coats, 1994; Pravda, 1991; Thompson, 1985). Coats (1994) defines this women's curriculum as a curriculum that uses subjective experience and affective processes: locates gendered experience in a wider social context: recognises the importance of group support and collective action: uses methods and strategies that encourage participation: [and] continuously evaluates and develops, (p. 2) Feminist pedagogy, that is, the line of inquiry taken in feminist research to find the best ways of teaching, or facilitating learning, for women, is well delineated by Hayes (1989). She makes the point that women are increasingly seeking a voice in continuing education and that while stress has been placed on increasing women's participation in continuing education through provision of child care, flexible scheduling and changes in course content, it is time now to examine teaching strategies. She states that new scholarship has led to the development of an alternative approach to teaching. She, too, names this as feminist pedagogy, and like others (MacKeracher, 1993a) emphasizes, a collaborative, participatory teaching-learning process that engages learners in the creation of knowledge based on personal experience that can be used as the basis for individual change and social action. (1989, p. 64) She cites a number of common elements that can be found in descriptions of feminist pedagogy, even though there is no standard model for a feminist teaching style. These may include collaboration and cooperation in planning and communicating, a holistic approach to learning, strategies for theory building and action projects. In common with Kenway and Modra (1992) and Weiler (1988), she believes that praxis—the integration of theory and action—should be the ultimate goal of feminist education, "...the educational process is not considered complete unless 40 learners take concrete steps to apply what is learned toward change" (p. 63). Hayes (1989) stresses that these elements are not unique to feminist pedagogy. What is unique is that it "concerns understanding and vision, not teaching tricks", and that feminist pedagogy is a model for...all teachers and learners...both men and women are limited by traditional sex role stereotypes and that everyone might benefit from education based on an expanded conception of positive personal growth and ways of learning, (p. 64) The findings of feminist scholarship can therefore be linked to adult learning theory to show that gender, as well as societal, biological and experiential factors, when added to the more profound roles that power, privilege, authority and purpose play, is key to learning. It is appropriate to emphasise that, as Caffarella (1992) says, "Women's voices are not just gender related, but also rooted in class, race, age, sexual orientation, and family status" (p. 13). Other factors than gender do, of course, influence learning. However, this literature review was undertaken to search for studies or research that looked at gender as it affected women's learning. And indeed, a theoretical perspective of gendered learning has now been established and provisionally defined by the literature. Interestingly, in a paper delivered in 1995, Flannery and Hayes (1995) report the results of a literature review into women's learning in Higher Education. They concluded that very little empirical research beyond that of the gender or female emancipatory model has been done since Gilligan's and Belenky et al's research in the mid 1980's. They call for more research on gender and learning in higher education. 41 Women Learning at Work and at School While this literature review did find more research than the case above, little addressed the context of learning, be that school, home, work, or in community. No research or literature found so far has adequately or fully explained the effect of context on gendering of learning. MacKeracher (1993b) has produced a report of research on the "way of knowing" that women seem to use in work settings, that is, procedural knowledge, but she calls for further research. No other relevant literature was located that looked specifically at the effect of gender on learning in the work place, although several authors touch peripherally on this topic. For example, Burge (1990) alludes to the gendering of technology at work. Also, most of the research into gendered learning has been conducted in formal educational settings, be that higher or adult basic education. Even the research by Lave and Wenger and others into work place learning had investigative goals other than gender to drive it. The gendering of learning which is sited in employment contexts of paid-work training and development has not been fully explored. Yet Tom (1993) claims that it is in-authentic to compartmentalise women's experiences into work, family and school: a study or investigation should be informed by an holistic approach to women's experience of learning and it should not just focus on one aspect of learning. Gaskell (1992), discussing issues for women in Canadian education, states that a series of questions...need to be asked about how education articulates with the work place differently in male and female sectors, and how men and women have differential access to learning in their jobs. (p. 28) Thus the final question emerges from this section of the literature review: To what extent does the context in which the learning occurs affect its gendering, and how is this experienced in 42 academic and work-place learning situations? Feminism, Research, Education and Postmodernism More On Feminisms It is surely necessary, in the mid-1990s, to examine postmodernism, whose currents of thought are surely one of most important developments affecting scholarly research, in whatever area that is located. New currents of thought that have been labelled postmodern have, especially over the last 10 years, impacted all fields of study in education, including adult education, and feminist and critical pedagogy (Lather, 1991). Within the field of adult learning theory, feminist perspectives in adult education and epistemological conceptualisations have all been affected—frequently to the great irritation of many involved in research, who try to relate abstract postmodern or poststructuralist currents of thought to a field of practice permanently marked by its pragmatism. Griffiths (1995), in a very useful categorisation of recent theory and research, examines various forms of feminism, how feminist reactions to post modernism differ, and how the debate impacts educational research. She concludes, as does Westwood (1991), that action research is the preferred form of research for herself as a feminist and postmodernist. She examines the similarities between feminism and postmodernism, finding the unifying strand to be in the questioning of traditional/modernist epistemology. That is, the questioning of epistemology deriving from the Enlightenment philosophers such as Descartes, Hume and Kant. This epistemology is founded on a quest for certainty and has sure foundations, derived either through empirical (sense) data, rational thought or clearly perceived ideas—but it does not reference politics, that is the deployment of power, either face to face, or in large groups. 43 Feminism and post modernism refuse to ignore politics, and both draw attention to the indivisible connections of knowledge and power. In feminism this perspective is focused on the oppression of women. In postmodern critiques of supposed neutrality of "truth" or "knowledge", the perspective is focused on the recognition of ambiguity and complexity and the saturation of all constructions of epistemology with politics. Both feminism and post modernism also share a common time span but this is not an easy or natural alliance. Jagger's original (1983) definitions of feminisms as liberal, Marxist, radical and socialist still have validity for some women today, as does her fear of valorising a femininity created by masculinity. Whether the femininity is stated as a desire for separation or equality, it could strengthen the traditional gender dichotomy. As a demonstration of how diverse have feminisms become today, in 1996, that in a recent article, Williams (1996) is able to list 12 distinct varieties of feminism, existing under three broad umbrellas, universalizing theories—feminist sociobiology, feminist materialism, radical feminism, lesbian feminism, psychoanalytic feminism, equality theories—liberal feminism, radical ethnic feminism, men and feminism, and constructionist theories—social constructionist feminism, postmodern feminism, feminist queer theory and feminist political theories. Over the last twenty years, feminists have sought, and continue to seek, to define themselves—for most this is a necessary task, dictating as it will the stance they then take in working for praxis, within or without the dominant social structures, or hegemonies. *** ][, t o o , i n c o n d u c t i n g 1 t h i s l i t e r a t u r e r e v i e w , f e l t t h e n e e d to i d e n t i f y a f e m i n i s m t h a t w o u l d f r a m e m y r e s e a r c h s t u d y . I k n e w I n e e d e d t o c l a r i f y what h a d b e e n a r a t h e r v a g u e beginning n o t i o n , o f " d o i n g f e m i n i s t r e s e a r c h " into a t h e o r e t i c a l f e m i n i s t p o s i t i o n f r o m w h i c h ][ c o u l d l a u n c h a p r a c t i c a l s t u d y — I 44 wanted to match the way I talked to women, the way I constructed knowledge f rom their answers and the directions that I would suggest for action to a personal feminist belief. I've always wanted m y actions and thoughts to be congruent—poring over this often dense and frustrating feminist wri t ing I had to remind myself frequently that it was all in a good cause...but I admit I have had a surfeit of polysyllabic posturing. "Keep it simple" is now m y motto—if your participants can't understand what you're saying, or the women y o u want to reach wouldn't even begin to comprehend all these $25 words, then what kind of feminist are you? *** Instead of freezing into the three divisions drawn by Jagger, feminism has continued to evolve into a rich, often divergent, often combinatory set of ideas of'difference'. This concept draws on the Derridean concept of difference/ance but adds to it: difference relates to diversity conceived in experiential terms, difference refers to competing constructions of meaning in a poststructuralist or postmodernist sense. Young (1990, cited in Griffiths, 1995, p. 222) has categorised three differences. An equality in difference, rather than androgyny; differences among women, including race, age, class, disability; and a postmodern identity of difference. (Griffiths (1995) believes the new Italian feminisms adds a fourth difference, a difference between women unrelated to external factors but to internal power constructions). In the category of difference as analyzed by postmodernists, feminists such as Flax3 and Davies acknowledge their debt to post-structuralism 3 . Cervero, a program planning theorist, i s impressed by the work of feminists l i k e Flax; see his thoughts regarding feminisms and postmodernism as they relate to planning theory, p. 61. 45 and French feminism, and make global critiques of modernism. All of these feminisms offer different suggestions on improving knowledge and defining a different epistemology. Griffiths (1995) offers an overview of current feminist scholarship in this field, citing Irigaray, Code, Haraway, Walkerdine, Harding and hooks. Irigaray, of the French post structuralist movement, has developed a theory of sexual difference in knowledge construction, with a male imagery focused on identity, non-contradiction and binarism and a female imagery which is more fluid and uses touch as an organising metaphor. Code argues for epistemic responsibility, and sensitivity to the particular and concrete; Haraway argues for 'situated knowledge' and offers a combination of post-structuralism and socialist feminism; Sandra Harding argues against postmodern fragmentation, and for a standpoint epistemology which understands that a researcher's subjectivity refutes objective certainty; there are also epistemologies that are founded on democracy and communities of resistance, in female embodiment, in resistance to the dominant discourse (Walkerdine, 1990) and in choosing to speak from the margins (hooks, 1991). Lather (1991) examines the questions of the various forms of feminism, and especially those of the French postmodern feminists, Irigaray, Marks, Jardine, Moi, etc. She comments that Jardine makes clear that the term "feminist" is problematic given that many of these women define themselves as beyond a feminism which is seen as "hopelessly anachronistic, grounded in a (male) metaphysical logic which (post)modernity has already begun to overthrow" (citing Jardine 1982, p. 64). Maynard and Purvis (1994) discuss the issue of the varying forms of feminism, and cite Sandra Harding's work (p. 18-19) on the evolution of feminist epistemology as occurring in three phases. The first is "feminist empiricism", which added women in to existing frameworks. In the second stage, where Harding believes we are now, the "feminist standpoint" seeks to understand women's lives from their experience of oppression as a way to produce more complete and less 46 distorted knowledge. The third phase is, or will be4, feminist postmodernism. Harding is uneasy about this, for while agreeing with the postmodern critique of science as a doomed project, the danger is that that very critique deconstructs and demeans gender—as a universalistic grand theory. Harding makes clear that these three phases may overlap, and often do, especially in the first two instances. Her own work has been criticised for failing to recognise difference or diversity, such as Black feminist and lesbian feminist points of view; Stanley and Wise argue for a range of different, but equally valid, standpoints (cited, Maynard and Purvis, 1994, p. 20). These are the differences; what are the commonalities in feminist epistemologies? The one thread is, of course, that they are all feminist, all concerned with women and girls' constructions of knowledge. Secondly, all have a moral/political stance with values and power as organising concepts which precede any analysis. Thirdly, a thread of importance of self and subjectivity is found in all, either as "experience", subjectivity or "positionality". Fourthly, all reject a "God's eye view", or objectivity, as a starting or foundational point, instead assuming the self or subjectivity as a beginning. Almost all feminisms then move on to argue that individual "experience", "consciousness" or "position in the discourse" merge into a collective enterprise, to form a new feminist perspective; this can be seen, for example, in Irigaray's, Code's, Harding's and hooks's writings. 4. A f t e r I had completed my l i t e r a t u r e review, I was amused to f i n d , as I walked past the notice-boards outside the Women Student's O f f i c e on my campus, a d i s p l a y of recent writings on what Feminism(s) i s / a r e . Included among them was the a r t i c l e by Williams (1996) i n which she summarised the 12 kinds of feminisms presented at the B e i j i n g Women's Conference i n 1995, by Judith Lorber. In t h i s l a t e s t round, I was able to i d e n t i f y myself as f a l l i n g i n t o at le a s t 3 of the categories outlined. I'm beginning to think that my brand of feminism depends on what I had for breakfast, who I had lunch with, and whether I have enough money l e f t over from t u i t i o n to pay for dinner. 47 Feminism Meets Postmodernism There is even less agreement on what constitutes postmodernism than there is regarding a conceptual organising unity for feminism. One of the characteristics of postmodernism is its appropriation by any number of fields or disciplines, who then attach their own peculiar meanings to it. Thus, language, social theory, politics, art, culture, and now education have co-opted the term "postmodernism". Feminists like Hartsock (1990) and Skeggs (1991) have noted the overwhelmingly "male pantheon of proper names" (Skeggs, 1991 p. 256) and have seen it as an attempt to re-establish a male academic hegemony. Says Skeggs (1991), Postmodernism represents a hegemonic war of position within academia. It seems to be an attempt by disillusioned male academics, who feel they are no longer at the 'centre' or have authority and control over knowledge, to win back credibility and influence, (p. 256) Many have benefited from an engagement with the postmodern, even merging/marrying into it. Griffiths (1995) notes, "I am interested in postmodernism—but only so far as it is relevant to my wider values" (p. 224) The debate about postmodernism is fragmented by differing perspectives, ambiguities of meaning, and endless re-descriptions of it by those wanting to impose their own interpretation— but this very debate is the essence of postmodernism. Bordo (1992) says, "The 'postmodern' has been described and redescribed with so many different points of departure that the whole discussion is its own most exemplary definition" (p. 159). Probably any simple definition of postmodernism is impossible, and is, of course, rather modernist in its reduction. But there are certain unifying themes which can be found in postmodern thought including, a challenge to the Enlightenment; a challenge to positivism and empiricism; a discernable cultural condition produced by the decline of late capitalism; irony, 48 skepticism, playfulness, and a celebration of the superficial; local or micropolitics; rejection of grand theories; multiple legitimacies; a politics of difference; a politics of identity; a post structuralist view of language as being modified into a discourse rooted in local, cultural, contextual epistemologies; and, a huge site of contention, the relevance and relation of postmodernisms to emancipatory goals. In this latter argument, for example, Lather (1991), a poststructuralist feminist, describes Habermas, a critical theorist, and his struggles against postmodernism. Habermas has argued consistently over the years that only the grand narratives of modernism can legitimate the emancipatory project and therefore rejects the postmodernism of Lyotard as ending only in futility and incoherence. Habermas identifies post-structuralism with neo-conservatism and argues that the Enlightenment project is not done, nor failed, but is still unfinished. He defends universalism and rationality as necessary for the praxis of universal values and rational consensus, against Foucault's and Derrida's nihilism, and against Lyotard's challenge to the "great ideological fairy tales." Gender, of course, is one of those great ideological fairy tales, and some feminists—as well as Habermas-are very uneasy about the dismissal of such tales (for example, see Hartsock, 1990). On the other hand, postmodernity's relativism glorifies no one discourse over another, even if it trivialises and allows the tyranny of the local. Bauman argues that the postmodern celebrations of diversity and contingency negate the uniformity required by modernity, the uniformity that saw its ultimate expression in the Holocaust. Bauman (1994) argues that without any meta-narrative, the survival of the postmodern tolerance of diversity is not guaranteed, but that while "This makes it exceedingly anxiety prone...it also gives it a chance" (p. 355). Some theoreticians of multiple differences and multiple oppression look to postmodernism to provide a politics for the dispossessed. For instance, Walkerdine (1990) holds this optimistic view, as does hooks (1991), who says, "Radical postmodernist practice, most powerfully conceptualised as a 'politics of difference1 should incorporate the voices of displaced, 49 marginalised, exploited and oppressed black people" (p. 25). Griffiths (1995) makes the point that any postmodernism has to be seen in the context of whichever modernity or modernism it hopes to break with, and therefore no one characterisation would meet with assent, for there are different modernisms too. She does, however, give a useful list of what she feels are the key ideas of postmodernism, There is no foundational narrative. All human ideas are situated. There is no neutral universal reason to arbitrate knowledge or truth. There is no empirical, knowable object called the self, waiting to be discovered. The self is a subjectivity produced within the discourses in which it is positioned and in which it positions itself, (p. 35) And there are, according to Griffiths, five feminist responses to postmodernism, which I have summarized as being: 1. A fear that they are trying to shut us up. Just when feminists are beginning to find a voice to articulate their call for liberty, justice and equality, men are turning to postmodernism, which denies those narratives, of equality, justice and liberty, as universal theories. Hartsock (1990), and Skeggs (1991) think feminists should leave postmodernism severely alone, feeling as has been stated earlier, that postmodernism is a male hegemonic coup. 2. Trying not to get seduced. Recognising the validity of these fears, some feminists caution against being seduced into a (male) post structuralist debate, as "the male texts...either ignore or minimize the importance of feminist theoretical work" (Braidotti, 1991, cited by Griffiths, 1995). In particular, the work of Foucault and Lyotard, while deemed seductive5 philosophically is androcentric at its heart and 5. Oh yes! I found that out when I began to write up my ana l y s i s . . .but I managed to counter the s i r e n voices by turning to Walkerdine's S c h o o l g i r l F i c t i o n s . 50 thus inimical to feminism. 3. We are all post modernists now. Griffiths (1995) believes the work of Flax and Butler exemplifies this position: their writing maintains, she says, that feminism that is not postmodern is only essentialist and self defeating. For example, they say, the debate around differences in women could make good use of post-structuralist methods for a better understanding of the topic. A feminist post-structuralism would position itself actively rather than passively. Other feminist writers and scholars, such as Walkerdine, Weedon, Davies and Jones take this position (Griffiths, 1995, p. 229). 4. Having your cake and eating it too. Why not? hooks (1991) is in favour of a recognition of the tensions between feminism and postmodernism, "As a discursive practice it is dominated by the voices of white male intellectuals and/or academic elites who speak to and about each other with coded familiarity" (p. 24). But she believes that it is possible to make a cautious use of postmodernism as long as it remains subordinate to feminism and social justice. 5. What's Postmodernism? Even when educational research is addressing issues and questions common to both feminism and postmodernism, the latter is usually ignored. As an example of this attitude, Smith (1992, cited by Griffiths, 1995, p. 230) argues that although postmodernism has its uses, feminists should ignore it, because its debates neither improve the lives of women nor contribute to their survival and growth. The most disturbing feature for those feminists who take this fifth position, is the negation of (Enlightenment) goals of justice, freedom and equality. Educationists and critical theorists also decry the loss of some of the values and ideals of the Enlightenment, and like Griffiths, they see two forms of post modern educational thought. The first extends and redefines modernist principles such as democracy, reason and equality, and the second deconstructs and 51 rejects those principles.6 At this point in the literature review, I concluded that: there are many different forms of feminism, that although I found postmodern thought intriguing, I should be careful when playing with it, and that I needed to be clear in my own mind about where I stood with respect to both. One of the main questions thrown up by the reading of the literature in this area was, To what extent would postmodern thought liberate or invalidate feminist attempts to plan women's programs? New Directions in Program Planning Rational Planning is Challenged Much of the practice-oriented literature stemming from the adult education field has laid out general suggestions for incorporating the concept of gendered learning and teaching into course designs. Some philosophical suggestions are frequently offered for inclusivity of all kinds, as a worthwhile goal in a late modern world. Will this suggestion fit with the current theory and research into program planning, the area that Burstow (1994) has defined as the most male dominated? Certainly, a bounded, linear approach to planning (see, for example, Langenbach, 1992) would probably leave little space for those from the margins to interact or impact upon its process in anything other than a token way. The recent literature reporting on theory and research into designing and planning 6 . I had a sense, while working with the l i t e r a t u r e review, and long before I got into data c o l l e c t i o n and analysis, that postmodern thought was l i k e l y to be c r u c i a l i n answering some of the research questions. A further reading i n t h i s area was undertaken during the analysis of data and thus, a further examination of postmodern thought as i t relates to power-knowledge structures i s offered i n "Denouements". 52 programs for educational activities in formal, institutional settings, or for training and development at work, notes that planning has also been assailed by the post-positivist challenge. The rational approach traditionally favoured by planners has been called into question. Postmodernity, as a cultural phenomenon, arose in one part of the world, Western Europe, where its whole raison d'etre was a beginning challenge to the concept of Eurocentric modernity. Modernity is founded in the belief in linear time, a progression to a better world, social evolution, empiricism and the belief in empirical knowledge. The Enlightenment society and its world view originated with the birth of Protestantism and its concepts of individual salvation, the work ethic and a whole-hearted endorsement of capitalism; it rejected the Catholic view of the community of saints, and a community of human souls. The Enlightenment project continued to evolve with the industrial societies of the 18th and 19th century. And so Europe dominated and brought to the world capitalist and utilitarian salvation, instrumental rationality, reason, science, and the explanations of a knowable universe. In Europe the postmodern movement in art and architecture, when combined with the economic decline of the last 20 to 30 years, has led to many attempts to question and deconstruct the truths and scientific meta-narrative of the modernist age. Postmodernity and its impact on instrumental rationality has been felt very strongly in planning. No Utopian dreams were fulfilled, and so the Garden Cities were deconstructed as failures. If society cannot be planned rationally, then instrumental rationality is a hollow and baseless ideology. There is beginning to be felt the same criticism of rational planning in North America, whether that be for education or community. One reaction in Europe has come from those like Ulrich Beck (1992) who pose a new kind of modernity, and as he explains in the preface to his work, The risk society, which has had a profound impact on European popular and academic culture: 53 This book is sustained by the effort to understand the meanings that the historical development of modernity has given to this word over the last few decades...this can only succeed through some no holds barred wrestling against the old theories...this book is based on the assessment that we are eye-witnesses of a break within modernity, which is freeing itself from the contours of the classical industrial society and forging a new form, the 'risk society.1 (p. 9) As with other Europeans, Beck is fearful of the fruits of modernity, The horrific panorama of a self-endangering civilization...and a new perplexity that has lost the organizing dichotomies of an industrial world which was intact even in its antagonisms...Modernization has consumed and lost its other...At the centre lie the risks and consequences of modernity, which are revealed as irreversible threats to the life of plants, animals and human beings, and which exhibit a tendency to gobalization, which spans production and reproduction as much as national borders, and brings into being supra-national and non class-specific global hazards, with a new type of social and political dynamism...the patterns of classes, nuclear family, profession and work, the understanding of sciences, progress, democracy, their foundations begin to crumble...the axes of gender, family and occupation, the belief in science and progress, shake., .and a new twilight of opportunities and hazards comes into existence, the contours of the risk society, (p. 11-15) So says Beck in Europe. How has this apparently enormous challenge to rationalism and instrumentality been felt by North American planners? What impact will this challenge have for the accounting of gender in planning for educational activities? Previously, much has been written on the application of learning principles to program planning (see, for example, Brundage and MacKeracher, 1980) and on incorporating cognitive strategies, affective and cognitive domain engagement, experiential learning designs, and so on, 54 into adult education practices. However, I was unable to find much research or literature on how to apply some of the suggestions regarding gendered learning in the design of programs other than that found in feminist pedagogical texts. Plans and models for women-only education are beginning to be offered (Coats, 1994; Pravda, 1992), but they are often found in areas or journals not read by male academics, but in feminist publications. Similarly, while the popular press has taken up the notion of men and women as different in learning styles, (see Moir and Jessel, 1989), there is not much solid or even credible material there to use in planning traditional, formal educational programs. Models in the classical sense of a rational, linear kind for planning gender equal education are still elusive. Even the illuminating study by Lewis and Dunlop (1991) on the reasons planners give for program success and failure does not address ideological issues, or the extent to which gender or power considerations affected the planners perceptions of success, beyond the superficial "Stake holders were satisfied" (p. 19) response. (A similar study which asked the learners to evaluate programs they participated in might yield more interesting information as to gender and appropriateness of models of instruction.) Will the challenge faced by planners from post-structuralist, postmodernists and critical theorists to now begin to include factors such as gender, race, sexual orientation, for example, be accepted? Power and Interest, and Feminism, in Program Planning Perhaps the ideology that informs the planning process is all that may distinguish a gender equal model, or design, for adult education. In fact, new directions for framing and justifying the whole planning process are emerging in North America that will allow space for ideological considerations. In the 1960s the first formal program development models began to appear and they continue to appear, often refined, re-produced and re-defined in very utilitarian and specific 55 ways. But to quote some of the newer thinking in this area, for example, as offered by Mills, Langone, Cervero and Wilson (1995), Program planning as outlined by those models is a comprehensive rational process of decision-making, involving a similar series of steps for assessing needs, developing objectives, identifying resources, selecting models and evaluating outcomes...but recent research about how...agents actually plan programs provides ample evidence to suggest that...planners, especially those considered exemplary by their administrators, do not adhere to the prescriptions of the classical models, (p. 6) If this is so, how does planning occur, what directions do planners follow, how do they really construct programs? And what relevance will that literature have for this study? Mills et al (1995) summarise the recent work that has been done to determine what actual planning practice is, and they show the consistency in theoretical focus that this research has with recent adult education research. An understanding of the social context is sought, and this is linked to critical theory. Citing the work of Forester in urban and regional planning, they claim that organisational and social context matter because "ignoring the opportunities and dangers of organizational setting is like walking across a crowded intersection with one's eyes closed" (Forester, 1989, cited by Mills et al, 1995, p. 7). The work of Cervero and Wilson (1994) builds on this and inextricably links responsibility to the plan to "improve some situation in the world" (Mills et al, 1995, p. 2). This is quite firmly centred, not in the mundane sense of "objectives based program planning" (R. Cervero, electronic communication, March 15, 1995) but in social action. Cervero (1995) ably expresses this desire to recognise the realities of practice but to not lose sight of the fundamental issue facing program planners [is]: What is our responsibility beyond innocence? Once we recognise that we live in a world of power relations that actually 56 structure whose knowledge counts and what kind of world will be brought into existence through our educational programs...(then) this is precisely the task we have set...a vision for how planners need to act in the face of power. (R. Cervero, electronic communication, March 15, 1995) This echoes the central theme of planning as being a socially responsible act stated in Cervero and Wilson (1994). They also advocate the socially critical perspectives to be gained by seeing planning as a metaphor for negotiating power and interests. Bagnall (1993), experimenting with a postmodern approach to planning, is critiqued by Cervero, who feels that issue can be taken with Bagnall's models of contractualism or open marketeering as postmodern alternatives to classical planning models, because "he treats all learners as some generic entity, instead of recognising his own argument that all people have multiple shifting identities and multiple interests" (R. Cervero, electronic communication, March 15, 1995). But Cervero applauds Bagnall for underscoring the concept of the boundaries of planning as limitless, "I found it interesting and exciting to see the fusion of Cervero's thoughts on planning and responsibility with feminist thought", and he writes on, I have spent a fair amount of time over the past 6-9 months with a book "Feminists Theorize the Political" (sic) edited by Butler and Scott. In particular, I have found useful the final chapter by Jane Flax, "The end of Innocence", whose themes seem to me to resonate with what we are trying to do. (R. Cervero, electronic communication, March 15, 1995) He reflects on the roles that feminism and postmodernism can play in illuminating program planning, and how planners cannot be complicit in what Nietzsche calls the "longest lie", the belief that outside the haphazard and perilous experiments we perform there lies something (God, Science, Knowledge, Rationality, or Truth) which will, if we only perform the correct rituals, step in and save us. To take full responsibility is to firmly situate ourselves within the contingent and imperfect contexts, to 57 acknowledge differential privileges of race, gender, geographical location, and sexual identities..we need to make claims on our own and others' behalf and to listen to those different from ours, knowing that ultimately there is nothing that justifies them beyond each person's desire and need—interests—and the discursive practices in which they are developed, embedded and legitimated—power relations. (R. Cervero, electronic communication, March 15, 1995) Such stirring words! I find that there is now ideological space to plan for women's learning as separate or even different from men's learning: perhaps a recognition that there could be differences in preferred ways of learning, or of constructing knowledge, might be the first step in planning for a truly hospitable learning environment, which would recognise all learner's rights. The Learning Organisation Lastly, one interdisciplinary area of research and theory has emerged over the last few years which has made an impact on both the world of education and the world of work. This is the body of knowledge that is being produced on the learning organisation, or the fifth discipline. As adult educators, practitioners in training and development stand squarely in the midst of the debate over the meaning and nature of this mythical beast, and are often charged with making it real and tangible. The cult of the learning organisation has come to have much meaning for planning practice, whether the planner is male or female. Preskill (1994) states that organisations have grasped the major tenets of the learning organisation, and understand that it represents the best chance for survival in the turbulent world of business, but that they have not linked the sense that "continuous improvement requires a commitment to learning" (p. 292). Organisations must be skilled in five main activities: systematic problem solving, experimentation with new approaches, learning from their own experiences and 58 the best practices of others, and transferring knowledge quickly and efficiently throughout the organization. Human resource development and adult education theory merge as one. It is interesting that only recently have the parallels between the development of people and organisations been drawn and remarkable that their parallels in terms of learning needs are only now being linked. It is falling to planners to design learning to meet those needs in their practice. As an example of the anthropomorphizing of organisations, Morgan (1983) has outlined the application of human psychological theory to organisational theory and has proposed the view of an organisation as a living entity. In two of the images he paints, an organisation can be an entity which is patriarchal or it can serve as a psychic prison. A question which might be addressed to the women planners is whether this conceptualisation has ever matched their experience in their own organisation. Would they see their organisation as having a gender? What metaphors would they use to describe their organisation? Definitions and Questions Definitions Bounding the Study Learning. The 1994 edition of the Collins Dictionary of English defines learning as: Learning: n) knowledge gained through study; instruction and scholarship, v) the act of gaining knowledge. Psychol), any relatively permanent change in behaviour that occurs as a direct result of experience, and to learn v): 1) to gain knowledge; to acquire skill in, 2) to commit to memory, 3) to gain by experience, by example, etc. 4) to become informed 59 This definition of learning could be useful if this study was to look at learning in terms of strictly educational goals, but to it I should like to add an extra definition. Jarvis (1995a) defines learning as "the transformation of experience into knowledge, skills, attitudes and values" (p. 70) and this is a better frame for learning when it refers to a larger experience than the strictly pedagogical. He describes three categories of learning, all resulting from reactions to primary or secondary experience, which he categorises as non-learning— occurring because of presumption, non-consideration and rejection of experience, non-reflective learning—as in preconscious skills-learning and memorization, and reflective learning—as contemplation, reflective skills learning and experimental learning How meaningful are these categories to women learning? Gender. The formal dictionary definition of gender, as "one of three classifications into which English nouns and pronouns naturally fall, masculine, feminine, and neuter" (Collins, 1994) is now also accorded an informal definition, "the state of being male, female or neutral" (Collins, 1994). Recognising its changed usage, "gender" has now come to be accepted in sociological and feminist scholarship as an adjective and adverb (Acker, 1994, p. 67; Pagano, 1994, p. 2 5 3 ) and may be applied to learning, education and teaching. Originally, this was the definition I used in setting up the research study. But as my study progressed, as I listened to the stories of the women, and I began to piece together some preliminary meanings to what I was hearing, this definition just wouldn't do the work it should. I found Measor and Sikes' (1992) explanations of gender much more politically useful and relevant to my study; I have paraphrased the following definitions from their work, going on to use these to frame my analysis. Sex refers to the most basic physiological differences between men and women—the differences in genitals and reproductive capacities. All differences other than these are seen as 60 being produced by society. Gender refers to the differences between men and women other than the basic physiological ones. It refers to specific social and cultural patterns of behaviour, and to the social characteristics of being a man and a woman in particular historical and social circumstances: gender is made by society. Sex-role refers to the patterns of behaviour and aptitudes and attitudes society expects from people simply because they are male or female. Gender identity refers to a person's self-concept, that is, their own sense of being female or male. Planning. A plan can be defined generically as, n) a detailed scheme, a method for attaining an objective; a proposed, usually tentative, idea for doing something", and planning as, v) "to form a plan, or make plans, or to have in mind as a purpose" (Collins, 1994). In adult education terms, Langenbach (1992) offers a sturdy and utilitarian definition of "a curriculum model as the plan that creates access to education and training...(it) will include the decisions and activities necessary...and may be simple or complex" (p. 3). As such this is a workable definition for this study, but again, I felt the need to expand this precise and inorganic definition, to put some humanity into the word, and therefore when I spoke to the women, asking them about "planning", I had in mind a definition that is more embracing, Cervero's perhaps, that sees planning as a negotiation of power and interests. In the end, I decided to let the language of the conversations define the word, "planning". 61 Summary In certain areas the literature was inconclusive or fragmented, and did not contribute to a better understanding of the problem statement. After voluminous reading, and with reflection back to my own experience, I concluded that a study into gendered learning would probably address questions around general adult learning theory and how gender affects the process of learning; it might ask how learning is experienced as gendered; questions could be posed as to whether the learning context affects the degree of gendering, whether women learning as women learn in academic and work situations the same way (MacKeracher, 1993b), and finally, whether adult educators can plan for gendered learning, just as they plan for other kinds of variables to be incorporated into good instructional design. The literature also threw up some new notions for me to consider, and as I read, some supplemental questions began to attach themselves to the initial ideas I had hoped to examine. For example, to what extent had the experiences of the women as adult learners been similar to those mentioned by feminist researchers in learning? What effect does the gender of the planner have on programming learning? To what extent did the women planners subscribe to the views expressed by Cervero and Wilson and Forester: did they see their practice as an extended metaphor for negotiating power and interest, or was this a masculine analogy? If so, what metaphor would women planners' stories of practice reveal? Have Morgan's conceptualisations of organisations ever matched the women's experiences? Could an organisation have a gender? And lastly, would the planners recognise or have even used, consciously or not, the framework proposed by MacKeracher (1993 a) for designing "women's learning"? That framework includes: 62 1. The focus on an individual and her personal experience as a beginning for, and as ongoing in, learning activity, and that that experience would include talk as a major factor. 2. The recognition that individuals should self-identify their personal connection to what is to be learned. 3. An holistic emphasis placed on connecting thinking and feeling, experience and ideas, theory and practice, and reflection and action. 4. An emphasis on cooperative and collaborative learning, with a recognition that self- direction is a goal, not a process for novices. 5. The use of cooperative evaluation techniques which empower the learner to take responsibility for her learning. 6. The recognition that learning has as its goal a transformative dimension and this, while difficult to implement, should never be devalued, (pp. 79-81) After completing the literature review I felt both daunted and excited. I could see that there was something happening in the staid theoretical world of "curriculum models", and that the feminist breeze blowing through the academy was reaching gale force as it approached the learning and teaching areas....Something was afoot. I knew I was not the only person asking awkward questions, nor the only one demanding changes in the way the educational world had been wont to mold its learners and plan their lives. I was daunted, however, when I looked realistically at the centre, and saw how far away we feminists, critical theorists and "radicals" were, still living and working on the edges, foraying out now and then to do battle with those sitting so smugly and securely in the middle. And most discouraging o f all, I saw how many o f my peers, fellow students, fellow workers were happy with the way things had always been, not many wanted to take a good look at the Emperor naked.... 63 So, now I had had my tete a tete with the books, the next task was to figure out how to begin asking my questions, and what to do with the answers I got.... 64 P L O T LINES. . . . Valerie: How helpful have you found the Research Methods courses you have taken? And as a qualitative researcher too? Yolanda: Well, you have to remember that in my Master's of Nursing primarily it's a quantitative focus, so the only research course in Nursing was a Qualitative and Quantitative [survey], supposedly! Laughs!! It was just useless, it was just., there was nothing of value, nothing of value related to qualitative research. The qualitative research model that's used is consistently grounded theory, and it walks a line that is so fine between quantitative and qualitative research that, you know, on a good day you could call it one and on another day you can call it the other...that model just didn't sit with me, and it didn't suit me....to really begin to understand (what) phenomenology is all about, that's what I'm interested in. But you know, I doubt that they could say phenomenology there!..it just was useless, it was boring, it was a waste of time, and it was anxiety provoking, I do remember that about it, because it was team taught, and we had this strong proponent of quantitative research and a strong proponent of qualitative research arguing amongst themselves all the time about which paradigm was better! I don't care! You know, just tell me what you want me to write, because that's all I'm at at this point! The two of them wouldfight! While we're trying to write our proposals! My first proposal was actually to investigate the use of restraints on older adults, but, you know, she (the instructor) just ripped it apart because it couldn't be quantified, and it just, it was horrible. But it was just a waste of time. I got nothing out of it, absolutely nothing, except an understanding of what grounded theory was... (Y2:38) 65 Plots and Sub-Plots When I listened to Yolanda talking about her methodology courses, I wondered if I was experiencing deja vu. I had originally thought the methodology section would be the easiest part of my thesis to complete. And yet here I am, three courses later (I guess I don't catch on as quickly as Yolanda), and on my fifth re-write of this chapter. I think if I had chosen to walk a methodological path that was well-trodden, not necessarily a quantitative way, but something safe and sound, like survey research, or grounded theory, or ethnography, I might not have had these difficulties. Difficulty in locating a methodology and language that was congruent with my take on life, and difficulty in "writing it up" when I did find the methodology that I wanted—a way that let me ask questions and a way that let me answer them. One member of my thesis committee remarked that it was fun working with me, because I was making it up as I went along.... Not too far from the truth either! I had decided, for this fifth re-write, to tell the story of how I found story, and then segue into the story of the research study, but I find, as always, there are lots more stories writing themselves here—some on paper, some inscribing my bodily subjectivity, some working themselves out still, in some space of their own, a Refuge Area in my head for orphan stories, where they wait, not yet ready, not yet full grown, to come out and claim a place in my writing.... So this chapter has many Plot Lines. There is one that follows my progress in finding my place in the community of academic research practice. There's another, nestling into the first, about how my cognitive development has unfolded. And another that tells the tale of how clearly I see my Voice develop in the iterations of this chapter. Too, there is the story of the Five Women, and the Sixth, how I found them, what we talked about, and what I have made of "All this talk!" There is a story about finding out what kind of research is feminist, and what kind of feminist I am to be doing that kind of research. There is a harder story for me to tell, about the resistance I have 66 felt in myself to my methodology and purpose, the self-imposed blocking of my writerly voice, through physical and emotional means. The most difficult story was one I overlooked—the part I myself would play in affecting the research, and my analysis of what I heard when the women talked. I began to realise that this would not be an easy piece of writing, academically, last Spring, when I was in the first of my methodology courses. It was not until this early Spring, of 1996, that I had an inkling of what it might mean for me personally. My friend Carol had asked me over to brunch on a lovely Saturday morning, over in West Vancouver where she lives, and as we sat eating our omelettes, she asked me how things were going. I told her how excited I was as my first attempts at analysis began to reveal so much more below the surface than I had imagined, and went on to tell her some of what I was seeing come through the women's stories. "Wow!", she said, "Do you think you would have looked underneath, or even wanted to, if you hadn't been doing your own personal work, you know, on yourself? Like now you know how much of your life had been hidden?" And then I realised—how could I tell the women's stories if I didn't tell mine? Because the plot lines were so tangled, one story without the other made no sense~I was going to have to talk too, and about things that were difficult for me to deal with among friends, let alone putting myself under the harsh and unforgiving academic spotlight. Oh dear! So I resisted, trying instead to write my words about their words without telling my real words....It didn't work. So here I am, coming clean, getting it straight, finally, on the fifth go round. So settle back, more stories, more narratives, more plots, more lines to follow up and down the page.... 67 A Story: Becoming A (Narrator) Researcher, Or , Chapman, V . L . (1996).... During my first two methodology classes I think I was in the cognitive stage Belenky et al (1986) call "received knowledge," or listening to the voice of others. While I usually have opinions about pretty well everything, I knew I was on the periphery, and probably illegitimately to boot, of a community of practice about which I knew nothing. I sat and listened, read, gradually learned how to say the right words, while frequently and completely misunderstanding their meaning, and I'm sure mispronouncing most. I started to feel more confident—after all, I had known what my topic would be half way through the first term, women's learning, right?—and tentatively set out my first attempt at a proposal for research. It was not well received, probably not well written, and I had a heck of a time figuring out just what a conceptual framework was. Everybody, well, faculty anyway, tossed their conceptual framework questions around like they were juggling sixteen balls, and weren't about to drop one. But most of us students, and I know because I asked them first, wouldn't have known what a conceptual framework was if it followed us home. Most of us hoped one would follow us home, then at least we would have one. I got the worst mark of my graduate career in that course, despite seeking out the professors, checking my assumptions, and theirs, and asking questions, questions and more questions. I was bitterly disappointed because I had so much wanted to get it right, to learn. The next year, when I read Norman and Leggo's piece on gendered experiences (1995), I began to wonder if it wasn't my topic that was faulted, not my ability.... I still wonder. Then it was that, when I thought I had a handle on some of the knowledge I needed, I moved to Belenky's third stage of cognitive development—using "subjective knowledge" or the 68 Inner Voice "attending to my infallible gut, instead of listening to external authorities" (Belenky et al, 1986, p. 53) to continue my search for my methodology. I wanted one that came from my personal experience, my experience as a woman learning. I felt intuitively that such a methodology would sit much more comfortably in a room with me, and my participant and my tape recorder—it would have "racing form", it would have been validated at least once as a way of constructing knowledge for one woman, me. So I wrote the second attempt at a Chapter 3. And I got a much better mark! I also had managed to find some academic props for my choice—narrative, or storying—and some $25 words about feminist research and epistemologies. And the frameworks were there again, newly furbished and not looking at all like what they really were, as insubstantial as chipboard, and I think that helped the mark. I was getting closer to the community of academic practice! By the third iteration, another few thousand words had accumulated and my vocabulary, my language, my very style was so academic I could have cried with pride! I had arrived! I certainly could talk, argue, write turgid prose, bore any one in sight, and occasionally had flashes of brilliance that I squelched as quickly as possible, putting them out of their frustrated misery. My thesis committee accepted the proposal, on the condition that I re-write Chapter 3; one of them even suggested I should begin to trust my own Voice, and write up the methodology section using it. Well! I smiled politely, and said, Of course! Inwardly I was seething—hadn't I just showed them that I had reached Belenky's fourth stage? Look, don't you see, here I am, demonstrating my use of "procedural knowledge", using the/your Voice(s) of Reason? I had not realised yet, to paraphrase Belenky et al, that although I could speak in "measured terms", and I was "objective", and I "knew how", and I could "take a perspective", this still wasn't a guarantee that I could call myself a fully legitimate member of the community. 69 I re-wrote the passage they wanted, disturbed and elated at how much more comfortable it was to use less expensive words, to dispense with elegantly entwined subjunctive clauses, to shed the pluperfect tense—but was this alright? Would I be able to "fit" if I wrote it this way, thought this way, my way? I was nervous, but they approved my proposal! Ironically, it was at this stage, when I was almost, but not quite, invited into the heart of the academic community, that I began to have heretical wisps of thought—if they asked me, would I go? I got on with the mundane business of ethics forms, wrestling with the Jet Form Filler, sending out my contact letters, devising interview guides, and then in December, began pilot interviews. In January, and February, and March I talked with the first three women, and I began to feel the "small room" of the academic community stifling. I liked what I was hearing from the women, I was making critical judgements about what they were telling me about traditional learning environments. In April I used my own Voice for the first time—at a thesis committee meeting where I talked about my preliminary analysis. For, mirabile dictu, I had had a proposal accepted for a paper to be given at a University Conference on Narrative, and one for a paper to be presented at the Canadian Association for the Study of Adult Education. I needed to tell the stories of what were coming to be the Five Women, but, paradoxically, I couldn't do so in the language of the community of practice to which my papers' acceptance now gave me a valid membership. I see now that I had crossed two lines. Firstly, I had stepped into the realm of what Belenky et al (1986) call the final stage of women's cognitive development, where I now used "constructed knowledge" to integrate all the voices I had heard into my own Voice. Secondly, I had decided to reject the more traditional mores of my community of practice, and opted instead to live on the edge—a very uncomfortable place. I tested fragments of my fifth "Third Chapter" as I presented my two papers, astonished that no-one leapt up to the front of the room to drag me off stage for speaking heresy. My committee also surprised me—once again, they encouraged me 70 to continue with writing in my own Voice, even though one called it "outrageous", one "unconventional" and the other remarked that my work was "invitingly poetic, and strongly feminist in ways that I have seldom seen in a thesis" (C. Leggo, personal communication, August 14, 1996), but agreed with me that it was "biting". How could I refuse those invitations? So my own Voice has developed, and as my acceptance into the community is guaranteed, I find myself writing my thesis up again, beginning the overhaul in a Summer Session class (and you're going to hear a lot more about that! If Mae West hadn't said "Buckle your seat belts, we're in for a bumpy ride", I would) that was supposed to help me with the last stages of drafting and editing, not the birthing of a new one.... As I say in some lines from a journal kept in that class.... *** J u l y 23,1996. T o d a y , the G u i d e s a i d , A n s w e r t h i s c j u e s t i o n , Why do I write.... M o s t i n t h e c l a s s n e r v o u s l y u s i n g w r i t e r l y e a r n e s t l a n g u a g e , m e N O T , o f c o u r s e , s t r a i g h t t o t h e h e a r t , D e s c a r t e s . . . . U n l e s s I e a t I d i e , s o w h e n I w r i t e a s h o p p i n g l i s t , II k n o w ][ l i v e , I w r i t e t o e a t , t o s h o p a t S a f e w a y . . . . ][n a p o e m i t m i g h t b e Why I write to learn—to tell, me and them, to know what to buy at Safeway to show—me to myself, me to my committee to teach—publicly, to communicate outside of me 71 —privately, to communicate within me to fulfill—thesisly demands of FoGS to make—words and sense of words to live.... Y o u k n o w , i t ' s h a r d a n d l o n e l y b e i n g a f e m i n i s t ? N o . I d i d n ' t k n o w , t h e n . B u t n o w ][ k n o w . . . . A l m o s t t h r o u g h m y t h e s i s , h a v i n g m o r e t h a n s e c o n d t h o u g h t s a b o u t g o i n g On t o D o c t o r a l w o r k i n t h i s o f t e n i n i m i c a l e n v i r o n m e n t . T h e f u n n y t h i n g i s , i t ' s n o t w h e n I s t r u g g l e w i t h p r o f e s s o r s o r s e x i s t i n s t r u c t i o n t h a t I f e e l s o a s s a i l e d , i t ' s w h e n m y f e l l o w s t u d e n t s a n d t h e y o u n g o n e s a t t h a t , s a y , Oh g o d , y o u ' r e n o t o n e o f t h o s e F E M I N I S T S a r e y o u ? A n d t h e y a c c u s e m e o f s t e r e o t y p i n g a n d s a y , W e d o n ' t n e e d t h a t k i n d o f s t u f f t h e s e d a y s , w e ' r e e q u a l n o w . I n o t i c e u s u a l l y t h e y a r e w h i t e , a b l e , a l w a y s p r e t t y o r g o o d l o o k i n g , n e v e r h a v i n g e x p e r i e n c e d t h e p a i n o f r e j e c t i o n , J a n i s l a n ' s 1 7 . S o I g e t a w f u l l y l o n e l y , b u t t h e m i n d g o e s h a r i n g o f f a g a i n . . . . I a m c o n f u s e d , m y s e n s e s t e l l m e o n e t h i n g , m y n i c e l y t u n e d a c a d e m i c b r a i n — a n d h a v e n ' t I j u s t h a d t h e G o l d S e a l o f A p p r o v a l ? T h i s b r a i n w a r r a n t i e d g o o d f o r a n o t h e r f i v e a c a d e m i c y e a r s b u t C a u t i o n ! : O n l y v a l i d i n t h e Ph.D p r o g r a m — s a y s , N o w , k e e p a n o p e n m i n d , l i s t e n c a r e f u l l y , p o n d e r b e f o r e y o u r e p l y a n d s o o n , a n d i n s i d e I s c r e a m , W h y t h e h e l l s h o u l d I? S o t h e y c a n g o i n s i d e a n d y a n k o u t t h e b i t s t h a t d o n ' t f i t t h e m a l e s t r e a m m o u l d ? " O h , u m , t h a t p a r t 72 t h e r e n e e d s r e p l a c i n g - , b e t t e r g e t t h e p l i e r s out.. . .yes, t h a t ' s i t , j u s t t w e e z e o u t t h a t s t r a n d o f c r i t i c a l t h o u g h t , i t ' s s t r a n g l i n g t h e v o i c e o f r e a s o n " . *** So now I have a Narrator/Researcher, A Feminist at that, a Voice to tell the Audience what's going on, what the Plot is.... A Story: How I Found Stories, Or, Yes, There is a Methodology This is a double voiced story: an experiment in mixing two languages, two tongues, two kinds of writing, two hemispheres of one brain. Enjoy both my Voices, both have worth. I was still not sure about those frameworks, but I was moving close, in the Spring of'95, to staking out one, if not two. I knew, thanks to the (back)lash marks on my back, gathered over several encounters with students and professors, that others recognised me as a feminist even if I wasn't brave enough to say it out loud--who puts their hand in a blender willingly? So I gathered my courage, said, under my breath, I am a feminist, I need a feminist framework! and went off on a Quest—to the Library, to find one. There, sweltering in the heat of the stacks of Main, I found a nice work by Maynard and Purvis (1994). They told me what I was beginning to come to know—feminist research practice is now academically in a more acceptable position than it was even ten years ago as a method of • enquiry and/or a perspective, and that there is a wide body of literature which debates exactly what feminist research practice looks like. It seems that feminists agree that there is a distinctly feminist mode of enquiry but there is little agreement on what this is or what it might involve. Maynard and Purvis1 (1994) discussion and use of Sandra Harding's (cited, pp. 10-12) clever 73 distinction between method, methodology and epistemology helped me to clarify what I could use as part of my study. One of the most pressing issues facing feminism today is its problem in reconciling the abstract analyses and recommendations made at the epistemological level by those engaged in the modern/postmodern debate, with the production of a workable model for practice. As bell hooks (1988) has said : Without liberatory feminist theory there can be no effective feminist movement but...this framework should be directed out toward society and the masses of men and women, not confined to the university which is the site of privilege and elitism—both in terms of gender and class and race. Unfortunately some feminists have only gained legitimacy for theoretical work if it is produced within the academic community... which is Eurocentric, linguistically convoluted and rooted in Western white male sexist and racially biased philosophical frameworks...This reaffirms hierarchy and renders the work inaccessible to those not in the community, (p. 35) For those, like me, who are ready to actively engage in empirical research there is a frustrating lack of attention paid to concrete matters of method and methodology. Method here refers to techniques for gathering research materials. I needed to find out just how a feminist would do that. Feminists of the second wave popularised qualitative methods, especially those that maximised the ability to explore women's experience, such as listening to, recording and understanding, in their own words, women's own descriptions and accounts, rather than having them try to meet the externally defined structures largely found in quantitative methods such as limiting answers to questionnaires and surveys. Interviewing in depth, face-to- face, has become the 'orthodox', paradigmatic feminist method, enshrined in Oakley's classic work (1981). 74 But not just women or feminists have espoused the interview; phenomenological sociologists of the 1970s and educational phenomenologists (Van Maanen, 1990), of both genders, have also advocated the use of qualitative methods and, particularly, the interview. The interview is one of the most useful ways to inquire of people how they structure their day-to-day lives and make meaning of their lived experience, while not distorting, but rather reflecting, those meanings. Similarly, observations, participatory research, case studies and ethnographic research methods have been used in many social science studies, especially anthropological ones, and are not exclusive to feminist research practice. Feminists have found them valuable (Reinharz, 1992); many have appropriated these techniques but they did not create them. So, it seems there is no one official feminist way (Oleson, 1994). Perhaps I can choose my own? While some brave feminists have always maintained that there is a place for quantitative methods—such research has made significant contributions to our knowledge and understanding of women's experiences, and it has been useful and politically effective in drawing attention to areas such as the feminization of poverty, innumeracy, illiteracy, and the ghettoization of female labour. A number of feminist researchers have now begun to advocate a mix of quantitative and qualitative methods, or multiple methods studies. Ironically, these can be especially useful when interviewing is too distressing for the researched. A questionnaire guarantees anonymity and, paradoxically, sensitivity to the researched (Kelly, Burton, and Regan, 1994). But I am still not comfortable with the quantitative. And, of course, the choice of method should be determined by its usefulness in answering the research question; it seemed sensible for me to select the interview as the best method for getting to the heart of the women's learning experiences. I decided not to go for the therapeutic, in-depth, completely open-ended interview, (especially after hearing that some feminists advocate marathon style interviews that ramble on for four or more hours—I refuse to subject myself or others to such a tedious and draining process), but an interview which would be guided by some 75 stage setting questions. I would define the topic of the interview and would try to make sure certain questions were addressed consistently across each interview. (See Appendix B) So....Now I had a method for getting information, or collecting data, but I still needed an organising concept, a framework. I needed a methodology—and preferably one that was feminist- friendly. Methodology, I felt, should include some kind of theory and analysis of how my research should proceed, how I could best address the research questions and some kind of criteria for evaluating the findings. I read ferociously, almost wearing out the new Handbook of Qualitative Research (Denzin and Lincoln, 1994). Interpretivism looked promising, but what was it? I found out. Interpretivism is about contextualised meaning, where social reality is embedded in social constructions, where "'reality' resides neither with an objective external world nor with the subjective mind of the knower, but within dynamic transactions between the two" (Barone, quoted in Greene, 1994, p. 536). Interpretations and re-interpretations are constructed between the researcher and the researched, always arising from lived experience and the standpoint of the researched. This would be consonant with my feminist perspective, which foregrounds gender not just as a social construction, but a foundational characteristic of social life. Research within interpretivist feminist perspective would also have to deal with issues of power, quality, reflexivity, politics and the outcomes on both researcher and researched of involvement in the study. That sounded appropriate, but so....polysyllabic, so academic, so linguistically convoluted....still. Ethnography didn't fit—it wasn't culture I was after, and while phenomenology might work to capture the lived-experience of my women participants, it still seemed too prescribed, too far from the everyday, too academic—I mean, if I couldn't understand its linguistic convolutions, how would I explain it to them? I tried to put it clearly and came up with something like this: 76 Phenomenology is an ancient human science. It seeks to understand the essence of lived-experience, and to make connections and patterns within a personal meaning system. In our late modern world language has assumed an importance for the analysis of lived-experience, being both the vehicle by which we declare or make meaning of our lives, and the means by which we interpret our reality, or define our world as it is mediated to us through technological, cultural or social constructions. (This is an extract from my fourth iteration of Chapter 111, 1995). Not what you would call everyday conversational topics, except maybe in a graduate classroom-- but that wasn't where I was going to be siting my research. At the same time I kept falling over "stories". In my personal life, in my paid work with women alcoholics, in my preliminary talks with women, with planners, with learners and with teachers. They would say, "Well, let me tell you a story about that...." or, "The story behind that is...." or, "The official story is...." or, "That's a story for another day....", and so on. So one lovely Saturday I was sitting, bored and irritable, at an ERIC terminal in the Library, and I thought," Oh why not?", and I entered "story" as a search term. Bingo! 27 hits! Other educational researchers had been using stories! They might call them personal experience methods, interpretive biography, narratology, narrative analysis, storying and so on, but I knew they were stories! The literature claimed what I already knew intuitively, that language defines meaning, that stories are ordinary people's ways of meaning-making, a way to make sense of their experiences; they are lived-experience (Goodson, 1993). Stories offer interpretations of reality, capturing values, feelings and judgements about the world, helping us to understand the patterns of our lives within it. For me, stories represent the intersection of phenomenology and interpretivsm~in lay terms, people tell stories that illustrate the events or phenomena that have shaped they way they live their lives, how they make meaning of those events and their lives in general. And it is 77 intuitive~we all know the important stories we need to tell, the ones that in their telling and re- telling, each time teach us what our life is about, who we are and why we are. But as a feminist, and perhaps too, a post-colonialist?, I didn't want to become a story- thief, collecting snippets of my subject's lives and souls, excusing myself as the old anthropologists did, as just "a snapper-up of unconsidered trifles" (Autolychus, A Winter's Tale. Shakespeare). I wanted my story-tellers constructing knowledge with me, sharing their reality as gendered learners, and, I hoped, coming to some kind of action after our common reflection. I did, of course, honour the conventions and find academic support for this gut decision to sit and listen to women telling stories. Also, I still didn't trust my own instinct well enough to say, Here is what I am going to do. I still needed to bolster myself with others/ (academic) words. Here are some of them, the best first. Carl Leggo (1995), a post modernist, a poet, teacher, writer lays claim to story: The world is not given to us. We write the world. We write it individually and we write it corporately. Always the world is an overwritten text like a palimpsest, stories written in the margins and spaces of other stories, stories written across other stories, seemingly obliterating the other stories, but only obscuring them, stories written in and off other stories. A plurality of voices and desires, (p. 14) And stories have an ancient pedigree. Long before written language crystallised culture, history and knowledge, people used oral methods to ensure that information vital to personal and tribal survival was preserved. Chinen (1992) writes about the difference between myths1 and stories, or folk tales as he calls them, and their uses and meaning to us, privately and publicly. Folk tales are the private histories of men and women, told around the fire in the evening to x. When I began to write up my analysis, I found I d i d not l i k e the word myth. You can check that out now, i n "Five Women: Honouring Voices" or increase your reading pleasure by l e t t i n g a n t i c i p a t i o n b u i l d . 78 inform, amuse, teach, comfort and caution, and they contain the common-sense wisdoms and values of the ordinary person. They are the essence of the common experience, or the life-world of the everyday, they are lived experience. They offer us interpretations of reality, capturing values, feelings and judgements about the world, helping us to understand the patterns of our lives within it. The qualitative, and especially the post-modernist paradigm, emphasises process, meaning, interactivity, descriptive narrative, induction and, above all, local and contextualised personal experience. Not surprisingly, various qualitative methodologies are re-focusing attention on the stories that people tell each other. "Story" as representative of personal meaning making is gaining currency in fields as diverse as program evaluation theory and educational leadership studies. So Weiss (1995) says, Theories represent the stories that people tell about how problems arise and how they can be solved. Lay people as well as professionals have stories abut the origins and remedies of social problems (poor people want to work but the jobs have disappeared: services make people permanently dependent). These stories, whether they arise from stereotypes, myths, journalism, or research knowledge, whether they are true or false, are potent forces in policy discussions. Policies that seem to violate the assumptions of prevailing stories will receive little support. Therefore, to the extent that evaluation can directly demonstrate the hardiness of some stories (theories) and the frailty of others, it will address the underlying influences that powerfully shape policy discourse, (p. 72) And Irwin (1995), Recounting stories of experiences touches the mind of reader or the listener in unpredictable ways..education has begun to use stories, or case studies, as a way of reflecting on and transforming practice... stories allow communication of the particulars of experience while allowing for varying personal interpretations of events...Through 79 narrative, language organises experience...stories and narrative become interpretations of experience...finally, stories and narrative have the capacity to define and create community, socially constructing meaning through the use of telling stories, reading stories, (p. 10) And Clandinin and Connelly (1994), The noting of experience in storied form... stories are the closest we can come to experience as we and others tell it, a story is...full, it comes out of a personal and social history...people live stories and... stories lived and told educate the self and others, including the young and those such as researchers, who are new to their community, (p. 415) Clandinin and Connelly's work on personal experience methods as a research methodology (1994; 1991; 1990) is probably the most well-known in educational research. But this is a very new field, and methods are not prescriptive. Interestingly, and fun for me, debate is dynamic and vital; researchers and scholars of feminist and other perspectives (D. MacKeracher, personal communication, March, 1995) are beginning to investigate story/narrative. I am pleased to be here, living on the methodological edge...sometimes. At least I am in good company out here, with storytellers ancient and modern. I was particularly pleased to find storying, or narrative, so well-used by feminist researchers, (for example, Chanfrault-Duchet 1991; Gluck and Patai, 1991; Hale, 1991; Krall, 1988; Middleton, 1993; Sacks, 1989), and especially delighted to see the broad range of "story" they presented. What a smorgasbord to choose from! So now I have a Narrator, A Feminist at that, a Voice to tell the Audience what's going on, what the Plot is.... And now I had an idea of how to shape that Plot, because I had a Methodology, a framework to call my own...But I still needed to find an Epistemology to keep 8:0 my Methodology happy, how to decide about what constituted knowledge, and what didn't? And who would decide? A word or two about epistemology.... * A Story: Get M e an Epistemology While You're Up What is an epistemology? Guba and Lincoln (1994) try to make accessible to social science researchers the philosophical foundations for the "new", alternative paradigms of constructivism, post-positivism and critical theory. They pose questions, How do we know the world, What is the relationship between inquirer and the known? In feminist research practice, this definition is augmented; other questions need to be asked: Who knows what, about whom, and how is this knowledge legitimated? Maynard (1994) defines epistemology as being "concerned with providing a philosophical grounding for deciding what kinds of knowledge are possible and how we can ensure that they are both adequate and legitimate" (p. 10). It seems feminist philosophising about epistemology has evolved through "feminist empiricism", to "feminist standpoint" and on to "feminist postmodernism". Which would suit me and my study? Al l three varieties of feminist epistemologies generally begin by confronting the male epistemological stance of positivism, which Lather (1991) defines as having four basic assumptions: 1) the aims, concepts, and methods of the natural sciences are applicable to the social sciences; 2) the correspondence theory of truth, which holds that reality is knowable through correct measurement methods, is adequate for the social sciences; 3) the goal of social research is to create universal laws of human behaviour which transcend culture and history; and 4) the fact/value dichotomy, the denial of both the theory-laden dimensions of observation 81 and the value-laden dimensions of theory, creates grounds for an "objective" social science, (p. 172) Here is the binarism which elevated rationality over emotion, mind over body, subject versus object, objective truth versus "ideology", and the distortion of "interests". Simply adding women in to this positivist science is not as valued now as it was, in the 1970s, by the early feminist empiricist and standpoint epistemologies. They sought, by elevating women's experiences from the subjugated position that their gender had condemned them to, to create knowledge based on women's ways of knowing. Lately feminists like Stanley and Wise (cited, Maynard, 1994, p. 20) have argued for a "feminist fractured foundationalist epistemology"; this epistemology recognises that there is no social reality "out there", nor is "truth" out there waiting to be discovered. They say all knowledge and truth claims are relative. Pluralism, communities of identity and communities of difference are the more positive expressions of this epistemology, but some negative expressions may include essentialism and so much fracture as to be politically useless. There is also debate growing around postmodern currents of thought, very similar in its issues to the debates I found swirling around elsewhere in other academic fields. So this debate sees postmodernism advocated as the worst/the only approach to research, and is most contentious around the role of discourse analysis in feminist research. If we lose ourselves in analyzing discourse, I hear, we negate the challenge to patriarchal structures and the move toward social change which is the one major goal of feminist research. Lather (1991) notes the "unambiguous condemnation, unambiguous celebration and deliberate ambivalence [about postmodernism]..and the view that post-structuralism is a 'virus' which threatens the coherency and effectivity of feminist work in the world", and goes on to say that she believes that the seductions and resistances to postmodernism can help us to 'get smart' about the possibilities and limits regarding, specifically, political work through education, and more 82 generally, a basis for critical social theories less ensnared in phallocentric and logocentric assumptions...Rather than 'how to1 guidelines...is the need for intellectuals with liberatory intentions to take responsibility for transforming our own practices so that our empirical and pedagogical work can be less toward positioning ourselves as masters of truth and justice and more toward creating a space where those directly involved can act and speak on their own behalf, (pp. 163-164) (Emphasis mine). Once again I see the familiar issue arise, this division between politics and the academy, where both sides feel they have contributions to make, but where some such as myself, doubt that "those directly involved" can speak and act on their own behalf. If they could, would they not have done so? But if their social reality has been constructed so that resistance and speaking out have no place in that reality, then feminist research should allow the researcher to interpret research data and thus create useful knowledge which can be used to make a difference in society. It is this that defines feminist research practice, that there is a practice to follow the theory, and one which uses the theory created. For myself, I hope to create knowledge working with my participants that will benefit both of us, researcher and researched, and will work toward de-constructing the inequalities we as women suffer in educational settings. An epistemology should go beyond describing knowledge, or concentrating on distinctions of lifestyle, culture and women's practices, because such an epistemology can exclude how knowledge of practices such as racism, classism, homophobia are constructed and omit structural explorations of how specific forms of oppression are legitimated and maintained. Also, an epistemology which implies that knowledge of race, class, ethnicity are limited to those of one ethnic group, or class or sex, is to miss the point that these things structure all our lives—to be white, for example, is to also experience an ethnicity. A feminist epistemology that will "allow us to use our theoretical knowledge to address some of the silences in our empirical work", is one to 83 be sought, says Maynard (1994, p.24), for it will add the dimension of praxis to experience. It will produce an epistemology that is useful politically not just academically, nor one that is ghetto-ized into a category of difference/ance. Finally, Maynard (1994) tells me a feminist epistemology must still be sound and reliable, even if it rejects positivist terms like validity, reliability and objectivity. If feminist work is to be regarded as intellectually compelling, politically relevant, policy-relevant, and meaningful to anyone other than feminists then it must be seen to be "rigorous". Researchers must be clear about theoretical assumptions which underlie their work, about the nature of the research process, its ethical bases, the criteria that will be used for the valuing of "good" knowledge and the strategies that will be used to construct this knowledge from the interpretation and analysis of the data. "In feminist work the suggestion is that all of these things are made available for scrutiny, comment, and (re)negotiation, as part of the process through which standards are evaluated and judged" (p. 25). So I am right, I do have to tell my story, show my biases, my strengths, even my weaknesses, and I have to tell, honestly, the story of the research. And to return full circle, I need to keep in front of me, (perhaps when the siren song of discourse analysis is luring me away?) the fact that I started all this with a question about gender. Feminism has been described by Gaskell (1989) as insisting on the importance of gender...as being fundamental to the ways we interact with each other, and to the ways that our private and public lives are organised...that gender is historically constructed and that it gives men power over women...that the forms of gender inequality are many and...no simple reflection of biological differences but...an integral part of the complex social arrangements that constitute a society. Feminism attempts to redress this inequality. It is directed toward change, (p. 6) From this sea of words, these linguistic convolutions, I have extracted several life-jackets worth of conclusions: just describing women's experience will not change it as gendered and 84 unequal; doing a discourse analysis will not confront structural oppression; I should not make too few generalisations; nor too many; and I should be respectful and honest about how I go about collecting my data, analyzing it and writing it up. Now, just in case anyone asks me, I have a theoretical explanation—an epistemology—for what I already knew from my own common sense. Ah! But this is the requirement for being an academic feminist....not! So now I have a Narrator, A Feminist at that, a Voice to tell the Audience what's going on, what the Plot is And now I had an idea of how to shape that Plot, because I have a Methodology, a framework to call my own, and an Epistemology....! Now I need some actors, some participants....Dramatis Personae and some lines for them to follow.... A Story: M y Dramatis Personae, Or, Five Women So now I had a research study proposal: I sat and thought, who was it I wanted to talk to? Who would want to sit and tell me stories? They would have to be women who enjoyed reflecting on their lives, women who liked to talk, women who valued their education, women who felt they had something, perhaps, to pass on to others. I didn't especially want to just talk to feminists, I wanted to talk to "just plain folks/women", although I certainly would be happy to have a feminist or two involved....as I have found out, it's lonely being a feminist, but I didn't want that to influence my choices. I needed women who had worked, understood what working was all about, but who had also been students again, as adults, and knew what that was all about. I also thought I would like to talk to women in traditional "female" roles—like nurses and teachers, but also women in less traditional working roles. 85 I felt I could comfortably cope with interviewing and transcribing talks with up to five women; I would have loved to talk to a hundred, but there was only me to do all the research work, and on a full-time student's income, I had to watch the dollars I spent. Next time I'll talk to a hundred and fifty, I thought, but this time a half dozen is the maximum. Eventually, the very writing up of the mandatory Ethics Form for the University's "Behaviourial Sciences Screening Committee For Research and Other Studies Involving Human Subjects"2 resulted in this listing of desired qualifications: Women will be asked to participate who meet these criteria, by * having initial schooling up to and including undergraduate degrees * being over 30 years of age, and having some years work experience * having been involved in personal learning, after some years away from formal education, either in graduate study or continuing professional education * having been involved in designing, delivering or facilitating or training learning in other adults as part of their professional practice * and having the desire and ability to reflect critically on their own and others' learning experiences. (Excerpt from Request for Ethical Review, November, 1995) When I had set the criteria for participation, my first thought was to figure out which women I had met and studied with who were program planners or designers of education might be interested in being involved in my study. After some informal discussions of my research with seven women, four who seemed amenable to talking with me further were sent the formal Letters of Introduction; happily, all agreed immediately, and with enthusiasm, to be participants. They 2. The whole process involved i n doing up that Ethics form was unnerving and quite overwhelming. On the one hand, I f e l t l i k e a r e a l researcher, but those questions on the Form about Deception, and Access to Data, made me shudder. I wonder i f I have ever been a Subject who was D e c e i v e d — a l l i n the Best of Causes, of course... Stand aside CIA, CISIS, MI5, you're outranked, because here comes a s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t ! 86 were Lana, Lee, Jane and Sonia.3 I had wanted to ensure a really rich and diverse collection of stories, and felt the four women I had "signed up" would give me just that. Also, most were mature, with a good length of time in practice. I am (according to those in formal educational institutions) "mature" too, and I wanted the interviews to be comfortable for both of us; it was a bonus that we were within the same life zone. Al l the women had the ability to articulate, or narrate, their life story, and all could talk knowledgeably about service within an organisational system in which power, conflict, negotiation and interest was present. I knew some of the participants did not hold the same views as myself, and felt this made for a more interesting dialogue. I turned to my Committee for help in recruiting one more participant, preferably a nurse—that was Yolanda. So let me introduce the Five Women.... Jane: Is the Director of Training for a large urban Municipality. Lana: Is a program planner with a large health organisation. Lee: Is an Educational Consultant in Family Violence, and program planner, with a national non-profit organisation. Sonia: Is completing her Doctorate in Education, and will eventually return to her work, teaching English Language and advocating for Tibetan nuns, refugees now living in India. Yolanda: Is a nurse educator at one of the community colleges, and a published author of nursing texts. 3. I n t e r e s t i n g l y , i n that i t points out i n e q u i t i e s beyond, or i n addtion, to gender, not one of the women was a person of colour, and a l l were of heterosexual o r i e n t a t i o n . On r e f l e c t i o n , I see that t h i s points up the lack of women of colour within my department, within my aquaintance, within the profession of planning, and within the range of women known to my Committee members, for I asked them to recommend a p a r t i c i p a n t from one of the so c a l l e d feminine occupations.... I t makes an absence, a s i l e n c e i n my study, which i s deafening. I t i s dist u r b i n g and troubling that even I d i d not see t h i s u n t i l i t was pointed out by someone not involved with my area of study. 87 So now I have a Narrator, A Feminist at that, a Voice to tell the Audience what's going on, what the Plot is.... And now I had an idea of how to shape that Plot, because I have a Methodology, a framework to call my own, and an Epistemology....! Now I have my Dramatis Personae....these were the plot lines we followed. A Story: These Are The Plot Lines We A l l Followed.... Each woman had three individual sessions. We began our work in late December, meeting throughout the winter and in to early spring. At the first session they offered me a brief life story and then we talked about initial schooling and undergraduate education. In the second session the women told me about learning as women, and as mature women at that, in graduate school, in continuing professional education sessions and, of course, in private and personal spaces. Thirdly, they told me stories of learning at work, and of planning for learning. This process took some months, as we all tried to fit in research sessions to lives already crowded with work, school, family and friends. By May, 1996,1 had completed a very preliminary analysis of their stories; we all met for a last group session to talk again....about what I thought they had said, about what they now thought women's learning was, what they had experienced as women in education, and how they thought we should plan learning for women. They also shared with me and each other the impact that being involved in the study had had on their lives and practice as planners and teachers. Together we came up with some key components we would like to see in a feminist model of program planning and what implications that, and our work together, had for their own practice and adult education in general. 88 I continued to write and analyze their words and stories and lives, and by July/August I offered each woman her own story back to read, and for her to comment on as she would, encouraging them to have any differences in interpretation included in the final draft of the thesis, alongside my own interpretation. Final, not-so-final it often seemed, informal conversations were held with each woman, from May when we held our group session up until the research was presented to the world, on September 30th, 19964. All the women were invited to attend the Research Presentation. And then we all promised to keep in touch~I hope we do.... A Story: Resistance to Research, Or, My Hands Hurt.... At the beginning of this chapter I said I would talk about my own difficulties, physical and emotional, around doing this research. Now I can't put that off, so here it is. I have talked at some length about my own baggage, and how it might have affected the way I planned, carried out and analyzed my research in the Postscript to the next chapter. At this point, though, I need to say a few words about the physical ills that befell me.... As I sat and listened to the Five Women, in our sessions and as I sat night after night, transcribing their words after, I began to realise that much of what I would have to say (interesting phrase, it never occurred to me that I did not have to say it....) would be severely critical of the formal educational system, including, especially, the one I was currently enrolled in. Ironically, I had expected that much of the talk would focus on the difficulties women faced in learning at work, but it soon became clear that the hardest place to be a woman learning was in higher education. At times, work-learning sounded almost like fun, kind of like a holiday 4. I created a new poem for the Defense, and offe r e d some new r e f l e c t i o n s about working with Story. See Appendix B. 89 from what the women were going through as they pursued graduate degrees. While I was excited and honoured by their gifts of words and feelings, I was becoming really scared about where this talk was going. I had planned to apply for doctoral work-now I was not sure if I wanted to go ahead with it, nor was I sure how my work might be received. It had become clear that my topic, already contentious at the start, had become more so, and that my methodology was still viewed as new and questionable. What kind of reception was I going to get? I began to fall ill, and that's when I started to ask Yolanda for advice. I had several email conversations with her in the early Spring. She is a nurse with a great contempt for modern medical knowledge but she has lots of time for the more traditional, holistic, alternative medical practices. I had been diagnosed, variously, as suffering from diverticulosis, diverticulitis, allergic reactions, irritable bowel syndrome, an ovarian tumour or an ovarian cyst....I spent hours in examining rooms, had ugly x-rays, humiliating physical and painful ultra-sound procedures. I was prescribed all kinds of medications, given lots of stupid advice (take a month off, go to Hawaii, lose weight, eat only vegetables, eat no vegetables) and was pretty well desperate. Yolanda read my messages, and emailed me back that my symptoms sounded like I was suffering from fear, blocked creativity and excessive stress—brought on by being a graduate student researching in an unpopular area. She encouraged me to continue, she believed in what I was doing, and said I must continue. I confronted my feelings, and fears, and saw she was right about one thing: I was afraid. I went to a Committee meeting with my preliminary analysis, ready to repudiate it, but I was brave enough to talk about it. To my surprise, my Committee liked what I was doing, and I received support to continue—the symptoms of dis-ease evaporated over the following week. Later, as we moved into the early summer, my hands and arms began to hurt. It seemed I had developed Repetitive Strain Injury in both hands as the result of long hours of transcription and writing, night after night, weekends and days, at my keyboard. This time I took a few weeks 90 off from the research, guilt plaguing me, and confronted my fears again. Now the fear revolved around how I wanted to write up my thesis, and how I thought I should do it to satisfy the academy. I knew I wanted to use my own Voice, but was unable to do so. The more I tried to write academically the worse things got~I developed Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, and was threatened with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. I went for physiotherapy, had splints made and signed up for a Writing Class with one of the University's best teachers, still unsure of what to do. I made the decision to "speak" my thesis in the (biting) Voice that emerged over the three weeks of that Writing course. But what an emotional chaos I was in! M y hands really started to act up, my allergies rendered breathing uncertain, and the old troubles from the Spring returned. I told my physiotherapist, "Just you wait and see, as soon as I've handed in this draft, and had my Committee meeting, I'll be fine". I was right. Luckily my Committee gave me a few miles of rope, let me (hang in the breeze, how often I wished they had said, No! Use that Academic Voice) write what, and how, I wanted; coincidentally I had a paper accepted for a prestigious qualitative research conference. And my hands got better.... The whole saga has provided me with another layer of analysis. I believe my body was trying (in it's mistaken Foucauldian way) to prevent me doing the research that I wanted to do, trying for self-regulation, disciplining me as I tried to speak out, with punishing physical symptoms, keeping me in line, bodily, with the Regulations of the world it thought I should inhabit, the community I had sacrificed for, daily, over the last two years....Or, maybe it's all just stress! But I don't think so. Doing this work has been hard, it has taken great courage, and if it hadn't been for the memory of some of the wise and encouraging words given me by the Five Women, I would probably have capitulated, walked the straight path to graduation 91 Lana: Well I think that's what struck me, that you are taking some risks here, as you have Sonia, and I think it's knowing that there is courage and that, andyeah..It will probably take you down some pretty scary alleys. But I commend that, and I thank you, for my sex, my gender, laughs! (G2:33). Sonia: It promises to be a really important work and, you know, book material. It really needs to be said Valerie: Well, I think it does and I'm going to say it. And I will put some of my own stories in. (G Tape 2:34) Now I think, that even without that support, I would probably have gone down this "scary alley". As you will find out later, I've never been one to deck myself out in the Good Girl's clothes; I wear the Rebel's rough rags more easily....My thesis supervisor says he is waiting for the stampede back to quantitative methodologies now that us qualitative researchers are discovering just how physically punishing this kind of research can be. I hear him! I acknowledge that wisdom, but I know, too, that my troubles are a combination of over-use of the hands and wrists, and over-use of the brain. And mouth. And subversive words.... A Story: What Did You Say M y Name Was? Or, Whose Ethics Are These? I had determined to treat my "subjects" with great respect, if not reverence, and diligently sought to put them at ease, working hard to tell them all the things they had to know. Like, you can drop out any time you want to, everything you say will be completely confidential, no-one will know who you are, I'll not use anything you don't want me to, you'll have the opportunity to 92 comment on my interpretation, and so on and so on. Two things happened that caused me to stop and think. Firstly, Sonia came to me after our first session, and told me she didn't want to be anonymous, or Una, the name I had suggested for her. Instead she wanted her real name to be used. She said she wasn't ashamed of anything she had to tell me, and that she wanted her words to be heard and acknowledged as her own. I was stunned! I consulted my Supervisor, who said, Well, you can't change your study now! And, of course, I knew he was right, I was half way through the data collection, I had filled out all the forms, been judged ethical—I couldn't begin over. My participants would just have to remain anonymous. But next time I do research, I'll remember Sonia, and I'll give my participants the choice—to own their words publicly or privately.... And really, does the use of confidentiality give the researcher an easier way to expose more "findings" or "conclusions" or lives and souls, than they would if the participants were named? Who is protected? A lot to think about, indeed, and thank you Sonia, for making me think, making me challenge the regulations and rules. Sonia reiterated her request and, after a consultation with the office which oversees the ethical conduct of research within the university, Sonia was "allowed" to be called Sonia.... Secondly, I had glibly followed the "new" qualitative rules, giving back my interpretation of their words and stories to my participants, letting them contest or deny my words about them. But I have to say, that when it came time to work on their individual stories, I knew the women I was writing about would read my words, and I felt very self-conscious. Sitting at my computer in my living room, with the sensation of being surrounded by their five figures, almost glimpsed if I turned my head quickly enough, but never really quite there....not in bodies, but in minds. Well! I wonder if it made me more respectful, this knowledge that I had to "account" to the Five Women themselves, they who really knew their lives, before I accounted to any one else- -self, Committee or University. That approval coming only after the Five Women had approved 93 my writing--I could not write as a story-thief like the old observers and researchers did. I can see now why they glorified objectivity. It makes things a lot easier to discuss and analyze if you can pretend it's not a real life person you're talking about, one you'll have tea with next week, meet for a talk the week after. I wonder if my analysis would have changed if I did not have to give it back to them? I am sure it would have been different, but not necessarily better. Awkward and intrusive as I have felt about writing about women I know and respect and whose regard I still value, it's kept me honest and respectful. Only two of the women requested changes to the life story I wrote and they were over matters of confidentiality, and editorial suggestions. Three of the women want me to write a book....Jane said she laughed and cried when she read my story...not her story, my story. I didn't know any of this when I filled in the Ethics form, that it would be so hard for me, so uncomfortable for them—imagine reading what someone else has made of you!—such a journey for the six of us. And just to finish up, * A Little Story: On Analysis, Or , Couched in Two Voices.... I had originally droned on academically about how I would analyze the "data", looking at what other academics had said, sometimes wisely, sometimes profoundly, but always just this side of boring, and came up with some suggestions from them, as I outlined here in an extract from the third incarnation of Chapter 111. Spoken in The Academic Voice: 94 Clandinin and Connelly (1994) suggest the following steps for collection of data and its analysis: 1. The field experience, where life-stories are collected using oral history, annals and chronicles, family stories, photographs and other personal artifacts, research interviews, journals, autobiographies, letters, field notes and conversations 2. the synthesis of all these into field texts which can be deconstructed and analyzed 3. the conversion of field texts into research texts, where voice, signature, context, inquiry purpose, audience and the inter-relatedness of the researcher to the co-researcher, or participant are considered. The final analysis, or research text should demonstrate how the researcher has been permitted, through the use of personal experience methods or stories, to "enter into and participate with the social world in ways that allow the possibility of transformations and growth" (p. 425). This goal, transformative change or praxis in understanding teaching and its practice, is what sets the Personal Experience Methodology apart as separate from phenomenology or ethnomethodology. I shall use this framework for my analysis. Spoken in the (Biting) Voice: W e l l , off c o u r s e , i t d i d n ' t w o r k o u t t h a t w a y ! I d i d e n d u p w i t h s o m e o n e ' s f r a m e w o r k f o r a n a l y s i s — o n e b y M a r i e - F r a n c o i s e C h a n f f r a u l t - D u c h e t — b u t i t u n d e r w e n t a m e t a m o r p h o s i s i n t h e m i d d l e off t h e a n a l y s i s . I h a d a l r e a d y d o n e s o m e p r e l i m i n a r y c o d i n g w i t h t h e F i v e W o m e n ' s S t o r i e s , o r I s h o u l d r e a l l y s a y , t h e S t o r i e s j u s t s e e m e d t o t e l l t h e m s e l v e s a g a i n t o m e , b u t i n t h r e e w a y s , u s i n g t h r e e d i f f e r e n t m e t a p h o r s f o r l e a r n i n g . B u t w h e n II s a t d o w n t o d o t h e a n a l y s i s of t h e s e " F u n d i n g ' s " I f o u n d a n e w p e r s o n a h a d t a k e n o v e r m y w r i t i n g . A n d i t d i d n ' t m a t t e r w h e r e I s a t to w r i t e , at h o m e o n t h e c o m p u t e r , i n a f i e l d , o n t h e b e a c h , i n a d r e a r y l i t t l e r o o m t h a t c l a i m e d i t w a s a s t u d e n t o f f i c e — t h i n g s w e n t t h e s a m e w a y . I w o u l d h a v e w o n d e r f u l l y t u r g i d a c a d e m i c p r o s e j u s t r e a d y t o r o l l off m y f i n g e r s / t o n g u e / p e n / p e n c i l a n d o u t w o u l d c o m e t h i s O t h e r a n g r y , s a r c a s t i c , c y n i c a l , c o l l o < | u i a l V o i c e . I k n e w t h e r e a s o n w h y . F o r t h r e e c r u c i a l w e e k s , t h e t i m e II h a d s e t a s i d e t o w r i t e u p m y f i n d i n g s , m y c o n c l u s i o n s , m y " I m p l i c a t i o n s f o r A d u l t E d u c a t i o n " , I w a s s i t t i n g e v e r y m o r n i n g , 8 . 0 0 a m t o 1 0 . 3 0 a m , in a W r i t i n g C l a s s , a n d l e a v i n g t h a t c l a s s a t 1 0 . 3 1 a m , b a t t e r e d a n d p u m m e l l e d . I t w a s a n e x t r a o r d i n a r y - e x p e r i e n c e . " N o t s i n c e t h e f i r s t , r a t h e r a w f u l , c l a s s I h a d t a k e n , w h e n t h e L e a d e r h a d c h a l l e n g e d m e , m y l i f e , m y v i e w s , m y ( l i t t l e ) v o i c e , h a d I b e e n in s u c h a s i t u a t i o n . T h i s is w h e n I b e g i n t o s u b s c r i b e t o a v i e w t h a t h o l d s t h a t w e a r e all b u t p l a y t h i n g s o f t h e g o d s — w h a t a c o s m i c j o k e ! J u s t w h e n I h a d s u f f i c i e n t l y a c a d e m i c i z e d t h a t e a r l y h u r t f u l e x p e r i e n c e , w h e n I h a d d e a d e n e d t h e p a i n a n d u n p l e a s a n t n e s s w i t h s e v e r a l h a n d f u l s o f o b j e c t i v e a s p i r i n s , u p c a m e g e n d e r a g a i n , l i k e s t e p p i n g o n a r a k e i n a s i l e n t m o v i e , s m a s h i n g m e i n t h e f a c e , s a v a g e l y r e m i n d i n g m e w h a t h a d s t a r t e d t h i s w h o l e p r o c e s s , t h i s s t u d y , t h i s w r i t i n g . A n d I c o u l d n ' t i g n o r e i t . T h e P r o f e s s o r o f t h e c l a s s , a g o o d T e a c h e r , l a t e r c o n f i d e d t h a t i t w a s t h e 96 m o s t d i f f i c u l t c l a s s h e h a d h a d t o t e a c h i n h i s c a r e e r i n t h e U n i v e r s i t y . T h e r e i s s o m e c o m f o r t i n k n o w i n g t h a t o t h e r s s u f f e r e d , t h a t t h e h o s t i l i t y a n d a n g e r d i s p l a y e d b y a f e w w h i t e , s t r a i g h t m e n (as t h e y l a b e l l e d t h e m s e l v e s ) w a s f e l t b y o t h e r m e n a n d w o m e n i n t h e r o o m , b u t I s e e m e d t o d r a w t h e ( f r i e n d l y a n d u n f r i e n d l y ) f i r e . O n e o f o n l y 3 w o m e n , a n d t h e o n l y m a t u r e o n e , i n a c l a s s o f 11, i t w a s l i k e a b a d m o v i e . It c o u l d n ' t b e l i e v e i t w a s a l l h a p p e n i n g a g a i n , t h e h a t r e d d i r e c t e d t o w a r d " y o u " , as o n e y o u n g m a n a l w a y s c a l l e d m e , n e v e r u s i n g m y n a m e , n o t a b l e t o h u m a n i s e t h e O t h e r ; t h e j o k e s a n d a n e c d o t e s t o l d t o p u n i s h a n d w o u n d ; t h e m i n d s c o m p l e t e l y c l o s e d t o a n y k i n d o f " D i v e r s e D i s c o u r s e " . O t h e r s i n t h e c l a s s f e l t u n s a f e , b o t h m e n a n d w o m e n , a n d t h e i r v o i c e s b e c a m e m u t e d . B u t n o t m i n e , l i k e F r a n k e n s t e i n ' s b r i d e , i t t o o k o n l i f e ! N o t a b l e t o a r t i c u l a t e o r e x p r e s s w h a t I h a d f e l t i n t h a t v e r y f i r s t c l a s s , t h e f a t e s h a d g i v e n m e a c h a n c e t o t r y a ga in . . . . . A s e c o n d c h a n c e . I r o n i c a l l y , t h e s a m e p h r a s e i s u s e d t o d e s c r i b e a d u l t w o m e n ' s e d u c a t i o n a l p r o g r a m s i n G r e a t B r i t a i n ; J a n e T h o m p s o n d e s c r i b e s a s i m i l a r b l o o m i n g / f l o w e r i n g o f v o i c e a n d c o n s c i o u s n e s s a m o n g t h e w o m e n e n r o l e d i n o n e s u c h c o u r s e i n L e a r n i n g t h e H a r d W a y . T h e s a m e k i n d o f t r a n s f o r m a t i o n a f f l i c t e d m e . A n d i t w a s a n a f f l i c t i o n ; I d i d n ' t h a v e a n y f a i t h i n t h e s y s t e m t o p r o t e c t m e , o r t o l e t m e s p e a k o u t m y t r u t h — n o t a f t e r h e a r i n g t h e F i v e W o m e n ' s S t o r i e s , n o r a f t e r w r i t i n g u p m y o w n p a s t s t o r i e s , t h i s a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l w o r k e n c o u r a g e d i n t h e c l a s s b y t h e P r o f e s s o r . B u t t h e s t o r y o f m e , t h e m , m e n , w o m e n , g e n d e r , O t h e r i n g , r e s i s t i n g , g r o w i n g u p , g r o w i n g 97 f e m i n i s t , g r o w i n g c o n s c i o u s , t h e s t o r y o f w h a t i t w a s a l l a b o u t , a n d o f c o u r s e , t h e A n a l y s i s , w r o t e i t s e l f i n t h a t t h r e e w e e k s . L i f e r e p e a t s o u r l e s s o n s u n t i l w e l e a r n t h e m , s o I h e a r . W e l l , I t h i n k I f i n a l l y l e a r n e d t h e l e s s o n i n J u l y a n d A u g u s t o f 1 9 9 6 . G e n d e r c o u n t s . G e n d e r m a t t e r s . G e n d e r s h o u l d b e m a d e v i s i b l e . I n e e d e d t o s t a n d u p a n d s a y , T h i s i s w r o n g ! T h e r e h a s t o b e a b e t t e r w a y ! A n d t o o f f e r o n e . . . . A n d s o ][ o f f e r e x c e r p t s f r o m t h e s t o r y o f t h a t J o u r n e y t a k e n o v e r t h r e e h o t w e e k s . I t is t h e s u b - p l o t t h a t r u n s b e n e a t h , a r o u n d , o v e r a n d u n d e r , t h e m a i n P l o t o f t h e R e s e a r c h S t o r y , l i t h a s t h r e e f a c e s , t h r e e t h e m e s , as d o t h e W o m e n ' s S t o r i e s . I t m i r r o r s , t o o , m y j o u r n e y t h r o u g h m y t h e s i s , f o r i t b e g i n s , as I d i d , w i t h h o p e . I n i t s m i d d l e p a s s a g e t h e j o u r n e y f a l l s i n t o c h a o t i c c o n f l i c t , b a t t l e s a r e f o u g h t a n d w o u n d s i n f l i c t e d . A n d as d i d t h e F i v e W o m e n - p l u s - o n e , as d o e s t h i s N a r r a t o r , s o d i d t h o s e w h o w r o t e a n d l i v e d t h a t j o u r n e y o f t h r e e w e e k s c o m e t o s o m e k i n d o f e n d , s o m e c o n c l u s i o n s . I offer you some Extracts from that Journey's Journal, a bright red thread running through the tapestry woven by Five Women-plus-one.... Here is the First Interlude. 98 I N T E R L U D E : T H E J O U R N E Y B E G I N S , W I T H H O P E 77;t? first day of the journey.... July 22. 1996. the weather warm but pleasant, we begin our journey toddy from the grounds of the meeting place, under the guardianship of our native Guide, and translator.... What will the voyage bring, what will you hear daily, dear diary? What choices will the party make? Will we stay on the well travelled path or will some of us dare to essay the harder climbs and hazard even, our very lives? * The Guide says, What kind of a writer are you? Write me, I write like.... What an exercise, a sorter of the sheep from the goats, or to sustain the colonial metaphor, the sherpas from the tensings.... There are 9 of us, and, incredibly, 6 are men and only 3 women. Most seem young, nearly all practising teachers, apart from one Doctor of Philosophy trying to become a teacher, and one sad wanderer from 1945.... I feel as usual like I will draw lightning, but am determined to keep that mouth firmly closed, not say a Valerie word, no Valerie jokes, no stirring things up, Don't dominate! (From the latin, dominus, master) No, but I might ....hmmm....no female alternative....first task, find one! But of course, not talking is so hard, I am the most optimistic pessimist I know, my good intentions die at the hands of my impulsive "chatter". After introductions, and some throw away comments, I can see that the thread is becoming brighter, this journey will be about how to tell the men from the women, or, what is masculine, what is feminine, and more to the point, when and how do I know what is feminine and what is masculine. 99 And so here's the first clue. In the exercise I note that the men chose for themselves images or symbols of hunters, slayers, carnivores, busy, killing things, or at the very least, impossibly powerful behemoths. The women chose the hunted, the quivering, the prey....even me, I chose~a hare? Well, it came from the inside, not the head, so I know it was called out by some instinct. Of course, hares run like hell, so there is a way out. The second day of the journey.... July 23. 1996. From somewhere in the foothills.... We are joined by a poet, how lovely, but it's another man.... On our way, talking about our destination as we go, where we are going, the Guide walking with us, telling of Ecotone, a place of tensions, fecundity, richness, liveliness.... The reaction of the young men was to ignore the theory, the abstract and anchor their feet in "What I know! I know about teaching!" So, they spoke from their experience, and quite aggressively too, the other women are quiet, one timid, the other, a little more out there, but very gingerly, nodding her head to agree with the men, but she is thinking, thinking, thinking.... * The Guide asked us, Tell me, write me.,.. Why do I write/journey? Part of what I wrote: To prove my existence, to find my existence, to confront my existence, to comfort my existence, and....to win money, to get published, to influence people, in short, to know I exist. The third day of the journey.... 100 July 24, 1996. In my reading last night, I discovered that women's writing has, in the past, only been acceptable if shown to the public in a diary, a day book, a journal. How interesting then that I should have picked you, dear diary, when we began this journey....but I find there is nothing like a conversation with oneself to keep one sane. As we march on I note how emotions andfeelings are beginning to show themselves.... Will our Guide steer us through the most difficult terrain, or will it break us into fragments? All depends on the skill of the leader, his mastery of the trail, his knowledge of tasking, how he teaches us to become one.... For the first time, discord today, one man, who has been so silent, bestirred himself to challenge me. A colonial poem.... I hear thunder rolling in the ranges around us, lightning will strike me soon, the rod of feminism is irresistible, it draws that Godly Anger at the Upsetting of the Right Way of Things, Don't you know, God is on His Throne and all is Right with His World? * The Guide asked us, What is a Poem? Write me.... A poem is.... One of the men asked me, What do you mean by masculine? and I fell into the bottomless pit, trying to explain, oh so non-confrontationally what masculine could mean and what feminine could mean. Oh dear, just, like Alice, falling down the hole again. And then remembering I don't have to justify myself for using feminist language, but what a struggle to always check the words, halt the thought, hold the tongue. I don't have to educate men into what is feminine and what is masculine, but there must be a more substantial ghost of the long ago teacher, MISS! there after 101 all. I just hate this~always struggling for room to breathe.... and isn't it worse when they ask you, so nice and softly, "What do you mean by masculine, and why is war a masculine metaphor?" Then I heard the challenging man read his " A poem is" and there it was, the perfect example, what is masculine, what is feminine, so here juxtaposed, his-a-poem-is and mine-a- poem-is, and I think they tell the story of what is masculine and what is feminine.... Valerie: A poem is a thing that reaches inside me and tweaks the large intestine; maybe when I learn the academics of the thing it will stop doing that. T h e m a i l A poem is the arrangement of words to produce an effect not principally, or explicitly, "intellectual". These two poems shout to me, this is masculine, the first is feminine....the one is in the third person, no I/eye there, a cognitively pleasing arrangement of words and abstractly cold and clear. .Mine is an I (found?) poem, very personal very subjective, embodied, gut-full of what I feel poems are.... So if masculine is combative, warlike, challenging, cold, objective, separate, pure mind and God given intellect then is feminine peaceful, passive, retiring, warm, subjective, connected, pure body, emotional, NOT! I wonder though, how we come to inhabit the same world, we are so different? The Guide says it is a big world.... I must, apparently, maintain the academic language, "most men" say or think or do this, "most women" (all those 12 varieties of feminist woman?) don't do this or don't do that or say that or.... I don't get it at times. The fourth day of the journey..., July 25. 1996. I feel too tired and dispirited to converse with you tonight dear diary, my heart is too heavy, what's left of it, and I have no spirit to prattle on.... I will tell all tomorrow. I see the 102 Mountain Range looming over us, blocking our way to community. I fear I will not be among those who make the climb. I will stay in my tent, and have the servants bring me some refreshing tea....women were not made for this kind of struggle.... * A hard day. I presented the article on diverse discourse, written by a feminist, Bridwell- Bowles. So much violence in the room, I feel I sit there like Woman, and using all the lessons I have learned as Other, turn the cheek, slip in a thought, speak soft, apologise with my body, listen to the fear and anger and hatred from all of you, smiling slightly, this is an intellectual debate, but their anger so hot, the violence the rage at being challenged, and the fear from the other women coming off them in primitive perfumes, saying to them, "I'm not like her, don't look at me, don't include me!" and to me, "Don't get them angry!" Today I am sad, embattled, feel I have to defend every feminist/woman who ever dared to question God, the Father. Where is the great Goddess when you need her, sulking in some Etruscan cave? If I ask for help who will hear me, will it come? Or will it be, Batten down those hormones, steady that mood swing? A postscript, later after writing these words, I checked my email, and one of the other women had posted me a message, wanting to talk about the ugliness showing itself in the class. Is this a message, was the Goddess sitting beside me when I wrote, after all? * The fifth day of the journey.... July 26. 1996. A goodjourney today.... Our Guide in fine form, displaying proudly for us his creations, leaving us to trail dusty behind in his running footsteps.... How many of us travellers will secretly attempt the same poesy? Ifor one, dear diary, but only in sand, shyly tracing out some small attempts—for I am too well schooled to think I might emulate my elders and betters, as my teachers told me, after Keats and Wordsworth, all else is just spent breath.... 103 I saw some of the men laughing today. Including the Academic Challenger, the Doctor, who presented, very well, a nice heady philosophical article, so much more comfortable for him? He looked a lot less formidable and grim with his arms uncrossed and smiling.... Men should do it more, it becomes them. Of course, they look a lot less dangerous then, so doubt they would care to keep it up for too long. My, I must have been cut deep yesterday, all the old cynicism coming back....old wounds, old fears, old betrayals, old classes, old teachers, old men. I wonder how it will be next week? Old men again, or new? 104 FIVE W O M E N Honouring Voices Sonia: I would call it dangerous, for me to have been encouraged or to feel, to assume that I could, if we are going to talk about personal narratives and experience, then I can say what they are! (But) it wasn't safe..Jt is women usually—most of the research done on personal experience in education, invariably they're women...and all the women are opening up themselves and that's then used in some way against them. It was so discouraging. This is one thing that bugs me around the issue of personal narrative. Like there are all these new students out there that are women, all interested in personal narrative so (academics and researchers) people write about personal narrative, and you will never find a line about their own life in there, right! Even Madeleine Grumet, how much does she reveal about herself? She reveals her students...I had dinner with her one day, and I mentioned that to her! You just never find it, here Dr. So and So writes something, he takes the fictional view of a child to deal with his project, but never himself! They're not revealing themselves, no way! Students can reveal themselves, their personal narrative is included in a thesis, no problem, but when people get in power they're not doing it! These researchers! And what does it communicate? It communicates, No way! You give information, information is power right? So if you're realty going to invite (it) you have to model it, you have to be willing to be up there and say, This is my childhood I did hear a (visiting) professor, from a very working class English background, he even had been put in an orphanage by his father, and he talked about it, wonderful! That invites trust. Jane: Right, Sonia, and see that's when I connect most with my instructors, when Ifind out something personal about them. Because then they're no longer The Instructor, then they're personal, they're somebody you could interact with. Their experience somehow mirrors your own, or doesn't at all, but it somehow sparks your interest. That's when Ifind the classroom experience really valuable. (G2:26) 105 In searching for a way of analyzing the five women's stories I wanted to honour them, their voices and their individuality, and I also wanted to recognize their existence independent of my research study. I need to set these women in front of you, the reader, let you become acquainted with them, begin to recognize their voices, anticipate what they will say, so that when you read their stories it will be like hearing a known and dear friend talking. I offer you two different analyses, two different ways of looking at the stories the Five Women told me. The first, in this chapter, gives an overview of each woman's learning/life-story, using an analysis derived from the framework suggested by Marie-Francoise Chanfrault-Duchet (1991). Secondly, I have taken these very personal, private narratives, these petits recits, and have held them up to the light, looking through them, beyond them, to the public or grand narratives that lurk in the shadows, those other stories that animate educational practice, feminist scholarship, in program planning, and learning. How do the Five Women's stories integrate with the grand narratives, what text(uality) results? Is it a text that I/we/you can read/write as adult educators? What are its plot lines, its dramatis personac.and is there a moral to this text/story? I interrogate this larger multi-storied text in Denouements, the next but one chapter, offering my version of the fable; I invite other interpretations, other endings... I offer two perspectives because women's (life-)stories deal with their subjectivities of self and their own social sphere, but also with woman's collective representation. Their life-stories re-present a meaning system complete unto themselves, a text. But to just take out the content that answered my research questions is to miss essential information—so this is not a content analysis but a textual analysis, a life-analysis and a hegemonic analysis. Sonia waxed lyrical at the group interview about the way academics call for self-revelation by learners in educational practice but do not self-reveal. Therefore I have included briefly, my own learning/life-story, in a Post Script that follows the Five Women. I chose to do this for two reasons, 106 firstly to honour Sonia, my participant, and secondly, because my own biography dictates what I see and hear in the texts. So at the end of Five Women I have appended a Post Script, "I packed my bag and in it I put...", a story about growing up, my boarding schooling, uriiforming, rebellion, and subsequent undergraduate and graduate disciplining, for these are things I carry in my auto- biographical bag, my tools, my texts.... In searching for a way to analyze/present the Five Women, I was drawn to the work of Marie- Francoise Chanfrault-Duchet (1991) who proposes that there is a clear difference between life-story and life-history. The life story is a personal reconstruction of experience; the life history begins there, but builds on this by considering context. The life history is often collaborative, a dialogue that produces a story of action within a theory of context, seeing the actor in the social world, embedded within the power structures and inequalities and general messiness of that real world. Chanfrault-Duchet emphasizes that women's life stories, unlike men's, do not just deal with the relation between self and society, but also with woman's condition and with their collective representations of the status of women in that society. I was intrigued. The Five Women's stories had conveyed some of that in their telling. She proposes a framework for life history analysis, demonstrating its use by de-constructing the research text produced from the life-stories told to her by two women in France. Like my Five Women, their lives had taken a very similar course but their self- narratives differed widely in their interpretation. Her analysis of the narrative structures, her search for socio-symbolic information, showed two very different meaning systems shaping the two life stories. Chanfrault-Duchet (1991) suggests the taking of five steps. Firstly, locating key phrases that define the relationship of self and society, expressing for example, harmony, conflict, indifference; Secondly, finding their key patterns of response to social models, for example, identifying anecdotes which show how the speakers always behave when confronted by hegemonies, using compromise, defiance, acceptance etc. Thirdly, identifying one of three narrative models—epic, picaresque, or Romanesque-which reflect the speaker's quest for authentic values in society; she amplifies, 107 The epic model reveals an identification with the values of the community; the Romanesque expresses "the quest for authentic values in a degraded world", and the picaresque model reflects an ironic and satirical position in relation to hegemonic values. All three models are manifestations of a particular quest that contributes to the dynamics of the narrative and gives an axis of meaning and coherence to the life experience and to the self (p. 80). Fourthly, their use of collective and individual myths, or systems of representation and shared knowledges, reveal value-judgments of their life experiences. A collective myth might be The Golden Age, or Motherhood, and an individual myth could be The Contented Woman, the Girl who went Astray and The Rebel. Lastly, the researcher should attempt to link the women's status and image to the speaker's ego. This framework offered me an opportunity to honour each woman but to also locate her narrative in a broader canvas, one which showed how context, gender, class and power structures shape our lives. For this brief analysiŝ  fused only the life-story told to me in the first interview, looking for the key phrases and patterns of response to demonstrate the women's views of their relationship to society, and how they generally behaved when confronted with hegemonies. Where there was sufficient personal data I attempted to classify the narrative model used by the woman as representative of her search for values, and to identify some individual or collective myths the woman may have subscribed to. I made no attempt to introduce the fifth stage of analysis, finding this inappropriate for this study. *** A t t h i s p o i n t II b e g a n t o d i v e r g e i n s p i r i t o r i n l a n g u a g e o r e v e n w o r l d - v i e w , from C h a n f r a u l t - D u c h e t . I w a s b e g i n n i n g t o f i n d a n i n c o n g r u e n c e i n t h e l a n g u a g e a r o u n d " m y t h s " . R e g a r d i n g " m y t h s " : II h a v e n e v e r f e l t c o m f o r t a b l e a b o u t u s i n g t h i s w o r d i n d e s c r i b i n g m y r e s e a r c h p a r t i c i p a n t s ( o r m y ) l e a m i n g / l i f e - s t o r y , or for 108 m a r k i n g w h e r e t h a t m y t h / s t o r y m y s t e r i o u s l y i n t e r s e c t s w i t h h e g e m o n i c a l l y s c a r y s o c i e t a l m y t h / s t o r i e s . I f l a n g u a g e w r i t e s u s a n d w e w r i t e l a n g u a g e , t h e n s o m e o n e h a s w r i t t e n " m y t h " i n t o a w o r l d v i e w t h a t d o e s n ' t m a t c h m i n e . " M y t h " h a s a n a l m o s t d e r o g a t o r y t o n e — i t i m p l i e s " n o t c o r r e c t i n f a c t " , n o t " o b j e c t i v e l y " c o r r e c t ; t h e r e is , t o o , a t o n e o f t h e p a s t , as i f t h e s e m y t h i c e v e n t s o r i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s h a v e o c c u r r e d , b u t c o u l d n o t p o s s i b l y b e t a k e n s e r i o u s l y t o d a y . E v e n i f t h e t e l l e r b e l i e v e s t h e m y t h ' s t r u t h w h o l e h e a r t e d l y , t h e l i s t e n e r k n o w s i t f o r a n u n t r u t h , o r a t b e s t a m i s l e d , m i s - s a i d v i e w o f t h e f a c t s . W h e n I h e a r m y t h I t h i n k o f " m y t h i c a l " p r o p o r t i o n s , " m y t h i c a l " b e a s t s l i k e m i n o t a u r s o r c e n t a u r s . A n d i n d e e d m y t h s a r e t h e s t o r i e s o f g o d s , l a r g e r a n i m a l s t h a n u s , w h o p l a y w i t h p l a n e t s ; g o d s s t o p t h e t i d e s , h a l t t h e s u n i n i t s t r a c k s , t u r n d r o s s t o g o l d , w o m e n t o s w a n s , m e n t o s t o n e . A n d t h e r e is t h e c l u e — n o n e o f t h e s e d r o l l a m u s e m e n t s a r e f e m i n i n e . ( H o w d o I k n o w t h e y a r e n ' t f e m i n i n e ? T r u s t m e ! I k n o w ! W i t h m y b o d y , m y s e n s e s , m y f e e l i n g s . . . ) W o m e n h a d , ][ a m s u r e , l i t t l e t i m e o r p a t i e n c e i n m y t h o l o g i c a l e r a s f o r n o n s e n s e w i t h s w a n s a n d g o l d . W i t h c h i l d r e n t o c a r e f o r , m e n t o b e a r w i t h , f a m i l i e s t o m a k e w h o l e , o l d p e o p l e t o t e n d , f o o d t o h a r v e s t a n d p r e p a r e , w h a t w o m a n h a d t i m e t o l e a v e t h a t c r o w d e d p r i v a t e w o r l d f o r t h e p u b l i c d o m a i n o f m e n a n d g o d s ? O n l y t h o s e o f m y t h i c a l b e a u t y , m y t h i c a l s k i l l a n d , o h y e s , a l w a y s m y t h i c a l l y v i r g i n a l a c c o m p l i s h m e n t — n o t r e a l w o m e n t h e s e , t o o e t h e r e a l a n d t o o s t u p i d t o b e r e a l . O n l y m e n c o u l d i n v e n t t h e s e m a i d e n s . . . . 109 M y m i s g i v i n g s , m y e m o t i o n a l antennae r e g i s t e r i n g " W r o n g ? ' , I f i n d m y f e e l i n g s v a l i d a t e d , e c h o e d i n A l l e n Chinen ' s (1992]) c h a r m i n g b o o k a b o u t f o l k tales at m i d - l i f e . M y t h s h e says " represent the o f f i c i a l , p u b l i c i d e o l o g y of a s o c i e t y , a n d are t y p i c a l l y u s e d to j u s t i f y p a t r i a r c h a l a u t h o r i t y — k i n g s t y p i c a l l y u s e d to c l a i m descent f r o m g o d s o r l e g e n d a r y heroes" (p. 3). C h i n e n r e m i n d s m e that f a i r y tales w e r e o r i g i n a l l y t o l d f o r adul ts , n o t c h i l d r e n , u n t i l the g r i m G r i m m s c h a n g e d t h e rules , a n d r e l e g a t e d f a i r y s tor ies to the u n e d u c a t e d , the peasants a n d the y o u n g . C h i n e n has jus t p u b l i s h e d a n o t h e r b o o k , this t i m e o n W o m e n ' s Stories , c a l l e d W a k i n g the W o r l d ( 1 9 9 6 ) . H e s e a r c h e d out , he says, o v e r 7 0 0 0 s tor ies that w o m e n t e l l , across c u l t u r e s , c o n t i n e n t s a n d classes, a n d f o u n d f i v e t h i n g s i n c o m m o n , d i s t i n g u i s h i n g t h e m q u i t e c l e a r l y f r o m men's s tories : w o m e n t e l l s tor ies that are n o t l inear , t h e y are c o n c e n t r i c , s p i r a l , o n g o i n g ; w o m e n t e l l s tor ies that are m u l t i - c h a r a c t e r e d (men's s tor ies h a v e m a n y less characters) ; w o m e n t e l l s tories that are m u l t i - g e n e r a t i o n a l ; w o m e n t e l l s tories that are subvers ive ; a n d w o m e n t e l l s tories that are c o m m e n t a r i e s , o f t e n acerb ic , o n soc ia l a n d p o l i t i c a l mores , (p. 3) M e n ' s s tor ies are m y t h o l o g i c a l , f u l l o f heroes, a n d g o d s a n d d e v i l s , w i t h a g o o d p l o t l i n e , a n d a c l e a r e n d i n g : W o m e n ' s are a n o t h e r m a t t e r ! I am a m u s e d at Ch inen ' s tone—surpr ised , a l m o s t q u e r u l o u s , b u t It k n o w h e is r i g h t , f o r I h a v e F i v e W o m e n ' s Stor ies to t e l l ! B u t as t i m e passed, L o g o s r e p l a c e d m y thos. W e b e c a m e E n l i g h t e n e d a n d h a d 110 n o n e e d o f s t o r i e s o r n a r r a t i v e s t h a t d e a l t w i t h s o u l s a n d d r e a r n s a n d d r a m a . . .or s o t h e m e n s a y . L y o t a r d a r g u e s i n T h e P o s t m o d e r n C o n d i t i o n ( 1 9 8 4 ) t h a t t h e s c i e n t i s t c l a s s i f i e s n a r r a t i v e k n o w l e d g e as b e l o n g i n g t o a d i f f e r e n t m e n t a l i t y : s a v a g e , p r i m i t i v e , u n d e r d e v e l o p e d , b a c k w a r d , a l i e n a t e d , c o m p o s e d o f o p i n i o n s , c u s t o m s , a u t h o r i t y , p r e j u d i c e , i g n o r a n c e , i d e o l o g y . N a r r a t i v e s a r e f a b l e s , m y t h s , l e g e n d s , f i t o n l y f o r w o m e n a n d c h i l d r e n . A t b e s t , a t t e m p t s t o a r e m a d e t o t h r o w s o m e r a y s o f l i g h t i n t o t h i s o b s c u r a n t i s m , t o c i v i l i z e , t o e d u c a t e , t o d e v e l o p . ~ ( p . 27) ( e m p h a s i s m i n e ) J u d i t h H e r m a n , t h e f e m i n i s t p s y c h i a t r i s t , h a s a t h o u g h t o r t w o o n t h a t t o p i c . S h e a s s e r t s t h a t t h e i n c e s t t a b o o w a s r e i n f o r c e d i n p r e - l i t e r a t e o r o r a l s o c i e t i e s w i t h s t o r i e s o r f a i r y t a l e s . L i k e t h e a r c h e t y p a l C i n d e r e l l a t a l e , k n o w n a n d t o l d i n m a n y c u l t u r e s a n d a c r o s s t h e a g e s , ( n o t t h e W e s t e r n i z e d , d e c l a w e d v e r s i o n t h a t D i s n e y b r i n g s t o u s ) . C i n d e r e l l a w a r n s l i t t l e g i r l s t h a t i t is d a n g e r o u s t o b e l e f t a l o n e w i t h a w i d o w e d f a t h e r , f o r a w i d o w e d f a t h e r m u s t r e - m a r r y . . . t h e d a u g h t e r s u f f e r s b e c a u s e t h e f a t h e r r e p l a c e s h e r m o t h e r w i t h a s t e p m o t h e r , o r b e c a u s e t h e f a t h e r w i s h e s t o m a r r y h e r h i m s e l f , ( p . 1 ) E c h o e s o f t h i s a r e f o u n d i n t h e l e g e n d o f S t . D y m p n a , w h o w a s k i l l e d b y h e r f a t h e r , b e h e a d e d , w h e n s h e r e f u s e d t o s u b m i t t o h i m . D y m p n a w a s c a n o n i z e d b y t h e p e o p l e a n d o n l y b e g r u d g i n g l y b y t h e C h u r c h — w h o s t i l l q u e s t i o n h e r e x i s t e n c e a n d p r o t e s t s u c h c o n t a m i n a t i o n o f h a g i o g r a p h y b y f o l k l o r e . B u t t h e o l d S l o v e n i a n f o l k I l l s o n g ' c o n t a i n s t h e s a m e w a r n i n g Deep water has no ford, The broad field has no end. Small stones have no number, A pretty girl has no kinsmen, (in Herman, lo8l, p. 2) S u c h s t o r i e s , o r f o l k ta les , r e p r e s e n t o n e o f S c h e l e r ' s ( o r i g i n a l 1926 , c i t e d in JIarvis, 1 9 9 5 ) s e v e n k i n d s o f k n o w l e d g e , b u t t h i s is n o t t h e k i n d o f k n o w l e d g e c o n s t r u c t i o n a p a t r i a r c h a l s o c i e t y w a n t s i t ' s w o m e n f o l k e m b e d d i n g i n t o c u l t u r e , p o p u l a r o r p r i v a t e . S o F r e u d d i s c o v e r e d . I n 1 8 9 6 F r e u d " t h e p a t r i a r c h o f m o d e r n p s y c h o l o g y " r e v e a l e d t h e i n c e s t s e c r e t , o n e h e h a d s t u m b l e d o n t o i n h i s e a r l y y e a r s o f p r a c t i c e , i n t w o w o r k s p u b l i s h e d t h a t y e a r . B u t w i t h i n t h e y e a r h e h a d r e p u d i a t e d h i s u n w a n t e d k n o w l e d g e , and a l o n g w i t h t h e f o l k l o r e , t h e l e g e n d s , t h e w a r n i n g t a l e s o f s e x u a l a b u s e o f g i r l s and w o m e n . . . t h e o v e r t k n o w l e d g e o f t h e u s e o f c h i l d r e n b y m e n w a s d i s c r e e t l y r e - i n t e r r e d , a n d t h e M y t h o f t h e S e d u c t i v e ( F e m a l e ) C h i l d , t h e M y t h o f t h e F e m a l e H y s t e r i c , t h e M y t h o f D a m a g i n g ( t o m e n a n d f a t h e r s , e s p e c i a l l y ) E m o t i o n a l i s m w a s t o l d i n t o t h e l a n g u a g e o f p s y c h o l o g y a n d t h e M o d e r n P s y c h e . I n 1 9 5 3 , F r e u d , w h o h a d b y t h e n o b v i o u s l y s u p p r e s s e d o r o u t - l i v e d h i s o w n " a w a r e n e s s o f h i s o w n i n c e s t u o u s w i s h e s t o w a r d h i s d a u g h t e r , a n d s u s p i c i o n s o f h i s o w n f a t h e r " ( H e r m a n , p . 1 0 , c i t i n g F r e u d ' s c o r r e s p o n d e n c e o f 1 8 9 6 ) , w a s a b l e t o i n c o r p o r a t e i n t o h i s I n t r o d u c t o r y L e c t u r e s o f P s y c h o a n a l y s i s i n 1 9 3 3 , t h e f o l l o w i n g 112 s ta tement , A l m o s t a l l o f m y w o m e n pat ients t o l d m e that t h e y h a d b e e n s e d u c e d b y t h e i r father. .^© (][) c a m e to u n d e r s t a n d that the h y s t e r i c a l s y m p t o m s w e r e d e r i v e d f r o m phantasies a n d n o t f r o m r e a l occurrences—this p h a n t a s y o f being- s e d u c e d b y the fa ther is the e x p r e s s i o n of the t y p i c a l O e d i p u s c o m p l e x i n w o m e n ( c i t e d H e r m a n , p . *jy T h e r e ' s o n e of those g o d s a g a i n , a m o d e r n p s y c h o - a n a l y t i c one , a n d w h e n a g o d speaks it's a sure s i g n a m a l e m y t h is b e i n g w r i t t e n i n t o t h e p u b l i c o r C o l l e c t i v e u n c o n s c i o u s . So F r e u d speaks f o r the p a t r i a r c h y — w o m e n ' s k n o w l e d g e is d i s m i s s e d as h y s t e r i c a l , t h e i r d e v e l o p m e n t as never - to -be -<|ui te -men/human is es tab l i shed—And so i t has b e e n f o r m o s t of this , the F r e u d i a n , A g e . Hn a d u l t e d u c a t i o n , p r o b a b l y jus t as m u c h i n i n i t i a l e d u c a t i o n , p s y c h o l o g i c a l t h e o r y has b e e n f o u n d a t i o n a l i n e s t a b l i s h i n g the basis f o r m o s t l e a r n i n g theories . B u t w h a t i f t h e f o u n d a t i o n is c racked? I n the last decades, f e m i n i s t s a n d w o m e n scholars h a v e b e g u n t o d e - c o n s t r u c t the m y t h s of m o d e m psycho-analys is ; w o m e n ' s stories are b e i n g t o l d a g a i n , b y J u d i t h H e r m a n , C a r o l G i l l i g a n , M a r y B e l e n k y , L a n a , Lee , Jane, Sonia a n d Y o l a n d a a n d b y V a l e r i e C h a p m a n . W h a t w r a t h w i l l i t b r i n g u p o n them? H o w w i l l th is thesis b e read? "Just a n o t h e r m a l e - b a s h i n g mani fes to , a f e m i n i s t p o l e m i c " . O r w i l l w o m e n r e a d the F i v e W o m e n ' s s tor ies a n d say, O h , Y e a h ! R i g h t ! I g e t that ! I r e m e m b e r that ! Y e s , I f e l t that too ! A n d e c h o i n g Y o l a n d a , w i l l t h e y say, " T h e r e m u s t b e a b e t t e r w a y ! " 113 P e r h a p s . . . i f nray w r i t i n g ' c a n c a s t as s p e l l , w e a v e a n e n c h a n t m e n t s *** I decided to still use Marie-Francoise Chanfrault-Duchet's framework for analysis, but stripped down to it's skeleton, re-fleshed it in a kinder, cronier, way. I still looked for the key words and key patterns that they used in their life/learning stories, but I also looked for the personal dreams of self, the narrative each woman holds Privately for herself in her own Self-story, the petits recits of our/their inner Private world that power existence, that fuel the daily struggles with the whole of their world, private and public; how does that Self-story weave its way into those of the Collective, Public World? When and how does the woman's self-tale meet and deal with the Mythological Beasts that tell the World outside the garden gate? What new Fables are these women creating? Will they be able to re-claim "Myth", make it present in our world, make it a woman's story too? Surely there must be some new legends and new stories to tell of society? If we write the world, then how much more do we tell/talk the world into being? How are these Five Women (and the Sixth) reclaiming their world? Stories, and especially fairy tales, "offer adults a clear conduit to the unconscious" (Chinen, p. 2), a path of direct access to the deeper layers, the older two thirds of the brain-and they do it so casually, so hypnotically....triggered by that phrase that invites and warns listeners to suspend belief and rational thinking, "Once upon a time...." So now I invite my readers to settle back, let the stories of the Five Women trickle in to the dream layers of mythos, touch the soul and begin to script new feminine Myths of learning, being and living in the world.... So. Once upon a time there were Five Women who came to talk to a Sixth Woman and this is what the women were like, in the order in which they came, and these were some of the stories they told her.... 114 Yolanda I'm Yolanda and I'm a nurse educator in one of the colleges here (Gl:l). A Life Story. She is small, blonde-going-a-bit-grey and very brisk and efficient, professional; her hair is very neat, well cut, and she wears no jewellery. Very pleasant—but why do I feel....mtirnidating? She looks in good physical shape; later she tells me she runs, (marathons !), lifts a few weights, works out—her colleagues tell her "When she grows up, she'll give that sort of thing up", she comments scornfully. At our first meeting, wearing casual but beautifully pressed brown pants, cream sweater, no makeup and a Christmas pin—I wondered why, she doesn't sound at all sentimental, for her students, then?—she really surprised me by saying, as we walked to the cafeteria for tea, that she goes to a homeopath and wont go near a doctor. I was nervous and a little intimidated; meeting in a college setting was too reminiscent for me of calling on faculty when I was a sales and editorial representative with an educational publisher. We did the interview in one of the Faculty of Nursing rooms, set up like a ward. I noticed how neat and tidy it all was, with hospital corners on all the beds, very clean and cool, efficient, a bit like Yolanda herself. After a disastrous start~I had not brought the microphone with me for my recorder, even though I had had everything laid out for two days beforehand~we ended up sitting on one of the pristine beds, a borrowed tape player on the bed between us, getting along quite well, and my awe of her accomplishments growing. During that first interview I realised how smart she is; but I sensed life has been a struggle for her, not because she isn't capable but because she is so capable. Our second interview, on December 31st, was held in her home, a lovely townhouse, 3 bedrooms, in a really nice part of town, a complex with lots of trees and immaculate grounds. She opened the door for me and I was struck again by how very small she is. I was late, arriving by haphazard suburban transit, and she said, "I was ready to start looking for you!" Dressed in jeans, 115 purple and white Christmas sweater, again no makeup. Her house is beautiful, painted by her, all pale blues and with some delicate sponging in the hallway, which I said I liked, and she asked me almost anxiously "Are you sure, I'm not quite happy...." and then showed me the room downstairs painted a lovely pinky lilac, called First Light. Really a lovely effect. White and beige carpets throughout, light furniture and a white computer that looked at ease, sitting in the middle of her working room, her living area, upstairs; all so cool, clean. I commented on how clean it was, and said I had seen the same effect in other nurses. Was it too cool, and maybe lonely? She is very strong willed, but there is a fragrance of sadness, fragility about her. I am reminded of her, her Polish heritage, when sitting reading her interviews and listening to Gorecki's Symphony No. 3, (Symphony of Sorrowful Songs), I notice with no surprise the coincidence; the symphony's haunting second movement frames a song based upon the prayer of an 18 year old girl written on the wall of a Gestapo cell in Zakopane—Yolanda and the girl share the same name. I sense under all her words this fugue of sadness, loneliness.... Or am I imbuing her words, her drive to succeed, (two masters degree and a doctorate under way) in the face of opposition from colleagues to her feminist views, abandonment by her family, with my interpretation? I think not—at the second interview she tells me her pursuit of education is not for the credentials, and not for family acceptance, but as a way of "knowing she is ok". She tells me she doesn't fit, doesn't know where she belongs, in the educational world....or the other worlds she inhabits? She is very sparing of emotion as it pertains to herself, telling me, laconically, that being abandoned by her family, once when at 17 she chose to stay on at school instead of finding work and then marriage, and again, when no-one in her family would come to her first graduation. Because they think that what I have done is wrong. And they think that I have stepped out of my place in the world, and that I should not have done this. (Y 1:1) 116 This had "created a lot of hardship" for her. Similarly, she ascribes a lot of her success to "fortuitous" happenings; I suspect she has worked hard, taking advantage of any opportunities corning her way. In our interviews she rarely spoke of feelings or emotion for herself; it was if all the objectivity and distance that is educated into doctors and nurses, the distance that she deplores, is used as a defense....but she feels and speaks passionately about her students and her kind of nursing. She is a complex woman, that hint of sadness belied by owning a lovely home, a brand new car (her baby, she called it) and working hard and well at a rewarding career. Yolanda had completed her Baccalaureate in Nursing, a Master's in Nursing, a Master's in Education and is now embarking on a Doctoral Program in Education. She is a published author—including two chapters in a major nursing text book—is on the faculty of one community college, teaches at another and also does a distance education course for one of the Universities, on informatics. She is active in professional associations, supports her mother and is it seems, always busy. I was delighted to find that lurking below the cool, competent surface was a quick witted humour—now and then it would flash out, a robust connection to her "peasant" heritage, deflating pontificating professors, mocking medics and laughing at doctors, the aristocracy of the hospital culture. Our third interview took place on my campus, where we ate bagels and cream cheese, companionably, and continued our conversations. Yolanda was always reflective, treating all my questions seriously, answering them thoughtfully and with dignity. It was a rewarding experience for me; many of her comments and stories formed the foundation for my analysis. I feel almost impertinent "analyzing" her words and stories, but the regulations of the thesis demand it.... 117 Yolanda's Narratives The key phrases that were easy to locate in some of the other participant's stories were not so easy to detect in Yolanda's interviews. She speaks well and articulately, not using slang. But I began to see a pattern arising mid way through the first interview—when she makes a statement about something of importance to her, she says it twice, as if to underline it for effect. So, "you're doing this because you care, because you care about social justice, because social justice is important, that's why (Yl:10)", and ....they label it, but they don't have anything they can do for the label that they've done to the body. So why bother? It's, like you know, if you can't do anything with the information, why bother? (Yl : 16) and "My grandmother had a root for everything, you know, I mean, we never went to doctors, because you had to pay so we never went to doctors. (Yl : 17) These emphases most often mark passages where Yolanda is talking about the development of her own belief systems, or enunciating her personal philosophies. For example, talking about her lack of faith in medicalized knowledge and competencies and her belief instead in homeopathy, or common sense wisdoms of caring. They also occur when she announces, very firmly, what she wanted and what she didn't want, as she was growing up, moving through the educational system, away from what her family wanted for her and decreed was right and proper. The double emphasis became a clue for me, a marker of a battle, or struggle against what the family/establishment/hegemonies of power wanted and what Yolanda wanted. So, too, did the very clear statements about what "they" wanted and what she wanted; the sense of her standing very firm and saying, this is what I want, resisting great pressure, is strong, their view of life is, you know, that you should be married by 16 or 17, first child on the way, and that kind of, and I don't want to live that life...I knew very young. (Yl :3) 118 Several key patterns of behaviour emerged, mainly in reaction to, and around, what was expected of her, by society, by family, by colleagues, by doctors, in short, all the hegemonies of the everyday which compel us all to behave as others wish. For Yolanda it seems, if it isn't what she wants, then she resists; in large or small decisions, Yolanda does what she wants, not what is expected. By the time I was 17 years old not only was I ready to enter University, but I had completed the first year secretarial course, from Ryerson Polytechnical through High School, so people just thought I should go be a secretary, because I had all those skills. I mean I had shorthand at 140 words per minute, and typing at 80, and all that business stuff, I knew how to manage an office, the school had gotten me a job in the summers, I had been working for a local newspaper, so, it was, you know, that was just what I was supposed to do, and then I didnt do what I was supposed to do. (Yl:7) At times she has chosen paths which were more acceptable to social hegemonies, such as choosing nursing, a womanly profession, but I still have the feeling that nothing will dissuade Yolanda from what she wants. Of course, she has paid a price for this resistance, as when she says, Valerie: How did you get the [grandmother's] knowledge and how did you keep it? Yolanda: I don't know the answer to that question, and I wish I did. But it's my grandmother's knowledge I know that. I do know that. But I don't know how IVe kept it. I think for a while I put it away because I was told it was wrong, and I believed the people that told me it was wrong. And I tried very hard to function in the system the proper way, but I didn't fit. I really didnt. So, and I kind of well, people tried to fit me and it just wouldn't happen. .But in part that's what makes me such a good nurse when I'm on the floor, because you know, I can understand people, I can form a relationship with them that is connected, and I can understand what they need. I don't know, it's so hard to explain, it's like, it's like the knowledge is in my fingertips, that's where it really lies...and it also comes because I don't rely on just pain medication, because I know there's other things I need to do to make you comfortable. Maybe because we never had anything for pain, so we know that 119 there's other things that you do when people feel uncomfortable, it's those kinds of things. (Yl: 19) And, about teaching, Well, you know, I show (movies), and I try and get people around here to use things that are different, but you know I'm batting my head against the wall...I try and do stuff here in the faculty. I find that as a woman who is still relatively athletic I get a lot of criticism about, you know, "That's not a mature thing to do. When you grow up youll find we stop going to the gym." Laughs. So..but I talk, I try and remind people here that that's part of health, that they need to do that, and to watch what they eat and that sort of stuff... we're not good as a faculty at being connected with one another. And supporting one another, but see, we were raised in paradigms that told us not to do that.(Yl:21) Little Narratives of Self Yolanda characterises herself as coming from the Working Poor (Yl: 1), and maintains her sense of being working class, even though her status and profession now would be labelled middle class. This narrative, of Class, runs through all her talks with me. She is proud of her class, I think, believing it gives her an added sense with patients or students or other people. Paradoxically, she rebelled against it, I went to school with normal, middle class kids...in this lovely middle class community. And it was very different, and so I was exposed to lots of different things...I didn't have the usual culture of that working class poor...I saw that there was another way to live. And another way to be. (Yl:2-3), but now celebrates her working class background, as in It's just a way, of being with people. When people from a very consistent middle class background go in and talk to someone, they bring in their conceptions and they make judgements 120 about people and, I mean we all do it, but when I go in and talk to the same person, I can talk to them at a different place. Cos I know what happens in their world. I have a much greater understanding of it, because I've lived in it, and I've seen it, and, so often what I can do is, I can draw on my own experiences and I can move into their experience with that. So, I know I know how their husbands treat them, and the way they're spoken to, and I know what they're watching on TV, and I know that that's their life, and, L I just, I just have a sense of what to say and how to be with them, that's different from what others would have. Cos I know. And that, so it's been helpful there. (Y2:5) Yolanda sees herself and the world as classed. It is one of her foundational narratives, and it of course, intersects with the Grand Narrative of Class in society. One of the other self or foundational narratives that comes through her words strongly is a belief in Work as a Good and Necessary Thing. Again, her family background influences her story, as in, My mother always told me that going to school was my work, that's how she, she said, That's what you do. So when I was a little kid, and I was six and seven and eight years old, "This is your work, this is what you do, and this is how you contribute to this household, by going to school and by doing well". And so school was my work. And that's how I saw it. (Yl :5) and even now, grown up as she is, Work is crucial, V: And yet you've worked so hard, and you've got degrees and.. Y: I'm driven. (Yl:2) and, talking of not being able to enter a Doctoral program because "they had a two year residency requirement and I do have to work. So. I now support that little old mother! So not working is not an option (Yl :3)", I wonder if, even if she didn't have to support her mother, she would still declare, Not working is not an option! Yolanda's stories reveal her self-story, her knowledge that she is a Good Nurse. After listening 121 to her, I would have no hesitation in calling her an excellent and possibly, unusual nurse. Unusual in this medicalized and engineered nursing climate, because she has empathy, connection and a strong intuitive sense of what to do for people who are sick, derived in part she feels from her grandmother's tradition as a healer. If I were sick, I would want Yolanda to look after me. But like I said before, my grandmother had a root for everything. Everything was handled through mustard plasters and linseed poultices, and you know, you ate properly and you ate certain foods when you were sick.... Medicine, it will only weaken you. And IVe seen many, many people die from the side effects. And I see many, many people have surgery that's needless, and Tm just, you know, get away from me boys! What you really need to do to be healthy is to drink lots of water, to make sure the water's clean, to get some sleep, to get out and to get some exercise every day, and to eat right. And I talk about those things all the time, and those are the things that keep you healthy... You have to not be afraid to let people be sick sometimes, because they're sick for a reason. Like we might not want to stop everything. So, I don't know, some it's good common sense, I think. And some of it comes from my grandmother's knowledge, .there's an understanding I have... We just have to get people back to good solid healthy living. I mean I tell the students, I say, "Now you spent a whole 8 hours in this hospital, when you go home go for a walk! YouVe gotta breathe some fresh air!" (Yl : 17-18) And of course, she is also a Good Teacher. This rings true in her stories of interactions with students, patients, other nurses, other educators and, quite poignantly, in her tales of daily teaching experience dismissed in the theoretical doctoral classroom, where "They have a little problem some of them as seeing Nurses as professional educators" (Yl:4). Yolanda knows herself to be a Feminist, and like the roles she plays in Good Nurse and Good Teacher, her expressed views often place her in opposition to others who are not receptive to her views, to students who tell her "I don't want to hear all this stuff, you're all just man-haters" (Yl :24), and to faculty: 122 V: Do you tell people you're a feminist? Y: People just seem to know that. It's like I have it on my forehead! I make people around here very nervous. The word feminism actually appears in the philosophy of the Collaborative Curriculum, and people here would like it removed. Of course they always say that with hushed words when I am around...People are very nervous about it (feminism), they dont understand it, they view it very negatively. (Yl :26) Perhaps one of the self-stories that motivates Yolanda most often in her work as a nurse- educator is her belief in Social Justice. It is a foundation for her work, often referred to, and often in relation to feminist thought, or reform of the old paradigm of health care to reflect the needs of all, not just the middle classes. Lastly, in common with several of the women, Yolanda has a strong belief that education is a Way Out, of the working class, of ill health, of poverty, of injustice...In short, her narrative echoes the Grand Narrative that sees Education as Liberation. Often disparaged now as one of the founding beliefs of the Enlightenment Project, it has very real, and very personal, power in the lives of the Five Women, and particulary shapes Yolanda's Story. Collective Narratives As has been noted, Yolanda's story intersects with some of the more powerful Grand Narratives, and her self-story intertwines with those of Society—as in Education for Liberation and Feminism against Oppression, but she resists the Grand Narrative of Medical Authority, has no faith in Lyotard's Big Science nor in Patriarchal Institutions. Resistance, subtle, but solid, to many hegemonic narratives pervades her story, from her refusal to leave school and get married at 17, to her refusal to allow doctors to treat her as a handmaiden, and her refusal now to bow down to the "old, 123 male paradigm." Narrative Model Yolanda is not easy to slot into any one of the three narrative models that illustrate the quest for values-just as it's always really hard to fit any living being into rigid categories, people are too fluid to fit the boxes we academics try to cram them into. But I would classify Yolanda's Story/ies as having the most in common with the Romanesque—"the quest for authentic values in a degraded world" (Chanfrault-Duchet, 1991, p. 80). She still works and lives in her community, but searches I believe, in her Work as Nurse and Teacher, for new ways to instill different values in her students and patients. Lastly, I would like for Yolanda to tell one of her Stories, one that gives you Yolanda's essence. Her Voice rather than my voice about her Voice, so here is a poignant tale.... A Story: Not a Green Garbage Bag.... When I came here to BC and started teaching, I found that people dont do that kind of learning in High School, they don't talk about abortion or euthanasia, they didnt explore any of those kinds of ethical issues that have a societal impact. That's why in all my senior classes, when I have students in clinical, one of the things that I always talk about is death. You see, we had talked about life and death and social issues in my high school in another province, we had talked about what death meant and what it was, but many students here haven't. And part of the reason why I wonder if we don't see some burnout, and some hostility, and some anger and all that sort of stuff is because people haven't thought about their feelings or acknowledged them and they havent said, It's ok for me to feel this way! 124 Especially now, we're getting more and more palliative care patients on general wards and often the first time a student has to give high dose morphine welL there is panic. So I hear, "I can't give this!" And I encourage them, "Well, yes you can." "What if the patient dies when I give this?" "Well, they're going to die sometime". So that's why it's so important. I talk about is death. And what death means and what it's like. And I try but, you know, as hard as you try, people are very quiet and you can tell it's almost their first exposure, because they won't participate. Because I try and get people, especially students of different culutures to talk about customs and rituals surrounding death. I try and get people to talk about it, "So in your culture, and in your perspective, in your religion, how is this viewed, what happens, what do you think is happening when someone dies?" People are really reluctant to share that information. A tremendous reluctance to share it. I think they're getting better and in part I think that's because of the new curriculum. The students are more in tune with these notions of personal meaning and sharing and what that's all about. The students I had in palliative care in first year actually did quite well, we talked about death a lot. A student was asked to take vital signs on somebody who was dying, and she came back to me and said, "This is an inappropriate task for a student. We shouldn't be doing this." So we sat down and we talked about all the different things that were going on. This man was dying; she didn't think the vital signs should be done, so she went to the nurse and said, "I don't think these vital signs should be done, family's with him, he's in his last hours." The nurse said, "He's on the sheet, he's got to be done." Well, I agree with the student, she was right, there was no need to get that information because we weren't going to react to it. However, she also was on a cardiology unit and sometimes a little bit of lasix, a little bit of digoxin, and presto! Everything's fine! So, there was a distinction that she would 125 have had difficulty making and I had to give that to the nurses, but I do think she was right, this man really was in cardiac failure and the end was coming. But then it's as we talked about it, and as we sorted through it, she finally came to say to me, "I didn't realize how many levels I was concerned about this". Because what I brought her around to look at was, not that she didnt really think this shouldn't be done, or that she shouldn't do it as a student, but that she was afraid to be in the room with him if he should die while she was there. And that's what she didnt want to witness. And so that's what we finally dug our way through to and then talked about. When discussing death, I think it is best on a one to one, but in a general conversation I just want to try and get the students to talk a little bit about it, and share their thoughts about death. I tell them, You know, when someone dies, at that moment we all experience denial. The first thing that goes through your mind, you'll feel it in your body, will be this sense of NO! Because you dont want to lose someone. There is always a sense of loss. But this feeling goes very quickly, it passes by and then you can carry on, but you will feel it, that shock, it's there, and it's just part of what's happening in this process. Because as much as this person has died, it is part of the process of living, and that's part of what you're feeling. And so that has to be understood and acknowledged. And then, you know, you may feel angry. And you may be really upset and you may not be able to care for this person now. You may not be able to care for the family. So then we talk about, What do you think the family might need? What do you think they would want to hear? And I tell them about how to anchor people and to... It's just horrible in hospitals what they do, they take all the individual's belongings, they put them in a green garbage bag, and they give the family the green garbage bag, Here's the belongings! So I say, you know, dont do that, please dont do that! Get a patient garment bag from ER or Admitting, put the person's belongings in that, and then take out something that you can see is special, whether it be an afghan, or a teddy bear, or a picture, but something that you can see is special and before you give them the bag of belongings, just give them that one special thing and say, I'm sure this is something this person always really held dear. And give 126 that to them and then give them the rest. And it just lets people anchor and settle down a little bit instead of, Here's their stuff. You know, which is kind of so reminiscent of the jail thing, Here's your stuff and go! Somehow in this world we've lost our sense of manners, just how to be nice to people and how to care for people, how to stop and think for a second about how to be nice to people. And ask, What would I want? And so we, we kind of ...but it's very hard. And the room will be very quiet and then sometimes I feel like I'm alone, because it echoes....(and she laughs sadly) (y3:3-5). 127 Sonia My name is Sonia, and I'm a PhD student, and I'm looking at comparative curriculum issues and I did set up some educational programs for Tibetan refugees in the Himalayas. (Gl:l) Sonia's Life Story "Shhh!!" says Sonia, leaning forward, cupping her hands over the tape recorder's ears so it won't hear her whisper, "Well, actually, I'm a bit psychic! Better not put that in! Anyway, never mind!" and laughs uproariously! Vintage Sonia, at our first interview. I wondered, sitting with her, two days after my interview with Yolanda, Is she as sad as Yolanda? I don't think so, she has gone different ways, but she is, like Yolanda, not happy with her graduate education, both seeing it as a "way out", using the exact same words to me to explain why they continue. Sonia's room is in the new graduate residence, shared with another woman, but Sonia's influence is quite strong; there are Greenpeace stickers on the front door, large Tibetan wall hangings in the common area; it is a clean space, with a touch of Eastern austerity. Sonia's room- beautiful Chinese rug on floor, orderly desk, three bookcases (full), and a CD player with lots of discs, piled very neatly, a tidy, sparse but not unlived in look. Mementoes of the Dalai Lama on the walls, photographs.... We sit just outside on the landing, her on a bean bag, me on a chair, a scenic view out the window behind Sonia, enough to distract a saint, let alone me, the tape recorder sitting on its own cushion between us. We begin our two hour talk. Sonia wobbles between brilliance and eccentricity. As always. One moment, I'm ready to write her off as the "weird duck" she tells me, and everyone else, she is—forestalling us, softening 128 our disapproval of her flamboyance?~and then a flash of genius and I am awed, then swinging back to dottiness and then back to brilliance. It's an invigorating and disconcerting time—but I am as weird as she, duck or not, and we enjoy our company. She is large, curly blond hair, lovely laugh, given to unusual statements, unpredictable in her reactions, very bright, sensitive, wears richly coloured tops, Oriental bright, with leggings, minimal makeup. She looks like a typical grad student, but she is smarter than that. She is a lovely person, but single, feeling and sounding family-less at times, like Yolanda, like me, but she has family and friends. I wonder if we three are a species... She does a lot of "Tibetan things", meditation retreats, lectures, and is an environmentalist, a Buddhist, friendly with activists, monks and nuns....and mê  I worry that my knowing her may affect my interpretation of her story, but I need not fret, her stories come to me fresh and unheard, new ideas, new tales, new feelings.... Sonia was born, ("a breech birth!") the second of four children, into a middle class family. Everyone had degrees, she told me, mother, father, aunts, even her father's aunts had degrees, so education was highly valued~but not so marriage. Sonia's aunts were not married, but were all professional women in good situations. But she says, I always used to worry about them being lonely, you know. I used to think either you're lonely, it always seemed to me they must be terribly lonely, or else you're sort of buried beneath people, you know. So I think I was struggling with that.... (Ul:2) and she chose to pursue learning. Her family was not extremely wealthy, it's just, you know, a high emphasis on education. And like my mother, when we were kids, always, "There's no question you're going to go to University". Even though by the time we went, they were falling apart, not offering very much financial support, but you have this inbred, you know, that you're no-one if you don't go to University. I mean my grandmother had got an M A ! I think around 1905! (Ul:10) 129 She loved school, did very well, even during a difficult period when family problems intervened. My family's fairly high achievers, too, on my father's side especially. But then my father was, around learning, funny, like he was one of those fathers that everyone complains about, who says, when you say, "What did you get, 85?" He says, "What happened to the other 15%?" (Ul:4) During this difficult time she saw learning, doing well, as an attempt to impose control on a chaotic life, And it really scared me, I thought with my parents splitting up, my father drank too much, I know why my mother left him, but still it makes you feel really unstable, then, you know, I thought my brother's going to fall apart, someone has to keep things together, I decided, someone's got to pull it together, so I will. You know? And so I just decided to do really well, study well and do well, and I did really well. I got the highest mark in the high school Christmas exam in history...I think I looked at school as a way out, you know? As a secure path out of instability, unpredictability. It was a place that I could succeed well at, could control it a bit, you know? On a more subtle level I may have been afraid of society. It's like overcompensating? That so long as I could do this and do well, then they wouldn't, uh, you know, it's like, do you understand? Like controlling, a safe way to maybe ensure that society didn't come knocking at my door, or wasn't cruel or something. It always seemed to be in response to a perceived threat. (Ul:8) She felt unwelcome attentions from some teachers because she was pretty and smart. She went on to Undergraduate study, spent her first two and half years changing subjects at University, from Journalism to Economics, "I could NOT make my mind up about what I wanted to do! This lasted until I was about 35.1 kid you not! (U: 11)", and abruptly quit University in the February of her final year. 130 At about the same time she became involved with a professor, "not my professor, but a professor!", who was interested in meditation and Buddhism, eventually travelling around the world with him. I asked her if the relationship had precipitated her dropping out of university, but she denied it, saying she had learnt a great deal from him, but she knew it was an unequal relationship, and eventually refused to marry him. But still, leaving University, refusing to follow a middle class, bourgeois path, It took a lot of courage. In fact my father freaked out, he freaked out. Do you know he arranged for the President of the University to send that professor, who had nothing to do with that decision, right? To send that professor, a letter, threatening letter, threatening his position! (Ul:12) She spent several years, practising Buddhism and meditation, studying with various Lama's (including the Dalai Lama), working in various positions, including hotel book-keeping ("The boss loved me, he called me the Hippy!"), returned to university to complete an undergraduate degree in Psychology, found work with brain damaged children, travelled again to India, working with Tibetan refugees on two projects and eventually decided to pursue graduate education, so that eventually she can return and help them professionally—and be funded! Sonia's Narratives Sonia speaks fast, pausing often for dramatic emphasis, laughter, rhetorical phrasing and gesticulation. It is a delight to talk to her. She uses many key phrases and word patterns, but some stand out as having more emotional impact than others. When she makes a provocative statement of belief or an outre comment, she quickly deflects attention, almost disowns it, with "Anyway. Never Mind!" and then goes on quickly to another topic. In a sense this a marker often to key patterns of behaviour. It is as if she dares to be outrageous, and then tries to cover her 131 tracks. I sense a history of being found different, an outsider, disapproval, out of bounds. It is as if she has developed a verbal hit and run defense, throwing out a statement or explaining her actions, and then saying, Anyway, never mind! to confuse and derail comments, so I hear Psychology was dry, I found the professors very narrow minded, I find it a pseudo- science, like a wannabe science, that makes no sense, I mean you talk about anyone interesting, and they'll immediately talk about them about in pejorative, if not scandalous terms. Like they spent, in abnormal psychology, they talked about Jung, who I was quite interested in at that time, for only five minutes, and the professor concluded that he was psychotic! Laughs!! So I thought, God, I am in the wrong place here! You know, I'm always in the wrong place it seems. Anyway so you there you go! (Ul:10 And, I decided if I wasn't going to get stuck working in joe jobs, I thought "Oh, I'll travel with Ernie." So it wasn't maybe the best motivation but I'd actually had a vision you know? That I would go away with him. Like I'm a bit psychic! (Shhh! Down tape! Laughs!! Anyway, never mind! You didn't hear that, No no!!!) So I actually knew but, then you think, just because you know, doesn't mean you have to right? Laughs! Amazing?? I don't know! Anyway! But I did! Even knew I'd go to Greece with him, weird eh? But.... Anyway. And we did! (Ul:24) And, Then he decided he wanted to marry me. Laughs!! So! Anyways! I thought, Well, maybe. I didn't feel very good about it actually, I thought it was a mistake, because he was too, you know he was older than I was, he had more money, he had more prestige, PhD, I thought I don't have a chance for an equal relationship, but I don't know. Anyways! Never mind! So I went around the world with him (Ul:2). One of Sonia's most dominant patterns of behaviour, and one of her most striking Narratives is her rejection of the expected, the safe, the usual and the normal. This includes her 132 refusal to embrace the Middle Class, the Bourgeois; instead she favours a Spiritual path. So she says, disparagingly, But like you have goods, like your talents, our gifts, are like things you exploit to make money, you know? That view, you know, of really prostituting my gifts for a salary and prestige? And that's where I was really, that's where my friends were, quite boringly middle class, very bourgeois, really, you know, and I knew they weren't my values. My friend would tell me quite straight faced she didn't love the man she was with, but she was going to marry him anyway, because he was an engineer, good looking, he'd have a good middle class life. Like I thought it was stupid, to me it made no sense. I decided to stop University. Just quit. I knew what I was doing, I've never regretted it! I was within three months of getting a degree then. I think I was right, either I do this now, absurd as it is, quit school, or else I'm always going to be compromising, you know? Too much doubt in me, too much scepticism, that faith in there being an inner, internal reality worthy of addressing would not be sustained, unless I take some dramatic steps in asserting it. And so that's what I did, and everyone, a lot of people, I had friends who were just devastated "What are you doing?" People still say that to me! "Why wouldn't you become a lawyer, you could have you know, you could have done" but I couldn't do it.... (Ul:24) And again, of her working environment with brain damaged children, It was paid well, got me in classrooms which I really enjoyed, but I didn't enjoy, I find the environment really bourgeois, I have a resistance to bourgeoisness, it's true, laughs! Anyway! You know, very small minded, if anything controversial would come up, then everyone would ignore it, or sh, sh sh.... So I didn't want to be part of that culture, you know, teachers culture, really I didn't. (Ul:20) This is linked to her personal rejection or refusal of one of the Grand Narratives, of Education as preparation for Work, of Vocationalism, and Professionalism. She tells me 133 proudly, I thought well, I'll go into Medicine, did some pre-med courses urn, realised Medicine wasn't for me, and then was going to do Law, I was going to do teaching, you see. Yes, they all, those subjects are vocational in a way, they're going to lead to work. And I always resisted it! Like that's the one thing I never have done, I have never done vocational training! (Ul:18) And, You know some of the things I've done, I've just done because I want to do them, not because I have a professional degree that will let me do it, right? No, I just say, if you want to do it, you go out and do it. In fact I don't have the professional credentials for anything I've done. I've just done it on my own wherewithal. (Ul : 12) Throughout her narrative, Sonia emphasises her parallel educational careers—the one path has taken her on a journey learning to be a Buddhist, to improve her practice, the other path has been through academia. Her Narrative finds her as Outsider, at times, in both educational worlds. She says, of her time teaching the Tibetan nuns, So I think it was realising that I was continually occupying the space as an outsider, you know? Marginalised, and that in the end I would feel resentment about that and be bitter in spite of, you know, intentionally training to cultivate more kindness. (Ul:34), that precipitated her move back to Canada and to graduate school, where ironically she is still cast as an outsider, too idealistic, too passionate....too critical? But throughout the telling of her story, Sonia has stressed her faith in a Karmic purpose, a Narrative of Belief in herself and her actions, that never mind how contrary they might seem, there is a purpose to it. Whether it is meeting the Dalai Lama, being picked out of a crowd of 5000 people to study with him in morning meditation or whether it is choosing to work at building community among graduate students-modelled on what she has learned in her Buddhist 134 studies—when she knows academic work would be 'better' for her to do, she has a sense that she is following a Karmic path, "So I think there was a Karmic thing, I mean I really do believe it" (Ul:20). Sonia makes no bones about identifying herself as a Feminist, finding, she has told me, resonance with the theories of the post structuralist feminists, and the French feminists, such as Kristeva. In her work with the nuns in India, she spent much time not only in teaching, but in ministering to their physical and emotional heeds, and in fundraising to help support their cause. She has stories to tell of their several oppressions—culturally, where a vocation for the spiritual coincidentally frees nomadic women of a lifetime of childbearing and drudgery, and politically, as in the tales she heard from the nuns of torture at the hands of the Chinese occupying Tibet. It seems a long way from the nunnery in Dharamsala to a graduate school, but Sonia has no problem identifying characteristics of male oppression and the inequalities women suffer, in Canada, or elsewhere. Narrative Model Sonia's narrative most clearly fits the Picaresque model, her story representing over and over "an ironic and satirical position in relation to hegemonic values" (Chanfrault-Duchet, 1991, p. 80). In comparison say, to my own story, where I seem to wander in and out of models at whim, she makes no bones about consistently rejecting the values espoused in her present academic community and in her past Western communities-she looks for values not currently espoused here, calling for us "to spend more time imagining possible ways to make cities, univer- cities-to make a possible education as opposed to what's been done before" (U3:ll). Finally, for this analysis, but with the understanding that a life cannot be told in 5 or 6 academic pages, or professionally assessed, the sense of wanting to be part of a Community, to 135 build a Community is a foundational Narrative for her at this time, as she says, You see you have to get the right combinations of people, it's never just your own study, it's having the right community of learners? Right? Where it works. Really...train our minds, and work. I think it's usually best to work with a community, so you're working out relationships in a community on a deep level of commitment, support, that sort of thing? This is really what...education is about. (Ul:23) And to conclude, a Sonia story, one of many, that shows her uniqueness, and her special ability to look at a situation from a position of difference.... A Story From Sonia: Educating Compassion Well, because of my Psychology background I got work with head-injured kids. It's different than what you do when you educate them, it's different than what you do with regular kids. So I had the qualifications, they're more flexible, and they do have professional teachers as well, but they also have people who work with them in other capacities and that's what I did, you know, like massage, and communication programs, so that's what I did.... I liked doing the work though, educating and working with kids, especially when they're in such high need. I mean teachers would go into the school I worked in, there were stories, at least, of some teachers going in, lasting an hour and freaking out, crying, and leaving, and saying 'I cannot stay here', because of the tragedy of those kids lives. You know, like a kid who had been hit by a car, or drowned, and was left. You see for me, it doesn't seem that way. I remember I had to work through some things, mind you, but I realised we're the ones who think "Oh, Well, unless you're contributing to society or have the potential, then that's all that matters." But that's not true. We don't know what is contributing to life on earth. These kids, maybe they're contributing by giving us the opportunity to practice 136 compassion. Maybe they're people, beings, practising incarnating as a human being. You know? They keep practising a few lifetimes and it doesn't work! Laughs! But you get the idea after a while, and the next time it works! You don't know! (Laughs) Right? I thought sometimes, Maybe they're angels that have come down to check things out. Who knows, right? So, and we would have fun, it was very enjoyable. It was good practice, for compassion, that's what I did, really I looked on it.... I was quite Buddhist then, you know, gave me time to meditate, keep my Buddhist studies and practice up, do charity work for the Buddhist group I was with, and yet at the same time, really practice compassion, sharing my merit, in giving, and always attending the Other. They have the Drug Baby Program there too. You know the program? It's very good training for compassion, and patience, and well, these are important things in Buddhist education, right? To have that, training, so.... But then I became really fed up with my work with the School Board, and the Dalai Lama went to Toronto, and I never planned this, but like overnight things just started to fall apart at work and I decided, one day, I was crying because this kid had been hitting me, they had problems, right, and he punched me, and one of the other kids who didn't even have a problem that would justify it, started to punch me. And I was walking home, I was crying I was fed up, and then I thought, "What, am I doing? I'm sitting here, but you have a choice Sonia, you can continue in this classroom being punched in the face, or you can go to see the Dalai Lama". How could I ever not make that choice? You know I mean I didn't feel then I was helping those kids by letting them punch me, and believe me the Principal wasn't helping at all! Well, Anyway, there you go! So I left... I went down and saw the Dalai Lama in Toronto. (Ul : 29) 137 Lee Lee: And I'm Lee and I am program developer and consultant for abuse prevention services for a non-profit organization, for the province of BC, so I work in the area of family violence intervention services (Gl:l). Lee's Life Story I first met Lee at graduate school. We were in two classes together and when a study group was forming to work toward the Comprehensive exams, she and I were founding members. I have always been a talker, chattering away, and so I found her silences disconcerting in our first class together. In our second class I had come to know her as being, not silent, but calm, still and reflective. I have only seen her nervous once--on the day of our exam, when we met at our department both picking up the questions for the take-home, she gave me a ride home, confessing she had been a "bit rattled" first thing, and had spilled her hot drink in the car. But it was just a ruffle, by 4.30 she was back to tranquillity, rescuing me from a non-functioning fax machine at Kinko's. In full panic mode I stood there, seething, swearing as the fax machine refused to send off my answers, fully-formed visions of letters marked "Failed-Submission of Answers Too Late" in my mailbox, of having to drop out of the Program because my nerves wouldn't take another go at this ugly exam...And then I looked up and there was Lee, smiling, and she said, "I knew you'd be here, so I came to find you and take you up there—I've already told the Examiner we're on the way". So when I think of Lee, I think C A L M . In our first interview she told me she wouldn't be an interesting interview, because, Basically my life has sort of gone on a straight line in many ways, I havent had a lot of curves thrown and I've definitely had a real sense of having control and having decisions and power in what I've chosen to do, (LI: 18), 138 but I think it's because she has made her path smooth, stilled the turbulence, straightened out the curves. I am not the only person to sense this about her~in one of our shared classes, with a Noted Scholar, she was asked to consider working on a Doctorate with him on "Silence as part of Learning". And in our first interview she told me, I always have been, even when I was a kid, a fairly calm person, and I remember my French teacher telling Mum and Dad that he thought, I guess the word he used was poised for someone that age, because, he said, 'I could see this school catch on fire and Lee would just calmly walk out.' And when I was in nursing doing direct patient care, I really liked the high stress areas, I liked the ICU, I liked Emergency, I liked the Post Recovery Room and I just, really enjoy that type of thing, and just calmly responding to it. And the same as when I was overseas, at the International school, people would be running and yelling, Lee! So and so can't breathe! or, So and so can't do something! and I just have a calm response. So I know that for crisis management and dealing with people that I can be fairly calm in their approach, so I see family violence as an extension of that and in the work that I do now, I'm often dealing with people who because of the information go into crisis, get really upset in the classroom, and so I see the same threads running through, of just calmly being able to help them work that through and own it, and find their you know, what route they want to walk through it, and honouring that with them. (LI: 16) Interestingly enough, for such a calm person, Lee has chosen (as the above extract shows) to work in areas of high stress, tension, crisis and excitement. She gave me a capsule life history when we started our first session, I did my schooling in Calgary. And right after I finished Grade 12,1 went into Nurses training at the Calgary General Hospital, which was a three year R N program, and I worked for a year, and then I got married and went to India for 2 years, and then came back and went into University and did my Bachelor of Science in Nursing, a three year course at that time, so that I came out with a 139 degree in teaching, administration and public health. And then I worked til, um, 1991, when I came back, part-time, to do my Masters in Education. (LI: 1) As she unfolded her story to me in more detail, I was struck by how adventurous her life has been, how full, and I felt some embarrassment that I had missed all that in our first class, flunking of her as a rather quiet working mum. She stressed, often, how much she is a mother, and a wife, her family the most important thing in her life, her children coming before any class, job or degree. But this has been part of her strength- she told me many times how vital their support was in choosing her path. Of her husband, a renowned surgeon, who from their first meeting as nurse and intern, impressed her as "a very caring person, but who has very high standards (LI: 19)", and that in their work together in India in a mission hospital, "We established the base for our relationship, because we really became best friends. I mean it was him and I against the world" (LI:8), and I am really fortunate in the relationship I have with my husband in that he's a very unusual man, and very special, and I think that just that backdrop of knowing that there's always someone like that to support you? And the kids, I mean we've sometimes we've gone through tough times with the kids...But calmness comes back in place, Let's look at this, Let's examine this, Let's walk through this, and knowing that it's him and I doing that together...(Ll:18) That support has kept her going. But she also acknowledges that during a particularly difficult time with one of her children, he was about two and just wasn't settling in that well, and I'm thinking, Lee, you'd better quit work, you know, if things don't come together you're going to have to quit. And it wasn't the chance that my husband quits (his job), it had to be me that handled it...But somehow Tve kept going, and ploughed through it. (LI: 18) 140 After time spent in nursing, teaching, living and working in South East Asia, Lee found her passion, her life vocation working as the Training and Education Consultant for a Family Violence Prevention program. In a typical Lee way, she linked theory and practice together. Starting from an intuitive sense that the problems she saw in her practice working with adolescents in an International School had a cause, she researched family violence and child abuse, worked as a volunteer, took as many courses as she could, wrote her own job description, presented it to the Board of a national non- profit agency, and was hired. She speaks of her work with passion, and emotion, and acknowledges that it was her desire to put more theory behind her practice that put her back in classrooms as a graduate student. Lee's Personal Narratives Interviewing Lee was a pleasure, she is a natural story teller, and expresses her views and opinions clearly and non-judgementally. We met up at campus, in the same room Jane and I used, on two of her afternoons off, and on one Holiday, Good Friday. (We were lucky enough to be interrupted, silently, by one of the grad students, who deposited two chocolate rabbits on the table, and left us). She was writing her Major Paper during the months we met and constantly brought her reading, scholarship and practice together to illustrate her answers to my questions. In reviewing our transcripts, listening to us talking together, searching for Key phrases I hear her Voice again, calm, measured, slightly husky, and often amused (by me? my intensity? I think so!), and note her charming habit of mixing metaphors, giving phrases a real Lee twist as in You know that book um, what's that book, Three Boxes, or Colour my Parachute Purple, those, there's a couple of those books that say, find out what is your passion and learn about it, and write yourself a job description, and go for it, well that's what I did! (LI: 15), 141 and, "I'm a real simmerer, so when I leave something, I think about it" (LI :20), and I smile, again. She makes her own meanings as she says, I think I have a really strong sense of who I am. And I'm not, not threatened very, very easily, and I'm very accepting of my strong points and of my weak points and that's just who I am. (Ll:17) Lee uses emotion and feeling in her narrative, for example, "other worlds swirling around him" (LI :5), and "it was all just whirling, we didn't know what to do" (LI :4), talking with humour and with affect about herself, her work and her family, and those she has come into contact with. She does not use the same phrases consistently, as say, Jane did, but there is a keen use of metaphor, especially to describe her relationships with clients and family, with a use of walking/walking through to paint the picture of connection and working with someone, so I think nursing is a wonderful.I think it's a wonderful profession for giving lots of doors that one can walk through, it's very comprehensive (LI:8), Knowing what route they want to walk through it. and honouring that with them (LI: 16), Let's walk through this and knowing that it's him and I doing that together (LI: 17), I happened to be there to facilitate or walk with them through their own pain, which was a great honour. (LI: 18) In searching for key patterns of behaviour, I find myself drawn back to the calmness of her, the way she lets others spin out of control, observing them, waiting for them to land, and then picks up where she left off. She says she is firm in herself, and that she is, sticking to her path, having control over it, secure in herself, as in, "I just thought, Well, these are the hoops I have to go through" (LI :9), and, We ended up in this really bizarre situation, where it was a very wealthy Englishman who owned and ran this hospital. Like he was the upper class, he hobnobbed with Harold MacMillan, that was his contemporary, he had this huge house, I don't know how big this house was, it was 142 eleven doors leading into it, I counted once, and these rose gardens! With, I think he had about 9 servants, running around..and then you crossed this bridge and you were just in this dirty, Albert Schweitzer type hospital situation...our culture shock was a combination of India, though we responded much more to that, and to upper class English snobbery! Laughs! He thought, a) we were too young to be married, b), my husband was definitely too young to be a doctor. He was probably the youngest person in Canada to get his M.D., 21, but to this guy, you know, we were 'colony* and my husband was called the "Boy Doctor", we were 'Colonials' and we were too young to be married, and he was too young to be a doctor. So we came head on against that type of attitude. And we blew it the first night, because we arrived at dinner, dinner was late, at 8 or 8.30 and we arrived in our jeans, and we were informed that we were to wear a suit and dress up for dinner. So we, we had problems with that and we had problems with the whole mission concept...we were seen as the rebels! (LI:7) But Lee never loses sight of herself, and her purpose. In the course of our three interviews I don't think I ever heard her express real doubt, or confusion about how to deal with situations, people and places, or hegemonies! Lee's preference is for relationship and connection, to be connected with others, and her talks with me revealed that one of her strongest patterns of behaviour is to form connections with others, teachers, students, family, workers-connection, relationship, is vital. So she tells me, When I look back on the educators who were meaningful to me, were the ones who developed a relationship with me, and were very nurturing but also had high expectations...that combination of pushing for the best but in a very caring way. (LI :20) and, "I think connection is a very strong point. If you can't connect, if you don't understand that, then you're not a very good nurse! Because nursing is all about connection" (LI: 10). 143 Lee's Self-Stories How does Lee see herself? Definitely as a Mother and Wife, not sentimentally so, but still, she is very strongly aware of her role in Family. She is multi-dimensional, her own person, but secure too, in her separate identity as Nurse, Teacher, Administrator and, as I know, Friend. She believes in her role as Walker-With, a facilitator and guide for troubled youth, police, other nurses, those in need... "I really have a passion and belief in the work I'm doing, it's not just work, it's, .it's to make a difference in people's lives" (LI: 18). And she is a Learner, I really love learning and I'm an avid reader, so I read, read, read. And I love taking courses, and learning through that. I just think learning is lifelong and I'm only worried that there's not going to be enough years to learn all I want to learn, that is probably the biggest worry I have about learning. There's just so much to learn. And it's always wonderful to read. (LI: 17) Learning is very important. Very important, also, in the way that IVe raised my kids...summertimes was time yes, for holiday and relaxation, but always there had to be some type of learning occurring. That didn't have to be formal, but some way they had to learn something or learn a new skill. We have bookcases all over the place, and my husband, I mean the conversation is often around books or, ideas we've learned, or a new idea, or philosophy or that type of stuff. (Ll:19) Collective Narratives Hearing Lee's narrative I hear Grand Narratives, collective stories of our culture and society. I hear about Power—who has it, who misuses it, abuses it; I hear about Family—the centre of living, the 144 societal unit; I hear about Violence—enacted upon others and ourselves; I hear Education as Liberation-for her, for youth, for those who suffer; I hear faith in Medicine, Lyotard's Big Science; but I also hear Women as Healers, Women as Teachers, Women as Talkers, Women as Equal, Women and Men as Human. Indeed, while Lee calls herself a Feminist, and while her practice is feminine, of all the Women I would call Lee the most Humanist. If there is still room in the 12 types of Feminism (Williams, 1996) for Feminist/Humanist, then Lee will model that one. Narrative Model I feel Lee's Story fits the Epic Mode-she reveals a strong identification with the values of the community, working tirelessly within it to improve and expand the mores, beliefs and ethics she has found there, whether it is in improving the ability of police officers to listen to society's victims, or upholding the strongly feminine ethos of her organisation, Lee is one with her community. And lastly A Story from Lee: The Boy With The Stomach-Ache. The International School-about 1200 kids, there was what 47 different nationalities on campus, the school was really the hub of the ex-pat community-phoned me and asked me if I would be Health Co-ordinator. So, I did that job there for five years. We'd see on the average about 80 kids a day come through our office, they'd either be sick or it soon became known that they could come into the office and talk about their problems or whatever, but it's..I mean we were really the first front-line health workers for the ex-pat community, because a lot of them were really afraid of the Health System out there, when people are sick, in a crisis you want 145 to go back to what is norm, and what feels familiar. So for them to come in and talk to me and for me to help them to work through the Chinese system was so much easier than for them to walk into a Chinese hospital where no-one spoke English and try to figure out what was going on, plus, through my husband, they knew I had a route through the medical system. Which I used often! Families came, mum and kids, I had everything from broken bones to suicide attempts to depression, to kids wanting birth control, wanting to know about sex, to tummy aches and headaches and asthma, and the whole works, basically what a general practitioner would have. So it was really, it was really great, kids drove with me in the morning to school. So it was a real extension of family. And I worked with really neat people. Really wonderful people. And I was on the Advisory Committee for the Elementary School and for the Secondary School, where we would be looking at kids who were having a problem learning, or kids where there were problems and I just kept thinking that we just weren't understanding the problems we were seeing. So I wrote up a Parent Interview and started the whole process, that we would put parents through an interview when kids were referred to our Committee. And I did a number of those interviews and still felt that I wasnt asking the right questions. Like it was just that sense, when you have that sense that there's a gap in your knowledge, and you're not quite sure what it is, but you're not able to get the questions to find that out. We kept hitting this block in our understanding. One boy came in, I'll never forget him, he'd come and sit, there was a bench sitting across from my desk, he'd sit there, and he kept complaining about stomach-ache, stomach-ache, his whole manner was one of depression and ..oh, of hopelessness. I examined him, I even had him admitted to hospital, they ran him through a whole variety of tests, I had his parents come in, talked to them, his parents were with the American Embassy. He was just really struggling, he was in Grade 9,1 remember the English teacher was just so upset with me, because she thought I was giving him an out, and he was missing class because he had this safe place to come to, and she'd come down, she was a real bag, she'd 146 come down and scream and yell at me, and I'd tell her to, listen to her screaming and yelling, cool her down, say, We're working on this. Anyway, he became alcoholic, and he was sent home to treatment in the States, came back and one night he tried to commit suicide by jumping off a building. It was a party, the kids were all at a party, so the kids pulled him back. But anyway, from that it came out that his dad was sexually abusing him. But see, I didn't know that. At that point, I didnt know anything about it, and I didnt know the questions to ask him to find that out for him. And all he could tell me is, I've got a stomachache. So it was those experiences that said to me, I'd better get some more knowledge behind me, so I came back. So when I came back I decided I was going to try to fill in that gap. So I did that by starting studying about families and family violence. (LI:7) 147 Jane Jane: I'll start, I'm Jane and I'm a corporate trainer and program planner and I workfor the Cityof—-(Gl:l) Jane's Life Story Jane is briskly small; in her 30's, she is articulate, cogent and direct in her approach and language. She is always neat and well dressed, her hair blonded and curled, if not coiffed~she told me during our first interview that her mother owns her own business, a hair dressing salon where she gets "free perms and all that!" We did each of our interviews in one of the Education buildings on campus, in a room that was familiar and comfortable to us both. We had had classes there, never in the same one, but we had studied in the room together, meeting with the other four students in our "Comps. group". I think we both felt quite cosy there, furnace churning away, and as a backdrop for our conversation the sounds of a weekend class that we, smugly, agreed we were glad not to have to take. We met on Saturday's, her husband then free to look after their daughter, Jane coming to our sessions without worrying about childcare. She was always on time—of course, she is Jane! Even at 10 o'clock on a precious Saturday morning. She was so diligent, too, as a participant, always "reflecting" as she drove in to meet with me—on her time off, giving up family time for my study—on what she thought we would be talking about. She offered her opinions, usually backed up with some empirical evidence from her life experience, but was always willing to say, Oh, I hadn't thought of that, and consider different viewpoints. Jane takes pride, I have heard her say it, in being task oriented; when we were studying for our exams she would let us all wander and then bring us back to the topic, OK guys! 148 In our interviews she was a model participant, never deviating too far from our main topics, learning and education. I could see how well she would function in the meeting and task oriented position she holds within the Municipal Government. She is not easily swayed, and holds to her beliefs and values. She is quite clear that she is a "trainer" and teacher; she likes the concrete everyday reality of her working world, wanting to ground theory in her experience of practice. She is not averse to the "airy fairy, fuzzy wuzzy" world of human relations, but it's clear that she has a pretty no-nonsense approach to it. If you like, her and Sonia are probably at the end of each other's universe, recognising that each has a world, but not willing to re-locate or colonize that other world. Jane is the second daughter of two European immigrants, her mother is Romanian and her father German; and both come from working class stock. She told me how they came to Canada, a true Old Country story: My mother's sister, who is two years older came first, I guess it was in the '40s, Canada was offering grants to immigrants to come, they were paying their way and then they had to pay back the loan. So my aunt came over, worked as a housemaid and paid off her loan, made enough money to bring my mother over without getting the loan, and they both went to night school to become hairdressers. (She) didn't meet my father until they actually came out here, but they met and they were from similar backgrounds and got married. And my Dad comes from a very large family, I think there was limited opportunities in Germany, he's a cabinet maker by trade, and came out here...the story he always tells is, he had to come across Canada on the train, and in Europe they had all the cowboy and westerns, and he said he didn't sleep at night on the train because he was waiting for the Indians to come out! I can imagine this little kid, he would have been about 19, going to a new country, just floors me! (Jl :6) But I could see Jane doing the same thing.... 149 Her parents valued education tremendously, so for her this meant That you worked really hard, that you do your homework, I mean homework was really important. Both of them because, like my dad was from Germany and my Mum was from Romania, they never went to High School, they stopped. So neither of them are well educated. But education is very important...it was highly valued, my mothers family had a lot of teachers in it, and teaching was an honoured profession in their home village. (Jl:6) They paid for both daughters to attend a private girls school, ("they got a discount for sending two of us, but it was still expensive"), a "British school", she told me, laughing, run and staffed by British emigres along the lines of the English Public School model—lots of games and lots of homework. There was an annual Speech Day, (Jane was thrilled to hear someone else, me, speak her lingo—she told me all about Speech Day with the gusto that comes from being understood) where Jane always won prizes, books not money, because she was bright and worked hard. The academic environment was competitive but not vicious, and she prospered. She never knew, she said, that girls weren't supposed to do Science and Math, so did well at both; in fact, in Grade 11 she wanted to do something in the "area of wildlife management" when she left school. I asked her if she had any negative experiences at school, and she said Not that I can think of off the top of my head. I dated a teacher! Laughs! Well I mean it was in my last year and he was the Math professor or teacher, whatever, he worked in Grade 11 and in Grade 12 he left, and we kept in contact and when I graduated high school we started going out. Yeah, much to the dismay of my parents, because he was 14 years older than I was, but we went together for five years. So.... I went out with the Math teacher, teacher's pet! Laughs.... (Jl:3) Ever practical, she told me later, "I think that was my mum's big fear that I would throw it all away and be a hausfrau somewhere. But that was never part of my plans...." (Jl:19) 150 Like Sonia, then, a relationship with an older man, an educator, was important in setting her early career direction. She moved to the Mainland to study Commerce at university, and although she doesn't think it was due to pressure, she agreed that the fact that she was going out with the Math Teacher at school may have influenced her in that decision, to take Accounting, and adds, I really wanted to get into business, I think I wanted to become an accountant, I think that was kind of what I had in mind, which shocks me now. I was very good with numbers, with Math, so business was a good place to start, I mean I couldn't think of just going to an Arts degree... an Arts degree! What are you going to get? When you're out of it, an Arts Degree? A Commerce degree is a little bit more practical. (Jl: 10) (Jane and Sonia are diametrically opposed here, Jane being all for the practical, the link of school to work, Sonia abhorring it). She went into residence at the university, a real shock after being so socially restrained in the Girls School. She also had to contend with a complete change in how she learned, her educational environment. She talks vividly of going from the safety of small classes, where discussions and questioning was encouraged, where teachers modelled enthusiasm, love for their subject/s and academic excellence, to huge lecture halls and jaded profs.... It was like being dropped into a wholly different world! Because think about coming from a very traditional British School, going into Totem Park Residence...coming from high school where everything was so easy, all of a sudden being put into these great big auditoriums, and being too scared to talk in these auditoriums, and that was my primary way of learning was to talk. That was all of a sudden taken away. My grades were atrocious. I remember taking one class in Hebb Theatre and just, so..you know you're in there with 200 other students, and being blown away by that. Yeah, I just sat there and listened, and it was the first time I had been exposed to a straight lecture format because although in High School they lectured, there 151 was always opportunities to ask questions and there was interaction there, because classes were so small. I had gotten in to (note-taking) which held me in good stead. But there was a lot of stuff that high school doesn't prepare you for, at university. (Jl: 11) But Jane recovered. She met her partner in residence, gave up the Math teacher, and finished her degree in Commerce. She had difficulty finding work in her area of concentration, Organizational Behaviour, but after two years in retail she became an assistant to a trainer in a large government controlled health and safety Board, progressing up to Education officer, responsible for all general training. She learnt about politics, had her baptism of fire, There's a lot of real piddly little stuff when you're organizing corporate training area, and, too, it was really good for my political education! Just because there was so much going on. And it was very easy to step on people's toes and I did it! I had done something that I thought was good customer service, but the supervisor thought was the pits. There was a job posting and a lady who I thought was really good, so I phoned her up, and said, You know, this job is up there, and you might be really good at it, and her supervisor later phoned me and said, How dare you do that? She just yelled and screamed at me, in front of everyone. And I went away and cried...see, there was somebody who had higher status and power, yelling at me. And I was just a young little kid, who didn't have the experience to know that, to tell this person to f off! She was the head of a steno group, all women, and she called them 'girls', which always just really...there was a real status thing, she was a real hard taskmaster and the power issue was really there for her and they were just scared of her. She wasn't that old, in her mid 40's, but just a real bad example of a manager.... There are a lot about. (Jl:23) Here Jane planned programs and delivered training, learning from practice, but thinking, There must be a different way to do this! She spent some years at the Board, learning about politics and how to survive in a bureaucracy, as well as about how to plan programs—or is that 152 program planning? When she came back to university as a part time student, first in a Diploma program then as a Master's student, it was in response to this urge to find the theory that would explain her practice or tell her how to do it right. She said, I wanted to know if I was doing it correctly, was there anything out there that could help me. Am I doing it right? There's got to be a better way. And having talked to program planners now who haven't had any education they kind of say, I always have the feeling that there's something out there, that everybody else is laughing at me, because they know how to do it, and I don't! And when they explain what they do, I say, No, you're doing it right, nobody else has any clue either! So, I mean, I was like them, looking for something, some magical formula or whatever, what I was supposed to be doing. (Jl:25) After leaving her job at the Board, Jane went off to private practice, consulting for a year, expanding both her political power-knowledge and her training knowledge, before moving in to the position she holds now as Educational Program Planner for one of the Municipalities in the Lower Mainland. Starting back into the educational system a year after graduation, (when she swore, NO more school!), Jane has always been involved in learning. "Oh yeah always learning. I don't think you can ever not learn. Those who don't, get left behind" (Jl :27). She is always engaged in some project, Tai Chi, her Master's of Education, learning about plumbing or home renovations, any number of "work sponsored" courses, "which all tend to blur together". Jane has a daughter, now just over two years old, a dog and a husband. She also teaches a course, Training Techniques, at one of the local colleges, and regards herself as a Master Trainer, although modestly, she didn't say it. Her commentaries on her graduate and professional education experiences are therefore filtered through her own accomplishments and practical knowledge; most of all, her ability to see 153 clearly and simply through to the heart of the matter made her words direct, plain and trenchant. Jane has little time for time-wasters, but lots for dreamers. She was married at sunset, on a beach in Hawaii—just as she always dreamed she would be.... The brief life story Jane told me reveals little tragedy, a fairly happy life led well and certainly not lived in the margins of oppression of any kind. Jane strikes me as being content, well satisfied with her life and circumstances, but as our talks dwelt mainly on her educational history, I can only assume this is so. Like Yolanda she is not given to emotional or affective speeches, but she did share with me one sadness. Or, perhaps, a discomfort, at being seen as "different" because of her private school education, at not often having a chance to talk the language she learned there, the discourse of British propriety, or to share the European reverence for schooling or education she learnt from her parents. In one session she talked, quite wistfully, of making contact with another woman at work who had gone to a similar school. At the group session, Jane listened, talked and laughed with the other women. She came from work, smartly dressed in what was called a "costume" in my British girls school, a navy two- piece, and participated in her usual well considered and non-inflammatory way. Lee and Lana and Jane found common ground in being 'trainers' not educators, or teachers, but all three shared a pride in what they do. Sonia's stories seemed to amuse her, and although she may not have experienced her learning as emotionally as Sonia had, she listened to her respectfully. I was pleased that she was able to stay as long as she did, until well past 8 pm, after a long work day and commute. It shows a commitment to my research project that humbles me. Her comments and suggestions on planning learning for women are thoughtful and practical. She said she valued being involved in the " Val study", (Sonia's name for my research has stuck!) and that it had caused her to stop and think, and to examine some of her assumptions, about women, learning and work. 154 Jane's Personal Narratives Reading through her interviews, and listening to her voice, I was able to isolate some Key phrases that revealed more of Jane. She uses Basically, as a marker. It introduces important value judgements, as in So I mean very individual attention and that's basically why my parents started us on that, because they really valued education and that they couldn't see putting us in public school where there was going to be you know, 30 to 36 kids to one teacher, they just didn't think that would work. (Jl:l) Also, That is/ was really interesting, usually sums up her attitude to life's struggles. I got extremely good grades, pretty much, Grade 4 I almost flunked but everything else I was usually at the top of my class, with very little effort. My sister had to work like a dog, she is four years older and she had to work like a dog to get anywhere. So it was really interesting. (Jl :4) Like an equal is the highest praise, reserved for the best way for others to treat her, especially in education. Similarly, a real, personal level indicates the best, it's not good enough unless it's at this level, and she uses this phrase to refer to work, teaching, family, or relationships- -all are best at the personal, she really brought me along and fostered my interest in training, corporate training. She was good, and again, she treated me more like an equal, we did a lot of discussion over ideas and stuff like that, we brought another trainer on, and she also was very much like us, very talky. We did a lot of just sitting around talking about what we were going to do, and concepts and how best to train people. (Jl:21) 155 Also marking approbation is really good, used for a very positive and satisfied life experience so far, this phrase tends to book-end those experiences; this is used too with, Again. which also introduces a really important belief, She was a real visionary, she had a lot of really good ideas, she is a real future oriented kind of person, but cannot handle the day to day stuff. Just doesn't do it, a lousy manager in that respect, very good at marketing and getting things up and going. She was fired. Yeah, interesting. (Jl:23) and, I had an excellent instructor, she was great. Just again her style and the modeL that was my first exposure to a model, and I did very well in the class and it made lots of sense, and I thought that was kind of where I wanted to go. (Jl :24) In terms of Key patterns of behaviour, she remarks If I had to do it again. I'd do it the same way. I worked while I went to school part time, and my last year of undergrad I had three jobs while I was going to school, three part-time jobs. Which actually if I had to do it again. I would advise anybody to do it that way because it gives you a good reality check. (Jl: 17) She has a very positive sense of self, with strong, assertive reactions to adversity and difficulty. There is very little self doubt of decisions, or directions taken. When she has rejected an option, for good reason, usually, she will say calmly, It didn't appeal. V: Did your parents come to your graduation? J: I didn't go. I didn't want to. I don't know, it didn't appeal to me. ceremony kind of thing. I like smaller more intimate settings and the idea of being in with 59....went to my sister's graduation from college and you see her go across the stage, and that's all you see, and meanwhile you sit there for the whole time, didn't appeal to me. to go. (Jl :31) 156 She seems to weigh up options, make a careful decision, with little doubt, and is quite capable of resisting pressure from authority or peers or family if she thinks it's not right, and she dismisses it with the phrase, It didn't appeal. There is usually little sentimentality to her actions or pronouncements, as in her terse statement about the Math teacher, "He asked me to marry him, but I had other plans". And persistence is a constant reaction—she doesn't give up, keeps on trying, for a job, promotion, Calculus at University, and I'll bet, those books that were awarded at Speech Day. She says she doesn't care for ceremonies, not telling her family about her wedding plans, and not wanting to waste time sitting through graduations. A very no-nonsense attitude! Little Narratives of Self I would have to say Jane's private Narratives cast her as the Good Girl, (one I envy), and the Good Student. I know, too, she is an Excellent Worker, not one of the Fuzzy Wuzzies, although she took those options at University, and has little time probably for slackers of any kind. In her own words I think she would say: "If you work hard you don't get fired, you win prizes too, as Top of the Class". "There are good managers and bad managers, life is Balanced". "Education is to be tremendously valued". "Work hard. It pays off. Be a Good Employee". And a little hesitantly, "I am Different, because of where I went to school, and because of my European cultural differences". "I value good Management—of life, work, play, family". "Learn. Those who don't, get left behind". 157 Intersection with Collective Narratives Where her narratives meet the collective's, I hear a nod to the discourse of derision from the New Right, "Human resources is airy fairy, fuzzy wuzzy, not real work" Is it maybe Women's Work? Not a total agreement, room for thought, maybe? Or a small apology, for liking the fuzzy wuzzy? I also hear a Feminism close to the Liberal Feminist strain—give them an equal chance and opportunity, women are no different from men. Once possibly, said strongly, but not so sure now, with a few years lived experience to draw on, so "We're all Human, Gender doesn't really come into it." Or does it? But most importantly, for Jane, "Life is ok". Narrative model Jane's narrative model fits the Epic most closely. She subscribes to her community's values, and very strongly, with ethical and moral guidelines firmly in place in her own practice and life. Here is a story of Jane learning.... A Story From Jane: Mrs. Santa Claus. Prof X, who taught OB, again, he brought in really interesting concepts; it was the first time I had been exposed that we had to write a diary about what we were learning and he read it. A journal, you know. Oh yeah! In commerce that is really airy fairy, but we were the fuzzy wuzzy option, we were called the fuzzy wuzzy option, or the airy fairies, we were the most touchy feely of the whole Commerce faculty. And we had that reputation of being real people oriented and 158 that sort of thing. One of my papers, the final paper for his class, we could basically do it any way we wanted. We could! And because it ended at Christmas term, I wrote a Christmas story on a Santa Claus and how he couldn't organise his organisation any more, and Mrs Claus sorted him out. She got a whole bunch of fake Santa Clauses so he wouldn't have to visit every store, he could just concentrate on what he needed to concentrate on, and I remember it was great, I did it up in about two nights, but I brought in a whole bunch of different organisational concepts and the whole bit, and he loved it! I got an A+ on it! One of the comments on it, he said, Interesting way of bringing in feminism with Mrs Claus sorting it all out. I don't think I was consciously feminist at that point, but.... I think because I came from a girls school there was never any time where it was said girls couldn't do science, girls couldn't do anything, because we all did it. And some people were a lot better than others, and there were some women that couldn't do it, but there were some people that excelled at it, so it was never, there was never anything that women couldn't do. That women were supposed to be good at Arts and English and those sort of things...I mean I think I had an awareness from media and stuff like that, but my schooling was, "No you could do it1 and you could see people doing it, so.... The majority of my teachers were women. I think that has really held me in good stead. And what's interesting is that I went into the more touchy feely, the more feminine side of Commerce. And I've always wondered about that, and then going into teaching, again, more of feminine type of occupation. You know..I always wonder about those sort of things.... So there was Prof X...and it's only in re-reading my journal now that I really understood, like we were confused about some of his teaching style, but it's only now as I re-read some of the stuff I did for him—the amount of learning, the group learning, the group interaction! He was teaching about Politics, Organizational Politics, and group interactions and stuff like that, and I mean we went all the way through it in our class. Because we had little political um, because 159 there was a couple of students that everybody couldn't stand, so all that sort of stuff, and just the political interaction, and reading my journal now, is like, Wow, did I ever learn a lot! (Jl: 15) 160 Lana Lana: I can go next, my name is Lana and I'm an employee health and safety consultant and I work for an organisation that provides health and safety prevention services to 180 health care facilities in the province, so I travel around and deal primarily with health care workers in a variety of different settings, including acute care, long term care and home care and of that as you can anticipate the majority of them are women and so I'm dealing with a lot of health and safety issues. So that's me. (Gl:l) Lana's Life Story "I was born over there", she says, pointing out the window at the Hospital that, even here, a dozen floors up, dominates the view from the south side of her office. It is our first interview; I have come to Lana's office at work, right at 4:30 when everyone finishes for the day, a place where we can talk quietly together and, because Lana is considerate of the fact that I don't have a car, it is so close to where I live. On the way in I had admired the brand new building, the understated opulence of this lofty territory, a whole floor in the building devoted to the province wide private health organisation where Lana has worked for just over three years. We had first met in the qualifying course for entry to the Master's program, and I had been so impressed by her enthusiasm for her new job; the enthusiasm is still there, but tempered by experience, dimmed a little by the conflicting roles she has been called on to play in her career. I had also been impressed (and still am) by her own elegance, always so well dressed; she reminds me a bit of the Duchess of Windsor-rich and thin! Lana tells me later that her lean-ness has been a trial to her, "I was terribly thin, really underdeveloped, not popular" at school, but I'd like to tell her she could model for Chanel. She wears, not Chanel, but lovely clothes, matching 161 separates, suits, cashmere-like coats—even in casual clothes she is elegant, neat and yet the clothes don't quite fit the energy bristling below the calm surface.... Models are generally more laid back. And I never spoke to her, in our sessions or follow-up calls, when she wasn't operating at a high energy level. She is active, walking, running and even horse-back riding when she can; in her early 40's she is a little sad that "you don't see any children running about" but she and her husband have a country home and a city condominium and a "pretty good lifestyle" she says. Lana talks a mile a minute, very bodily, arms waving, always excited, never usually finishes a sentence because there is always something more interesting to be said in the next one. It gives a breathless quality to her transcripts, and leaves me with an image of a mind and intellect perhaps still untapped, one where ideas and thoughts, comments and notions are rushing up and out, eager to have their say. I'd bet that she is a dynamic instructor, and she alludes to that, in one of our interviews. She tells me that her life has been entwined with the Hospital all her life, from her birth, through her childhood, on to her early t