Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Teaching & Learning


The purpose of this study was to describe the teaching and learning experience in an introductory Women Studies course. It was of specific interest to explore how people acquire and transmit counter-hegemonic information and to describe their perspective regarding the dynamics of change.

Using a conceptual framework of education, anthropology, and feminism, a qualitative research study was conducted over a four-month period. The context of the study was a course in Women Studies. The participants involved in the study included the course instructor and five older-than-average undergraduate students enrolled in the course. Specific methods used were participant observation and audio-taped interviews with the six participants.

Three questions emerged from this study: Wrhat accounted for change? How did change occur? How did change affect the lives of participants? Data were organized into each of three categories (i.e., Classroom Dynamics, the Process of Change, and Women Studies and Beyond) to answer three questions. The data patterns or conclusions drawn were as follows:

1. The instructor of the Women Studies course utilized pedagogical techniques which facilitated classroom dynamics that could nurture the development of change.

2. Student transformation was an incremental process marked by transition points or stages. These stages were awareness, anger, voice, power, and before and after.

3. Students in this Women Studies course changed in terms of their feelings, thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors. These changes empowered them to address private and public concerns.