By Helen Jefferson Lenskyj

This can be a booklet of reports approximately schooling and women's lives--the author's and her mother's. it truly is biography and autobiography written as social historical past. within the first part, Dr. Lenskyj provides the historical past for her mother's narrative, starting in 1832 while her grandfather arrived in Sydney. Australia, as a convict. She examines her personal girlhood reports within the Nineteen Fifties as a baby of operating type mom and dad who was once an interloper in a personal ladies' tuition. utilizing assets from Australian women's historical past, women's reports, and important social idea, she situates the 2 tales within the broader, Australian socio-cultural context of 1900 to 1960. The narrative then strikes to the Canadian academic context, documenting the interventions of moms all for school-community activism within the Nineteen Sixties and Nineteen Seventies within the Toronto Board of schooling, and the author's personal reviews in a school-community council. the writer additionally examines lesbian and homosexual activism geared toward academic switch within the Nineteen Eighties and Nineties, together with her personal position at the writing workforce that ready curriculum directions on homophobia and sexual orientations for Toronto academics. ultimately, Dr. Lenskyj displays on her studies given that 1986 as an overtly lesbian professor on the Ontario Institute for experiences in schooling, college of Toronto, and discusses advancements in anti-oppression instructing within the college within the Nineteen Nineties.

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Gill presented an insightful analysis of the memories and feelings expressed by the women in her study. She reported that, although these well-educated women were now in their s, they had not developed a class analysis of their own schooling, or of the educational system in general. Instead, they focused on individual  A Lot to Learn 1/12/05 3:00 PM Page 45 “A P L A C E O F S O U N D D I S C I P L I N E ” experiences and perceptions of the school as a meritocracy. She summarized their reflections as follows: ...

Typical of the era, both the curriculum and the teachers who presented it were silent on the social and emotional aspects of human sexuality, although various myths and facts circulated among my peers. Having heard no message to the contrary, I reached adolescence believing that marriage was a choice, not a destiny, and I didn’t view childless women as incomplete or unfulfilled. Numerous family friends—women whom I called “Auntie”—were married and childless, or unmarried, childless, and living with family or friends.

Unfamiliar with post-secondary education and professional careers for women, neither parent encouraged me in that direction. ” She was not opposed to further education or careers for women; rather, the university was outside her frame of reference until I began undergraduate studies at age , and I was the  A Lot to Learn 1/12/05 3:00 PM Page 39 “. . A B A D S TA R T I N M Y L I F E B U T A H A P P Y E N D I N G ” only member of my family on my mother’s side to complete a doctorate. ” Regarding human reproduction, my mother said very little except to explain menstrual periods and to observe, in passing, that “men can be brutes,” leaving the rest to my imagination.

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