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Women's Ways of Knowing: The Development of Self, Voice, and Mind

4.03  ·  Rating Details  ·  511 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
Despite the progress of the women’s movement, many women still feel silenced in their families and schools. This moving and insightful bestseller, based on in-depth interviews with 135 women, explains why they feel this way. Updated with a new preface exploring how the authors’ collaboration and research developed, this tenth anniversary edition addresses many of the quest ...more
Paperback, 10th Anniversary Edition, 288 pages
Published January 9th 1997 by Basic Books (first published 1986)
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Aug 17, 2010 Nonsequiteuse rated it it was amazing
When I started this review, I originally wrote:

I think every woman should . . .

But, since I've read this book, I start this review:

Every woman should read this book. It goes much deeper than this, but at a basic level, once you've read this, you will think twice before you end a sentence that is a statement of fact with a question mark, and before you qualify anything you say with I think, or maybe, or this is just my opinion . . .

Language is our primary tool for interacting with the world. Wo
Apr 12, 2014 Lorie rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: All women and all men interested in understanding all women.
Recommended to Lorie by: It was required reading in grad school.
This book, by validating and providing a nomenclature for everything I unconsciously already knew about myself, CHANGED MY LIFE.
Cassandra Cantrell
Jan 02, 2015 Cassandra Cantrell rated it really liked it
This book is a beautiful book for women in that it confirms that females learning processes are different than males. The authors even describe what the learning "looks like" as well as the procedural stages and what happens if the learning development is arrested for any reason. I only gave the the book 4 & 1/2 stars instead of 5 because it is academically written. The academic reach of the book puts the information out of reach for the "silent" women and for "received" learners--to use the ...more
Jun 08, 2008 Meen rated it liked it
Recommended to Meen by: Annmarie Guzy
The very first Gender Studies class I took was Gender in Comp & Rhetoric course, and this was one of the texts we used. As with everything we read that semester, I loved it just because it had me questioning every little thing we take forgranted about our lives and selves. However, even then the book felt very elitist. I'll never forget how offended I felt (though I couldn't articulate it at the time) at the image of these upper-middle-class, fabulously well-educated women sitting on the flo ...more
Alex Houseknecht
Mar 22, 2016 Alex Houseknecht rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
This is an excellent epistemological investigation that focuses on the experiences of women in order to decolonize the male-dominated field of epistemological theories. The authors take us through five major stages of development, including silence, received knowledge, subjective knowledge, procedural knowledge, and constructed knowledge. After journeying through these developmental stages, we see the implications for family life and education.

I connected with the idea of the teacher as a midwif
Oct 03, 2007 Emily rated it liked it
This book was one of several optional books listed for one of my graduate classes (social and emotional development). I chose to read a different book for the class, but bought this one too because it sounded interesting. I found time to read it this summer. It describes the authors' phenomenological study conducted in the late 70s that examines the ways in which women conceive the self, their voice and their thinking/learning. It compares this to male ways of knowing. The authors contend that w ...more
Apr 12, 2011 Lily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Drawn from the voices of women of varied backgrounds, Women's Ways of Knowing reveals the unique perspectives from which women view reality and draw conclusions about truth, knowledge, and authority. An intellectual and political Our Bodies, Ourselves, this book has had significant impact on debates about learning and gender, and will continue to have resonance throughout the fields of education and psychology for years to come." From the Goodreads description.

A book I have given to young women
Jan 10, 2009 Monica rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just re-read this after about ten plus years. It is always interesting to revisit a text that changes you. The first part was still very powerful for me- especially as my perspective has changed from grad student to professor. I still feel that the categorization is too linear - I think they should be perceived as contextual.
The second half was difficult to read- it felt to black and white and from a dominant culture perspective.
I still think, even with my criticisms, that this book is vital
May 28, 2011 Nancy rated it liked it
very academic.. but readable none the less. it's about maturity of thought/identity as a thinker and how we absorb and integrate knowledge and other perspectives.

i really *want* to believe that women and men are the same for some reason. but i keep running into things that challenge that idea :) this is one of them. although i get the impression they started out *looking* for differences. also, i'm probably 2 generations away from the authors and have trouble thinking of women not having the sa
Mar 22, 2010 Marisa rated it it was amazing
I read this book last year for a class but what really impressed me about this book is that the authors clearly and distinctly discus that there is a difference in how men learn and how women learn. In teaching or training disciplines it should be a must read as this really was a great way to identify or self-discover why I learn the way I do and how family, society and norms influence gender based learning. Great read.
Dec 10, 2007 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: increase awareness
This book opened my eyes to different learning and behavioral tendencies in women or perhaps between women and between men/women. It is a must read for increasing awareness or improving one's own learning approach. Its an easy read with a simple structure addressing challenging concepts such as linguistics, language, self-esteem, societal roles, discreet and ever present moral pressures.
Amelia Strydom
May 19, 2013 Amelia Strydom rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-loved-books
Been wanting to read this oldie but goodie for years. Finally bought it on Kindle and spent all weekend devouring it. What a wonderful, insightful book. Makes me understand myself and my own history of learning SO much better. Wish I hadn't waited so long, this book really deepens my understanding of 'teaching' and creating a supportive learning environment, especially for women.
Jan 17, 2012 Wendy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting read based on studies done on women and how their upbringing, education etc influences the style of "knowing" they adopt and come to value also how it can be changed over the years with support, awareness and acceptance as individuals.
While it was written many years ago still somethings dont change even with time regarding womens issues.
David Briant
Nov 03, 2014 David Briant rated it it was amazing
Serious psychology. Biblical in stature. Essential for any man who wants to understand and connect with women.
Oct 20, 2011 Olivia rated it did not like it
Shelves: college
Disliked mainly because the women interviewed were not a good representation of women in general. These days women are more independent, have a voice and stand up for themselves; none of which was portrayed in the book. It took all of me not to throw it across the room.
Feb 29, 2008 Grace rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: midwives, doulas, childbirth educators, pregnant woman
a good book for both men and women to read. important lessons for trusting yourself as a woman to make decisions from the gut.
a prerequisite for a class i took, probably wouldn't have picked it up otherwise but i'm glad i did.
Sep 21, 2009 Eric rated it really liked it
The explanations on how woman come to know what they know, which are found in this book, do not simply seem to apply to just woman. The concepts presented here are rather universal.
Larry Gallagher
Jul 27, 2011 Larry Gallagher rated it it was amazing
A cornerstone of my dissertation work and lifelong interest - helping people wean from authority, pass through relativism, and learn to embrace both evidence and uncertainty.
May 08, 2013 Marilyn rated it really liked it
This book was profound to me in 1987 as I finished graduate school and entered a career. It seemed dated when I reread it in 2012, but I have grown and ideas have evolved.
Aug 15, 2009 Ebony rated it really liked it
I read about myself all throughout this book. it was excellent. Good call, Lisa. It's a great treatise on how women come to think about being thinkers.
Oct 07, 2007 Elyssa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: feminism
When this book first came out, I read this for a college class and I related to the authors' overview of women's development because it related to my own.
Aug 21, 2012 Joyce rated it really liked it
This book had a profound impact on me in college.

I would like to reread it to see how it holds up 20 years later and 20 years older.
May 29, 2010 Susan rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Research & theories on the development of knowledge in women, presenting important alternatives to theories created by studying only males.
Sep 05, 2013 J. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was assigned reading back in circa 92 for a graduate Political Psychology Course. Was an interesting and fun read.
Jo Dagustun
Feb 10, 2011 Jo Dagustun rated it really liked it
Great book - a real classic on learning/personal development that deserves to be read by all educators/ self-educators.
Jun 08, 2012 Anne rated it liked it
This book was useful in finding a way to define the epistemology of women's traditional education.
Sep 07, 2010 Mariana rated it really liked it
This is an important book on how women learn and grow.
May 27, 2011 Krystal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A book women should read, especially female educators.
Sep 10, 2009 Fran rated it it was amazing
Just getting into it....research.
Nojood Alsudairi
Dec 28, 2007 Nojood Alsudairi rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Both men and women
Shelves: non-fiction
Woman, you need to read this book!
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