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Edited by Kathryn Scantlebury, Jane Butler Kahle and Sonya N. Martin

Women in science education are placed in a juxtaposition of gender roles and gendered career roles. Using auto/biography and auto/ethnography, this book examines the challenges and choices of academic women in science education and how those challenges have changed, or remained consistent, since women have become a presence in science education. The book’s contributors span a temporal and spatial continuum and focus on how a variety of issues relate to the paradoxes for academic women in science education. Science is characterized as a masculine endeavor, while teaching is described as “women’s true profession”. Thus, female academics involved in science education are positioned in two paradoxes. First, as teachers they are involved in a feminized profession. However, within that profession, women faculty in science education work in a discipline viewed as a masculine enterprise. Further, these women work in educational institutions that have higher status and prestige than their sisters in elementary, middle or high schools. Second, female professors are “bearded mothers”. Women who have engaged in science education value rationality and logic and assume authority as participants in academe. The use of logic, the acceptance of authority and the assumption of power are masculine gender-stereotyped characteristics. This situation places women in a paradox, because others, including peers and students, expect them to display stereotypic female gender dispositions, such as mothering/nurturing, sacrificing their needs for others, and a commitment to the institution.
The topics include: discussing how their engagement with science impacted their career trajectories and re-direction from science to science education, the relationships of cultural and racial factors on career trajectories, and the dialectical relationship between women’s private|public lives and their agency (collective and individual) in the academy and its enactment within academic fields. The book documents the lives and careers of academic women in science education from the United States, Australia, the Caribbean, United Kingdom, and Europe.

Zakia Belhachmi

From a rationale of multiculturalism and a based on systemic approach grounded in the Arab-Islamic tradition, this book integrates history, education, science, and feminism to understand the implications of culture in social change, cultural identity, and cultural exchange. Dr. Belhachmi’s praxis maintains the relationship between socio-political movements, and their corollary scientific movements to explain women’s role in social change of the Arab-Islamic world; thus linking the region’s past and the present in a historical continuum. In one masterful move, she immediately engages into a discovery -journey of the 13 century old Arab-Islamic socio-cultural and intellectual history; thus exploring the independent Arab-Islamic Worldview of development, modernism, science, education, and discusses the corollary socio-political and reform movements that integrated women in the region’s governance over time. Thus, she not only highlights women’s involvement in social change as a recurrent cyclical phenomenon in the region, but also chronicles the women-led independent 120 years of Arab-Islamic feminist science.
Above all, Dr. Belhachmi offers an innovative operational three-levelled model of analysis of education and feminist practice that reconciles particularism and universalism, and yields to systemic analyses of women in education cross-culturally. In doing so, the book shifts focus from the “woman’s question” into the more radical issues of “women’s science” in the Arab-Islamic culture; illustrating with the work of al-Sa'dawi (Egypt) and Mernissi (Morocco). As such this study is both a groundbreaking epistemological study on the role Arab-Muslim women and social change over time, and an essential textbook on women in contemporary Arab-Islamic education, and social sciences.
In a tour de force, Dr. Belhachmi reclaims Arab-Islamic feminist scientific legacy as organic to the region’s institutional memory and its collective cultural reference, while restoring to Arab-Muslim women feminists; including herself, their epistemic space within the contemporary multi-discursive practice/space of international feminism.; thus offering us a timely pioneering book on Arab-Islamic feminist epistemology. Equally, she provides us with a new scientific framework for self-representation and cultural exchange much needed both in international education and “a new feminist international order.”
In brief, this is an original scholarly work that provides us with creative empowerment methods, qualitative methodologies and holistic conceptual tools; thus enabling us to re-think our “rapport to knowledge” and the place of knowledge itself and how its related research strategies can move us beyond the pitfalls of cultural relativism and scientism. As such, this is an invaluable addition to the literature on the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) that will benefit the layman tremendously; and a must reference for specialists and students alike.

On the Outskirts of Engineering

Learning Identity, Gender, and Power via Engineering Practice

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Karen L. Tonso

On the Outskirts of Engineering: Learning Identity, Gender, and Power via Engineering Practice falls at the intersection of research about women in sites of technical practice and ethnographic studies of learning in communities of practice. Grounded in long-term participation on student teams completing real-world projects for industry and government clients, Outskirts provides an insider look at forms of engineering practice—the cultural production of engineer identity, of the ways that gender is made real in such sites of practice, and of power relations that emerge in response to enculturated practices that organize everyday life. Outskirts contributes to understanding cultural obduracy and the movement of some men and most women to the outskirts of engineering.