Philosophy in Schools: Can Early Exposure Help Solve Philosophy's Gender Problem?

Hypatia 31 (2):275-292 (2016)
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In this article, I explore a new reason in favor of precollegiate philosophy: It could help narrow the persistent gender disparity within the discipline. I catalog some of the most widely endorsed explanations for the underrepresentation of women in philosophy and argue that, on each hypothesized explanation, precollegiate philosophy instruction could help improve our discipline's gender balance. Explanations I consider include stereotype threat, gendered philosophical intuitions, inhospitable disciplinary environment, lack of same-sex role models for women students in philosophy, and conflicting “schemas” for philosophy and femininity. I argue that, insofar as some combination of these hypothesized explanations accounts for some portion of the underrepresentation of women in philosophy, those of us concerned to make things better have reason to participate in and promote efforts to share philosophy with younger students.



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Gina Schouten
Harvard University

References found in this work

Thinking in Education.Matthew Lipman - 1992 - British Journal of Educational Studies 40 (2):187-189.
Thinking in Education.Matthew Lipman - 2003 - British Journal of Educational Studies 51 (3):303-305.

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