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   Course Title    Women in Higher Education
Lecturer    Victor Korsunov
Institution    Sakhalin State University
Country    Russia


"Women in Higher Education" is an interdisciplinary course program including Sociology, History of Education, Psychology. The aim of this course is to draw attention to and to acquaint students with women's experiences, the significance of gender in Higher Education and Teacher Education in Russia (education is treated as part of culture).

Thus the objectives of the course are: to acquire knowledge about women's higher education in Russia in different periods of Russia's history on the basis of comparative education approach; to examine the present-day situation in Russia more thoroughly; to investigate the role and status of women in higher education in Sakhalin.

The course "Women in Higher Education" is a very important part of the whole system of the students' psychological-pedagogical training at teacher training institutions. New curricula of these higher education institutions provide a number of pedagogical and psychological disciplines, including elective courses. The course under consideration is addressed to senior students of the Institute of Education who have learnt such core subjects as Philosophy, Sociology, History, Pedagogy and Psychology. According to new standards of higher education in the Institute of Education of Sakhalin State University they offer undergraduate programs in education (bachelor's degree) with women's and gender studies courses as electives included. Gender Studies is a rapidly developing field, concerned with the roles and statuses of women and men in society. Taking into account the overwhelming female majority of students at this Department it sounds like a good idea to offer them an exciting opportunity to study concepts and issues of gender. In this case our students will develop a broad knowledge and skill-base which makes them a valuable asset to potentially any organization, and provides them with a sound platform from which to launch their chosen careers. Besides, this course can be offered for students studying English as major or second language: knowledge of English permits them to have access to Internet and English language literature.

Structure of the Course

In full accordance with existing practice and Russian higher education standards the structure of the course is as following: lectures (14 academic hours) plus seminars (6 academic hours)

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Lecture topics

Lectures

(academic hours)

Seminars (academic hours)

1

Introduction. Women’s and gender studies in modern society

2

 

2

History of women’s higher education in Russia – part 1 (X1X century – 1917)

2

 

3

History of women’s higher education in the Soviet Union - part 2(1917 – 1992)

2

2

4

Contemporary women’s and gender issues in Russian higher education

2

2

5

Inequality of educational opportunity for women in Russia and Western countries (comparative approach)

2

 

6

A brief history of women’s higher education in Sakhalin (since 1945)

2

 

7

Sociological aspects of women’s higher education in Sakhalin

2

2


Course content

At first this course provides a brief story of women's higher education in Russia in different periods of Russia's history on the basis of comparative-pedagogical approach: the X1X-th century and the beginning of XX-th century (first period); the second period corresponds to Soviet Russia history (1917 - 1992); the third period lasts from 1992 till present days. Women's higher education issues in Sakhalin are also included in the program (post-war period - since 1945). The author of the course examines social, economic and ethnohistoric background of limitations and inequality of educational opportunity for women in Russia and the USSR; positive changes and tendencies in women's higher education during last years, an increase of women's role in higher education (especially in teacher education) are also on the agenda; the author points out the existing new camouflaged forms of inequality.

Secondly this course examines the present-day situation in Russia more thoroughly. Different issues of women's higher education in Russia are discussed from the point of view political correctness theory, multicultural education; these theories have obtained recognition or comprehension among Russian scholars lately. On the one hand this course shows the distinctive contributions of women to Russian higher education, especially teacher education. But on the other hand according to cultural frame of reference of proponents of these theories equality of higher education opportunity for women remains an important social and pedagogical problem in modern Russia that can be compared with ethnic and religious minorities problems, women's and gender problems in many developed countries. Therefore it's quite natural for students to get to know the experience of other countries, the results of research of women higher education and gender studies in most advanced countries of the West. The course reveals some results of gender studies in Sakhalin. Sociology research of key issues such as women's historical and contemporary participation in higher educational institutions activities, in educational administration will lead students to gender theory, will promote understanding of such notions as gender, gender roles and prejudice and gender problems in education in Sakhalin. The course program envisages students' participation in research work in order not only to learn gender theory but to prepare materials for term paper or degree thesis. They are to investigate attitude of Sakhalin residents towards role and status of women in higher education; they are to understand how women, despite obstacles, have made a unique contribution into establishing and development of higher education system in our country.

Readings

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