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Title: Difference and belonging : learning from women studying the built environment
Author: Morton, Patricia May
ISNI:       0000 0004 2691 5604
Awarding Body: Sheffield Hallam University
Current Institution: Sheffield Hallam University
Date of Award: 2010
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The research explores the lived experiences of a small number of women students of different ages and backgrounds studying the built environment at one 'new' university over a number of years. Difference and belonging became key themes in the research. The researcher has adopted a feminist and collaborative approach according to 'new paradigm' (Reason and Rowan,1981) research in order to include the participants as partners rather than subjects. Lecturers involved in teaching built environment subject areas are also partners in the research. The literature draws on three general themes: gender and the experience of women as learners; culture and higher education; and women in the SET and built environment sectors. Whilst gender is at the heart of this research, 'race', class and age have been found to be significant aspects of identity that intersect to influence women in built environment higher education. Intersectionality at the differences between women and their collective difference as women in male dominated environment were found to be significant within their learning experience. The complexities of the culture and sub-cultures within the university were found to contribute both positive and negative aspects to the learning experience of the different women. While the research found a number of features of the learning experience that could be improved, the natural association of abstract, impersonal teaching and 'masculine' subjects with a 'masculine' culture was challenged by the pedagogical approaches to teaching and learning. The results indicate a need to guard against a fixed view of masculine and feminine attributes that may reinforce existing stereotypes. The positive impact that individual lecturers have on the learning experience of women is an encouraging find. The results provide a challenge to some of the overwhelming negative experiences described by women in male dominated subject areas. The research provides encouragement that positive interventions can help women to belong in a new university built environment community.
Supervisor: Povey, Hilary Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available