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How women learn?

Women have a distinctive way of acquiring and constructing knowledge. Women’s ways begins in the private world of their own expressive, centered self then moves on to a personal experience of connecting with other women from stories that grows out of normal conversation emerging from the practice of women listening to women emphatically over time. This relates to the structure of their minds and their way of thinking using language as their only tool for soliciting people’s thoughts towards articulation of these ongoing exchanges in their own terms.

The centrality of the relationship was then developed where stories of women’s lives were being told and listened. With women, relationship comes naturally by doing what they had always done exhibiting their way of knowing reality and drawing conclusions about truth, knowledge, and authority. Women finds the issues of reconnecting essential for reflecting power, control and self determination in gathering support from each other to seeking change for themselves and others. (Olson & Hirsch 81).

Belenky in Women Ways of Knowing identified five ways of how women learned in comparison to men in their individual characteristic way of processing information and feeling as follows: silence, received knowledge, subjective knowledge, procedural knowledge, and constructed knowledge. Silence relates to voice and the attitude of accepting the judgment of authority like a teacher in a classroom for what is true. Received knowledge connotes the capacity of accepting knowledge from external sources while subjective knowledge generates knowledge from one’s experienced and is not dependent from an external source.

Procedural knowledge is the ability of women to apply knowledge. There is a noted gender difference in this perspective for men seem to favor logic and argumentation in evaluating validity while women used connective knowing like using their own experiences and the experience and knowledge of others in proving the validity of claims. However in constructed knowledge it reflects women’s ability to create knowledge. (Belenky et al 1997). This tells us a typology of how women learned and relate to knowledge.

The emphasis is on the role of relationships and how people communicated through talk that drew conclusion on women’s learning without conducting comparable research on men. Women’s inferiority was somehow based on the ways of moral reasoning where they tend to talk more about responsibility and connections and argues more about moral dilemmas. Women reasons differently from men and we need to discover the strength of women ways in approaching problems. They need to develop their own voices and sense of authority to effectively communicate what they think from the sphere of silence and received knowledge.

Women have the inclination to think contextually and holistically from legendary intuition pulling together details from each element and interaction in context of sight, speech and emotions being more focus and detail oriented than men. To make things simpler, men are said to be an analyst in taking things apart and women to be the synthesizers in putting things together. The difference in orientation extends to women being more person-oriented as seen in the primary standpoint in getting together and understanding what women value.

Women helped each other in identifying problems and handling challenges that work on their strength perspective to the nature of knowledge and truth. It reflects that how and what people learned are shaped with the environmental context of whom and where they learn. This is a gender based analyses of learning that tended to establish their own regimes of truth.


Olson, Gary & Hirsch, Elizabeth. Women writing culture. SUNY Press. 1995. pp. 81-84. Belenky, Mary Field, et al. Women’s ways of knowing: the development of self, voice, and mind. New York: Basic Books, 1997.

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