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Blending In: Reconciling Feminist Pedagogy and Distance Education across Cultures

Gender and Education Volume 29, Number 7, ISSN 0954-0253


Distance education's mandate to expand outreach to those with limited access to higher education makes it a particularly welcome mode for non-traditional women learners. Feminist pedagogy, which has tended to privilege the classroom space in the learning experience, has stopped short of a wholehearted acceptance of distance education which relies heavily on self-study and has become increasingly defined by technology aided learning in recent years. Despite this conflicted relationship, their shared democratising mandate and learner-centric approaches have made it possible to envision a rapprochement between the two. This has been aided by a revised understanding of "distance," a dislodging of real/virtual dichotomies and an exploration of "hybrid" spaces in the interest of feminist goals. After mapping these developments on an international canvas, I explore a similar reconciliation in the context of developing countries, specifically India. Here, I argue that despite the significance of democratisation, challenges posed by consumerist trends in mass-based open education call for suitable strategies, including a re-adaptation of the "hybrid." Using the example of a "blended approach" programme, I attempt to show how contextualised innovations may help to sustain the partnership between feminist pedagogy and Open & Distance Learning. It is hoped that such an illustration, despite its limitations and specificity, may provoke other experimentations in diverse socio-cultural contexts.


Aneja, A. (2017). Blending In: Reconciling Feminist Pedagogy and Distance Education across Cultures. Gender and Education, 29(7), 850-868. Retrieved March 27, 2023 from .

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