Loyola University Maryland

Emerging Scholars

Natalie Griffin, Robert Helfenbein, Ph.D.

Women in Curricula

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The void of female perspective within high school English curricula has been a reality since the founding of the educational system. The absence of women in the curriculum has a hugely negative influence on students, particularly females. The exclusion of female narrative is a null curriculum, which reinforces hidden curriculum that is oppressive. For education to be truly equal and equitable, we must apply a transformative feminist approach to curricula. This paper delineates how this is relevant within a high school English curriculum. The definition of language arts is revealed to be one that emphasizes storytelling. What immediately follows is a discussion of how the neglect of female voices impacts students destructively. The power of education that is inclusive of all perspectives to change society is discussed next. Philosophies that teachers should have as they buy-in to this process of enhancing curricula with female voice are relayed next in the paper. Finally, the practical strategies that teachers may use within the framework of the Baltimore County Public School system are encouraged, with the understanding that they may be applied to any English curriculum.