'Workin' with the Boys': a North American perspective on non-traditional work initiatives for adolescent females in secondary schools
This paper highlights, from a critical-feminist perspective, some of the challenges facing women in North America who enter non-traditional work settings and explores the implications of these challenges for secondary school non-traditional work education initiatives. The first section of the paper briefly examines research literature dealing with working-class women employed in non-traditional jobs and with young female students enrolled in non-traditional work education initiatives at the secondary school level. We focus on two issues that these females face in non-traditional settings: occupational niching and physical and social constraints. We examine how these challenges restrict working and learning environments for females. The second section of the paper considers ways in which secondary school non-traditional work education initiatives could be expanded so that they respond more directly to the challenges of non-traditional settings. We examine suggestions for curriculum reform offered in mainstream and critical-feminist work education discourse. The pedagogical agenda that we propose extends the work of other critical-feminist pedagogists and includes activities that focus on enhancing student awareness of, reflections on, and responses to challenges in non-traditional settings.
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