Guest speaker discusses gender equality in education

Rocio Valdez

On behalf of Women’s’ History celebration 30th anniversary, guest Dr. Veronica Bloomfield spoke upon gender and education.

It took place on Tuesday, April 18, from 9:30 am to 11 am in room Social Science 137.

As kids grow up they become socially trained as to how they should act based on gender.

Dr. Bloomfield earned her degree in cultural studies, a field of research and teaching that examines how culture creates relationships of power.

Working at ABC School District, Dr. Bloomfield was able to get involved with how education was being addressed in elementaries.

She then realized education is full of cultural studies, “there’s a lot of dynamics of power at work in the lunchroom and there’s a lot of dynamics of power at work in a classroom.”

Dr. Bloomfield said, “through our history those in positions of power use their power to maintain it and even to dominate and exploit those with less power.”

Co-constructive teaching is an ideal way of education where it allows a partnership between teachers and students.

She addressed the importance of intersectionality, having intersecting identities like income, ethnicity, language and sexuality that shapes us who we are.

“We don’t want to compete with each other we want to collaborate,” Dr. Bloomfield said.

She stated, “Rather than there being one way of doing something or there’s only one truth; embracing diversity and knowing that where we grew up and what our realities have been shaped the way that we see the world.”

Her goal was to run the class time based on collaboration, where it allowed her to collaborate with the students and the students could collaborate with her and each other for support on self-discovery and self-empowerment.

Dr. Bloomfield is not a fan of the hierarchy system, her alternative is shared power, “the goal for me and working for a public education system is not to reproduce hierarchy, I know this is damaging to people’s spirits, livelihood and communities, it is not productive.”

She is a fan of equity (getting what one needs) rather than equality (same opportunity for fairness) to improve the achievement gaps.

After the lecture Dr. Bloomfield said, “My goal was to share my experience with feminist ethics and feminist theories but also have the students experience what it’s like to be in a classroom and interact with each other.”

Guillermo Silva, engineering major, said, “I agreed with the points made, everyone needs to be equal in every way.”

Rebecca Lopez, marketing mayor, said, “I really appreciated the inclusion of males in feminism, if the males are not participating in resolving feminist issues, you’re not getting a resolution it requires both sides to participate and come to a good arrangement.”

Ana Torres-Bower, professor of Philosophy, said, “I invited her to talk about the issue of education, where gender determinism is present and gender equality.

“Gender justice is for everyone, we have to break the divisions among human beings and cultivate the best thing we can do in life and I think education is one of the best possibilities to achieve that.”