A study of women's noninstitutional educational programs in Saskatoon
The objective of the present study was to gather descriptive date about women's noninstitutional educational programs in Saskatoon, Canada. These data were collected to provide information about the length of time programs were in operation and who initiated them, problems that the programs experienced, and characteristics of the programs' client population or membership, management and organization, educational components and conceptual framework. The population for this study was comprised of all women's noninstitutional educational programs in Saskatoon that met the devised selection criteria. A personal interview was conducted with a representative of each program included in the study. The interview schedule used in conducting all the interviews has been included in the thesis as Appendix C. The data showed there was no typical profile or profiles of women's noninstitutional educational programs in Saskatoon, despite many commonalities. There were both gaps and overlaps in services noted. Co-ordination among programs was believed necessary to avoid and prevent service overlaps. Many unmet needs of program participants were identified and included needs of women for more financial resources, support services, training-on-the-job opportunities, and affirmative action programs. Meetings and small group process and discussion were the most frequently employed educational methods of programs. A majority of programs believed a most important purpose of education programs for women was to enhance their social functioning. Goals and objectives of the educational component of programs were many and varied. A variety of philosophical orientations were held by programs although a majority were feminist in nature. Many programs believed women should have autonomy and independence, and that their lives should be viewed in a social context. Many programs also advocated the desirability of self-awareness and consciousness raising for women and believed pressure for social change to be a desirable outcome of women's participation in education programs. This study found that women's noninstitutional educational programs in Saskatoon were providing many good services to a variety of women. Funding was the most commonly cited problem and limitation experienced by programs. A lack of research in the area of women's noninstitutional educational programs was identified in the study and a need for more and improved educational opportunities for women was documented. A majority of programs believed their effectiveness to be affected by public attitudes about women and by limited opportunities for women in the labour market.