a c t i v i t i e s


 Activities & results year 1

During the first project year 1998-99, ATHENA continued to work on its activities according to the workplan. During the current funding period ATHENA held three working meetings. The first one in Brussels, Belgium, organised and co-funded by SOPHIA, the Belgian Women's Studies Association, and the second one in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, organised and by the ATHENA Central Coordination at Utrecht University. The meeting in Noordwijk was not planned for in the original workplan; during the meeting in Brussels the Task Force, in consultancy with those partners present at the meeting, thought it useful to organise an extra meeting to motivate the continuation of work in the panels and to carry out further activities not planned for in the original workplan. The third ATHENA meeting of the current funding period took place in June 1999, during the 7th International Interdisciplinary Congress on Women in Tromso, Norway. In this last meeting in project year 1, the five thematic panels of experts presented the outcomes of the activities undertaken and the results of project year 1, the preliminary chapters for the first ATHENA joint publication, with contributions from each of the thematic panels, reports and recommendations. The chapters are currently in the process of being edited and finalised and will be published in November 1999.

Between the meetings, all further communication and discussions take place through the ATHENA electronic discussion lists (separate discussion lists for each of the panels and a general discussion list for all partners). During the meeting parallel sessions of the five thematic panels and the two working groups take place, as well as a Task Force meeting and plenary meetings. ATHENA meeting are organised, if applicable, as much as possible in combination with existing conferences in the field of Women's Studies. This stimulates exchange of views and it streamlines approaches between the two working groups, the five thematic panels of experts, and the broader field of Women's studies in Europe. The central coordination spreads an ATHENA newsletter approximately five times a year, by e-mail, and starting in June 1999 (1st issue of the ATHENA printed newsletter) a printed ATHENA newsletter for both partners and interested groups and institutions in the field will be distributed twice a year. The project year closed with an evaluation of the work done during the contract period and recommendations for the future, which will be part of the joint ATHENA publication, the first item to be published in November 1999.


 Calendar of activities year 1

1 September 1998 - 31 August 1999

September 1998

  • 1997-98 (YEAR 0) evaluation of ATHENA activities, by the ATHENA central coordination
  • writing and spreading of ATHENA newsletter for all partners, by the ATHENA central coordination, by e-mail
  • ATHENA working group meeting report, reporting the June 1998 meeting, including five thematic panel reports and two working group reports, drafted by the respective coordinators, covering final workplans, timeframe, agreement on responsibilities of the members of the panels, and an overview of the work that has been done so far, distributed to all ATHENA partners by the ATHENA central coordination by e-mail
October - November 1998
  • thematic panels of experts proceed the work as agreed during the ATHENA meeting in Lund, Sweden, June 1998
  • based on the ATHENA working group meeting report: planning for content-oriented cooperation between the thematic panels
  • Preparation for ATHENA meeting in Brussels, Belgium, November 1999
  • information gathering, data collecting and identification of existing studies by the five thematic panels, related to the five products: cross-European survey of existing courses, degrees, teaching materials, ODL courses and on-line information in the field of Women's Studies.
November 1998
  • ATHENA meeting in Brussels, Belgium, 27-28 November; first meeting of ATHENA as official Socrates TNP
  • ATHENA experts participate in SOPHIA colloquium
December 1998
  • ATHENA newsletter by central coordination, containing contributions of all thematic panel coordinators, including reports of all panel discussions and activities at the meeting in Brussels and updated workplans for all panels for year 1
December 1998 - March 1999
  • continuation of information gathering, data collecting and identification of existing studies by the five thematic panels, related to the five products: cross-European survey of existing courses, degrees, teaching materials, ODL courses and on-line information in the field of Women's Studies.
  • thematic panels start working on an in-depth analyses of the gathered information
  • identification and concretisation of methods to be used in the process working towards the final products within the thematic panels
  • intensive ongoing discussion within and between the thematic panels on the ATHENA e-mail discussion lists
  • thematic panel coordinators draft thematic panel interim reports, to be used as a base for both the re-application for the Socrates TNP reapplication for project year 3 as well as for the ATHENA meetings in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, March 1999 and in Tromso, Norway, June 1999, and circulate these amongst the members of the respective thematic panels
  • members of the thematic panels discuss the reports, via ATHENA discussion lists, and comment
  • final reports finished by the thematic panel coordinators and distributed to all ATHENA partners by e-mail
  • preparation and writing of the re-application for a Socrates Thematic Network by the ATHENA central coordination, to be sent in by 1 April, including an interim report on the activities already undertaken.
  • preparation for the ATHENA meeting in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, March 1999.
March 1999
  • 5-6 March: ATHENA meeting in Noordwijk aan Zee, the Netherlands:
    • during the ATHENA meeting, an expert meeting on 'The Use of ICT in Women's Studies Teaching' was held, with input from both experts involved in ATHENA working group 2 and external experts in the field, such as representatives from VICTO, the Netherlands; and TNP ELIA on Arts Education. The purpose of this seminar was to compare good practice in the area of curriculum development in ICT supported education, with the aim to develop a plan for cooperation with the participating institutions within the framework of ATHENA.
    • during the ATHENA meeting, the new ATHENA Advisory Board was launched. Members of the Advisory Board are politicians and policy makers from the several EU countries that are members in the network, together with the ATHENA Task Force.
April 1999
  • 1 April: reapplication Socrates TNP, by ATHENA Central Coordination with input from the panel coordinators and working group coordinators (written evaluations reports) and in consultancy with the Task Force
  • ATHENA newsletter by central coordination, including reports of the meeting for all panels by panel coordinators and aims of the meeting in Tromso, Norway, June 1999, distributed by e-mail
  • preparation of the articles for ATHENA's first joint publication, September 1999
April - June 1999
  • preparation of the ATHENA working group meeting in June by the Task Force and all members
June 1999
  • 23 June: Workshop by ATHENA working group 2 at the 7th International Interdisciplinary Congress on Women in Tromso, Norway
  • 25-26 June: ATHENA working meeting at the 7th International Interdisciplinary Congress on Women in Tromso, Norway:
    • workshops and lectures by each of the thematic panels to present the results and outcomes of the first year, based on the thematic panel interim reports
    • presentation of the first version of the ATHENA 'gender course bank'
    • evaluation of the first project year within the five thematic panels and the two working groups
    • plenary session on the development of the products
    • meeting of the Task Force to evaluate the first project year and to plan for future activities
    • date and modify thematic panel workplans for the next two years
    • discussion on articles for first ATHENA publication, September 1999
    • wide distribution of the first printed issue of the ATHENA newsletter
  • Second meeting of the ATHENA Advisory Board
June - August 1999
  • use of the ATHENA gender course bank by all ATHENA partners with access to Internet in order to evaluate it
  • writing and distribution of 1998-99 evaluation report of ATHENA activities, including evaluations of the thematic panels and a report of the June ATHENA meeting
  • finalising articles on the findings and results till now by the thematic panel coordinators in cooperation with other members of the thematic panels, to be published in ATHENA's first publication, November 1999; articles are sent to the ATHENA Central Coordination for editing and will be sent out to printer by October 1999.
  • thematic panels start writing chapters of the final manual, teaching book, evaluation reports
  • preparation and writing of the final evaluation report for project year 1 for DG XXII, to be submitted by 30 September 1999, by the ATHENA central coordination, with input from all members and in consultancy with the Task Force.

 Results year 1

Intended outcomes September 1998 - September 2001

The results will be published and documented in a variety of different products such as working group reports, thematic panel reports, workshop proceedings, scientific articles, teaching materials and electronic publications. The publications will include recommendations for further research and evaluation criteria for the European dimension in Women's Studies eduction activities.

Concrete expected publications coming out of the thematic panels by September 2001 are:

  • A cross-European comparative study of degrees in the field of Women's Studies, and a pilot study on qualifications and the professional outlets of Women's Studies graduates
  • An evaluation report on European introductory Women's Studies teaching books published in the last ten years
  • An advanced European Women's Studies teaching book
  • An on-line databank containing both information on courses and the tools necessary to use the bank for designing new courses
  • A manual on the use of information and communication technologies in teaching Women's Studies
Besides these products, for all thematic panels the results of the activities during the whole period of the project are documented in working group reports, thematic panel reports, reports based on pilot projects, workshop proceedings, scientific articles, teaching materials and electronic publications. The reports include recommendations for further research and evaluation criteria.

Results and outcomes project year 1:

Working group 1: European curriculum development in Women's Studies

  • Questionnaire for teachers in the field on the use of introductory Women's Studies teaching books
  • Report on survey on the use of introductory teaching books in Women's Studies and related courses, including needs analysis
  • Tools for evaluation of teaching books
  • Draft evaluation of two largely used introductory Women's Studies teaching books
  • Design for Women's Studies teaching book from multicultural European and interdisciplinary perspectives, to be published in project year 3, based on needs analysis, including main reference themes, identification of authors, reference literature and proposal papers for the different chapters. The proposal is currently being evaluated by SAGE.
  • Questionnaire for teachers in the field, identifying the level of institutionalisation of Women's Studies, degrees in the field of Women's Studies, and the qualifications and professional outlets of Women's Studies graduates
  • Report on survey on the level of institutionalisation of Women's Studies, degrees in the field of Women's Studies, and the qualifications and professional outlets of Women's Studies graduates
Cooperation
  • Panel 1a uses, besides the more detailed survey among Women's Studies teachers in European countries, as important points of reference the SIGMA reports on Women's Studies and the Swiss Science Council reports on Women's and Gender Studies in Europe . The information gathered by the Swiss Science Council and the input of the delegate of the Council, the responsible expert for the survey on Women's Studies in Europe, has proven to be extremely useful for the proceeding of the work of panel 1a. Therefore, future cooperation with the Swiss Science Council, represented by Christine Michel as an active participant in the activities of panel 1a, is planned for.
  • For the panels working on Women's Studies teaching books, panel 1b on the use and evaluation of existing teaching materials, and panel 1c on writing a new European teaching book in Women's Studies, it is crucial to have a reliable and broadly used system of reference terms in the field. The European Women's Thesaurus Project, by their indexing system, provides such a system. It is therefore extremely important to closely work together with this project in the future and to keep a strong link between the two projects. For this reason we propose a joint meeting of ATHENA panels 1b, 1c and 2a and the European Women's Thesaurus project, during which the respective partners will discuss content related issues, exchange expertise, exchange and discuss new developments in the field, streamline the respective approaches, and during which meeting ATHENA Women's Studies experts will contribute to and advise on the translation of the current English version of the European Women's Thesaurus into French, Italian and Spanish, so as to make the indexing system accessible to as many as possible institutions and organisations - with a focus on libraries and information and documentation centres - in the field in Europe, and hence to a broad group of individual users.
Working group 2: The use of new information and communication technologies in Women's Studies teaching
  • Inventarisation of existing courses in Women's Studies at a part of the target universities in Europe for the database project
  • First version of the 'Gender Course Bank', database containing the gathered information courses in Women's Studies and related fields taught in different European universities, using the indexing system provided by the European Women's Studies project
  • Report on results of the survey on the use of ICT in Women's Studies courses
  • Report on the outcomes of the evaluation of two European courses in Women's Studies currenly using ICT
  • Design for teaching manual, to be published in project year 3, based on the outcomes of the evaluation of existing courses, including themes of focus, recommendations for teachers using ICT in Women's Studies courses, and proposal papers for the different chapters
  • Workshop on evaluation offered during the Women's Worlds Congress in Tromsų, Norway, June '99, open to the audience, based on the panel's experience in evaluating courses, both in their own institutions as well as in the framework of ATHENA during the first year, focussing on the following themes: evaluation of a variety of media use in WS, the use of ICT by women in technology courses, the use of ICT by students, evaluation of case studies by the members of working group 2, evaluation of the necessary institutional resources to support ICT, and discussion on new media and the future of mass education for women
Cooperation with other projects and experts in the field:
  • The importance of collecting information on existing courses in Women's Studies and related courses is growing since it appears that, since the SIGMA reports, the field of Women's Studies is changing; gender is more and more being integrated into other disciplines. This makes the project of a database even more important: if gender is largely integrated into other disciplines, a means to identify courses in a systematic way is necessary. Intensive cooperation with the European Women's Thesaurus project, coordinated by the IIAV, International Information Centre and Archives for the Women's Movement, is crucial in the development of the database on Women's Studies and related courses in Europe. The European Women's Theasaurus is a list of controlled terms for indexing information on the position of women and Women's Studies
  • The European Women's Thesaurus indexing system will be integrated in the database and will be structure based on which the database will be built, as well as the means for users of the database to unlock information on courses on specific themes.
  • Consultancy and exchange of expertise on the development of databases with experts in the field: IIAV, Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Centro di Documentazione Delle Donne, Bologna, Italy; WINE, European network of Women's Documentation and Information Centres; WITEC, Women in Technology in Europe, Open Universities, and other organisations.



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