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TangoMan

Why are you afraid to engage the complexity of real world

How long have you been reading Happy's blog? :)

Note also that the specific, specified disparities discussed in pts. 77-79 refer to "psychological differences,"

I already addressed this at length in the apples to oranges comment above.

you believe this is incompatible with opposition to institutionalized sexism.

Not quite. Most of these types of reforms are initiated to undo the effects of institutionalized sexism that was imposed on the curricula of many districts after the "Girl Crisis" inspired reforms designed by the National Council of Teachers of English and National Counicl of Teachers of Mathematics in the early 1990s, which has led to a growing gender grade disparity that is wider than the gender test disparity. This is one of the reasons that universities are finding the predictive validity of HS GPA to be rapidly declining in relation to testing instruments like the SAT, which have remained fairly stable over the period. Girls are doing much better in earning grades than boys in large part due to the curricula reform (instiutionalized sexism) but those grades aren't measuring content mastery as well as objective tests.

You know, keeping a math journal and sharing your feelings about math problems is a great way to earn points toward your final grade but it does jack for improving content mastery. This is simply another stupid educational fad but one that far more girls will comply with than boys.

TangoMan

boys are hyperactive children who cannot learn to read fiction, learn social sciences, empathize, or have insight".

That's a simplification. Boys aren't interested in reading much of Young Adult Literature that is assigned and deals with topics like racism, substance abuse, sexism, date rape, divorce, bullying, and the other social agenda issues that educational reformers and their feminist enablers are pushing into the schools. Boys have no trouble in reading fiction that has appeal to them.

As for learning social sciences, well when a social studies class devotes as much time to the changing skirt lengths and roles of women during WWII as to the battles, geopolitical motivations, and military history and famous generals and heroes then boys tend to tune out because they're not really interested in the feminist agenda filtered through the guise of American History.

As much as I slag on feminism I don't have a problem with people choosing to adhere to the philosophy and live their personal lives accordingly, but I do object in the strongest terms to having it infect basic educational curricula with the aim of using the curricula as an agent of social transformation.

Dan S.

"You know, keeping a math journal and sharing your feelings about math problems is a great way to earn points toward your final grade but it does jack for improving content mastery."

For reality-based information about/discussion & examples of math journals, see for example here (with multiple links - first broken, others good). "Sharing your feelings about math problems" has a small role - mostly in getting kids writing (if they can't think of anything else, they can at least say they thought it was hard/easy, fun/didn't like it). One of the main purposes is helping to get kids started thinking about thinking - metacognition:

"Students who think metacognitively are aware of their own thinking processes, have effective strategies to achieve their learning goals, and make conscious choices about how they are going to learn. They use executive control mechanisms to monitor their learning and adjust their strategies when they are not being as effective or successful as they would like."

"As for learning social sciences, well when a social studies class devotes as much time to the changing skirt lengths and roles of women during WWII as to the battles, geopolitical motivations, and military history and famous generals and heroes . . ."

Then it sounds like a pretty neat social studies class (although I fear that "roles of women during WWII") is imagined by the writer to mean 'brave women ambulance drivers," rather than mostly a glance (using at least one famous primary source) at the experiences, for example, of many American women during the war , which arguably influenced certain developments that Tangoman finds so slag-worthy.

I want to hear more! Tangoman - what textbook is this from? Or do you have lesson plans, or anecdotes about a class you've witnessed (or heard about) . . . ?

evil_fizz

Boys aren't interested in reading much of Young Adult Literature that is assigned and deals with topics like racism, substance abuse, sexism, date rape, divorce, bullying, and the other social agenda issues that educational reformers and their feminist enablers are pushing into the schools. Boys have no trouble in reading fiction that has appeal to them.

So, we should give boys books about wars, guns, and fast cars and not expect them to address real issues in their reading? Come on. There's a huge difference between the things you'd choose to check out of the library and the things you've got to read for class.

I'd also point out that much of what's required in school is not particularly popular with students. I appreciate having read Invisible Man, Ulysses, and Light in August, but I'm certainly not going to be picking them up again for pleasure reading.

The Happy Feminist

"As for learning social sciences, well when a social studies class devotes as much time to the changing skirt lengths and roles of women during WWII as to the battles, geopolitical motivations, and military history and famous generals and heroes . . ."

Wow. Just -- wow. God forbid that the little princlings have to even consider the historical experience of the less important half of the human race. We certainly wouldn't want to burden them with such trifling and boring matters.

I wouldn't assign "military history" central importance anyway. Not because of any ideological opposition to war, but because learning about specific military maneuvers and technology is only one small part of the story -- the real action relates to the political, economic, diplomatic, and religious forces that propels countries into war to begin with. Certainly, I also think it is important to look at the ways in which a war, like World War II, has an effect on society many decades down the road after all the fighting has done -- including even the effects it may have on the status of the inferior sex that those poor schoolboys shouldn't be bothered having to think about.

TangoMan

World War II, has an effect on society many decades down the road after all the fighting has done

Terrific - that's what college level history classes are for, not a student's first introduction to the history of WWII when they are in junior high school.

I wouldn't assign "military history" central importance anyway.

I think you misunderstood - the time alloted to all of the topics, including military history, was about equal to the time alloted to the changing roles of women during that period and the changing skirt lengths.

One of the main purposes is helping to get kids started thinking about thinking - metacognition:

You come across as an education major. If so, terrific, for I'm quite familiar with that field's body of literature and I'd love for you to defend the rigor and validity of education "research."

although I fear that "roles of women during WWII") is imagined by the writer to mean 'brave women ambulance drivers,"

Save your psychoanalysis of me for your blog. Idiot.

So, we should give boys books about wars, guns, and fast cars and not expect them to address real issues in their reading?

False dichotomy. The core issue here is whether it is better to push the ideological social agenda topics which turn off young boys to reading or to put aside the feminist, multiculturalist, and liberal brainwashing and provide reading material that has substance but which also is of interest to young boys. Take a book like Red Badge of Courage - there's nothing that feminists should object to other than it has boys as main characters, and deals with their fears about war and is set in the patriarchal past. The book provides fertile ground for substantive literary analysis and it's engaging.

The Happy Feminist

I don't see any problem whatsoever with giving equal time to both military history and the changing role of women during World War II at the junior high level. It doesn't even strike me as particularly strange or ideological to do so. So maybe the girls are bored by the battle portions of the class (or maybe not) and maybe the boys are bored by hearing about women (or maybe not). The point is we don't always get to learn only about the stuff we find engaging. I think a healthy balance is key.

It is interesting how studying how a great historical event affected the female half of the human race is seen as "feminist brainwashing." One assumes therefore that paying attention to the male half of the equation only is not brainwashing or ideological at all?

TangoMan

It doesn't even strike me as particularly strange or ideological to do so.

It strikes me that way.

"Class, for the next four periods we're going to address American involvement in the World War. Today, Monday, we're going to look at the causes that led to American entrance into the war and the political leadership, their decisions and the mobilization that followed. Then for a change of pace, on Tuesday, we're going to examine the changing role of fashion as women responded to greater freedom and increased responsibility on the homefront as most of the men were overseas - we're going to look at how changing skirt lengths represent an embrace of freedom and how the skirt lengths changed shortly after the war ended. Then continuing on that theme, on Wednesday we're going to learn about the vital role women played in the productive war economy and how manufacturers had to overcome their skepticism about women's suitability for that role - for homework you should read the personal accounts of Rosie the Riveter. Then to wrap up this module, on Thursday, we're going to look at the Japanese strike on Pearl Harbor and the D-Day invasion, and yes there were a number of other battles, but you know, one battle is just like another. Yes, Susie I see you have your hand up, what's your question?"

"Will you teach us why we dropped two A-bombs on Japan and if there were other alternatives?"

"No, there's no time to go into meaningless minutia like that. Make sure you complete your project of creating a collage of women's fashions during the WWII era."

The Happy Feminist

You're right. The lives of women during the war and how it affected women's role in society -- completely foolish. Doesn't warrant any time because no serious person gives a crap about women.
(End sarcasm.)

And, by the way, women's role in society is defined by more than just fashion. If indeed the curriculum were stressing that aspect of women's lives, I would think that was not only silly but not very feminist. But you seem to object to having the children study the effect the war had on women's roles and women's status in society even apart from fashion because you deem these issues insignificant or unimportant. I can't fathom why; the only conclusion I am left with is that you deem the lives and concerns and status of women to be trivial and that you deem women themselves to be trivial.

L.

This comment thread reminds me of when we read "A Farewell to Arms" in my tenth-grade suburban public school English class, and my old fuddy-duddy English teacher said, "The boys will like it because it`s a war story, and the girls will like it because it`s a love story."
And one girl asked her, "Why can`t the girls like it because it`s a war story?"

See, high school kids were already making fun of people using gender stereotypes, way back in 1980.

So TangoMan, I can hear the pterodactyls flapping in the sky above your last comment.

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