Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Monday, March 29, 2010
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Friday, March 26, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Monday, March 22, 2010
- Between the time she gets up for the day and the time she starts her nap, it's library time. We go to playgroups. We socialize. We take out books, CD's, DVD's, etc.
- Between the time she starts her nap until the time she wakes up, it's daddy work time. I pound out assignments for class. I pay bills. I do work around the house. I write. I draw.
- Between the time she wakes up from her nap and the time my wife comes home from work, it's go-somewhere-and-run-around time. The park, the mall, the playground. Baby J is free to roam and explore.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Friday, March 19, 2010
"All babies have to learn social skills through these kinds of unfortunate interactions."
"Hey! Don't be such a freakin' jerk, kid!"
"If someone knocks you down, pick yourself up. There's no shortage of unpleasant people in the world. You can't let them get you down."
"Touch my daughter again, little man, and see what happens! I will end you!"
"I should have stepped in before the kid got violent. I'm a bad daddy."
"That kid's a raging psychopath! It's his family's fault! They're probably a bunch of jerks too."
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Monday, March 15, 2010
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Friday, March 12, 2010
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Monday, March 8, 2010
As long as there have been men and women, there have been gender differences. Aside from the obvious anatomical variety, there are myriad ways in which the two sexes differ from one another, subtleties explored endlessly in countless relationship self-help programs and in hackneyed stand-up comedy routines. Science has long sought to quantify these differences in a meaningful way and has been given a great boon in recent decades with the advent of new brain research and new technologies. Naturally, brain research on the differences between males and females has trickled into the classroom and posed many provocative questions.
But is the research being properly interpreted in classrooms or is it simply used to further codify culturally based gender norms? To gain insight on this question, I’d like to take a moment and reflect on a recent finding and how it could be applied to classroom routine.
There are two types of cells in the human eye, one that sees color and hue and another that sees movement. Women generally have a greater concentration of the color and hue sensing cells and men generally have more of the movement sensing variety. It’s been suggested that classrooms be fitted not only with traditional colored placards (i.e. word walls which in theory benefit females) but with hanging mobiles for the boys.
This is only an example, but it seems like a big stretch to me. Aren’t there a great many other factors that influence how males and females would gather understanding in a print rich environment? Is this the kind of physiological difference that should be considered when setting up a classroom? Though there is a lot of research suggesting that boys and girls would benefit from being separated from one another in schools, taught differently, but I’m dubious these claims. It feels to me like making a big jump from the realm of scientific research to the realm of educational practice.
I am currently a stay-at-home dad. My wife gets up each morning and goes to work to win the bread while I change diapers and care for baby. It’s a gender role reversal and though the case could be made that the female of the species is better equipped to handle child-rearing, it’s the model that works for our family at this place in time. My sole financial contribution to the family comes to us by way of my writing, a field of work where women are said to excel. Again, a bit of a gender role reversal. Furthermore, when I return to work, I’ll resume my place in the classroom as a teacher a career dominated by women. I’m positively male yet I do not fit into my gender roles with ease. I hate watching sports. In fact, I find pretty much all sorts of competition to be pointless, distracting, and downright pernicious. It’s somewhat insulting to me that some might consider me physically ill equipped to be successful in my many endeavors (teaching, writing, etc.). Perhaps my relative lack of color and hue sensing cells put me at a disadvantage when I sit down to illustrate a story but it would be a gross overgeneralization to suggest that I pass the task along to my wife and her more refined eyes so I can go look at mobiles.
Too much is made of gender differences in the classroom and the new science coming out, in my opinion, does little more than further entrench deep seated ideas of gender identity. I think it is good to be mindful of the new information available today but it is more important to interpret it in a larger context.
For example, there are more men than women at high-level math and science classes. If we were to jump to conclusions we might say that is because men’s brains are clearly wired to handle such abstractions. There may even be fMRI imaging to support this hypothesis. But this could be confusing correlation with causality and actually do more to slant out perceptions of men and women than elucidate the issue. Perhaps it gives credence to prejudgments and prejudices. Perhaps we should look at how teachers work with boys and girls, and see if that has anything to do with the disparity. Maybe it’s not a physiological advantage for men. Maybe it’s just generations and generations of educators make small, unconscious, and seemingly insignificant decisions in the classroom that accumulate over the years into a gender gap.
I’d like to do the research myself but, if you’ll excuse me, I have a diaper to change.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
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