Great Stephanie, that's a good way to get those
STUPID teachers to follow orders. Sue 'em.
Just how much leeway to you think teachers have? Dip into the
educational literature; for example, read The Right
to Learn. If you want results, and we all do, perhaps
we should stop micromanaging schools and teachers' work.
Since the launch of the Sputnik, this country has been focused
on science and math. I have tried to find funding through grants
that would allow me to work on literacy and gender. Such funding is
And contrary to public thinking, unfunded work is difficult to pursue.
Particularly when folks who rarely even visit schools think they know how I
university types should spend my time. Studying gender jsut doesn't seem to
have any value.
Furthermore, during the Regan years, any research
proposals that had the word "gender or equity or environment" were
catagorically rejected by the US DOE. I noticed this when I was
writing my dissertation and saw that research articles on gender and
literacy dried up at about 1980, and Sadker and Sadker discuss the
scares they had about funding when folks such as Phyllis Shaffly were
put on review boards.
Also the gender gap in literacy is at least in part a social
problem. Real men do not read and write, and children often make fun
of readers. Many boys see reading as a "girly thing to do." Teachers
and schools have an uphill battle in dealing with this perception. I
once had a parent tell me that his son was not allowed to read Shakespeare
because it would "make him a queer"!
Consideration of the conditions of schooling with culture might
be a place to start thinking about these issues, but the last few
comments on this topic have been focused on BLAMING ONE OF THE
VICTIMS OF THE SYSTEM-- the public school teacher. I would
love for those writing on this listserv to spend 1 year as a public school
It seems many are buying into ideas that are designed to dismantle
public education, ideas that will lead to the Balkanization of America.
"Barbara Pace" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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