(no subject)

JenPiazza (JenPiazza@aol.com)
3/12/98 12:10 PM

The discussion on single sex classrooms has been more than lively. I have
learned a great deal from everyone. As I have been reading and having
discussions regarding this in my own geographical area, I have been coming
back to one opinion, and since you asked for opinions, I am sharing. I have a
son who learns best from non-traditional methods of teaching. My son is a
fourth grade student. He has been taught to dislike reading, math and science
(as presented in school) even though he is a very good student. I find this
most interesting (being an elementary educator) because I watch my child in
the home while playing and everything he likes to do when given a choice is
math or science related. And he loves it if I read to him and will stop
anything to be read to. Again, if you ask him if he likes science or wants to
study math, etc., he firmly and quickly says he hates both. And getting him
to read independently just doesn't happen without it being a requirement.

My concern here (or opinion) is that, when I have researched single sex
schools and programs, many of them are teaching reading, math and science in a
non-traditional way, (some might say using feminist pedagogy). This non-
traditional praxis is something my male child does not get to take part in (if
the program is for girls only) and we are losing this very rich scientific and
mathematical mind as we continually lose and have lost those of women. I
guess what I am trying to say is that there have been many men in our society
who have been left behind for a variety of reasons, because they have do not
fit the "traditional" view for male. I feel we leave this male out in many of
our discussions on equity. Trust me, I am definitely in support of ALL we do
and need to continue to do for women in all facets of life to promote a more
equitable life, however, I do not believe gender equity starts or stops there.

I feel that we should target the way teachers teach and allow all students,
male and female to benefit from pedagogy that promotes a desire for
mathematics and science. We forget sometimes that women are not always/only
the ones left out of these fields. There are many inequities to both sexes
and besides the legalities of single sex education, it is not solving the
problems and it may be creating even more.

In our efforts to encourage women and girls in non-traditional careers at my
institution we have sent out fliers, etc. that encourage these students to
apply, but not in exclusion of others.

Jenny Piazza

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