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Author Topic: SENATE BILL: 2011 Education Act (Law'd)  (Read 2601 times)
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« Reply #25 on: May 06, 2011, 07:29:15 pm »
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Wow, some "interesting" views have been described here. Tongue

Though I am skeptical of separating the sexes and would generally prefer to oppose such a measure, I find Snowguy's little pilot project maybe a worthwhile endeavour. In a few months we can force the GM/SoIA to say what the results are.
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« Reply #26 on: May 06, 2011, 07:29:45 pm »
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There are some advantages to same-sex education. Girls tend to excel more in math and science with it.  Maybe there would be some advantage in reading for boys in classes tailored more to them but I don't know if this has been demonstrated. I tend to think literature and social studies/history benefits from having points of view discussed from both genders.  It's tricky but maybe a pilot program would not be a bad idea to see if it provides any results schools would want to adopt, but I am very much against the idea that the government would consider adopting as standard one way or another.

Girls and boys are born with the exact same brain, and there is nothing in biological differences that affects one's predisposition to one discipline or another. Maybe there are differences in education or social incitations, but making separate classes would only accentuate the problem.

This is discrimination. This is like saying black people are better at sports and worse at intellectual works (that might be factually true, simply because 1. blacks are poorer and can study less ; 2. the society's stereotypes orient blacks toward less intellectual jobs. Anyways there's nothing natural in these differences). It offends my deepest values as a humanist and a universalist. It should offend the values of you all.

race and sex are not really comparable, since sex is a universal and biologically valid concept. whether or not there are inborn differences, the point is that by the time kids reach school, and especially middle and high school, there are different tendencies (not absolute), so the question is how you approach the different tendencies in learning styles.  it's not as though boys or girls are worse intellectually, just trying to see if there are different styles which help them learn.  



My 2nd grade teacher separated students in the class based on what she observed where their favored learning techniques:  visual, auditory, and tactile.  The tactile group was dominated by boys and the auditory group by girls.  But she based her math lessons around these differences.  The visual group watched demonstrations where applicable, while the auditory group did story problems.  The tactile groups demonstrated the problems themselves using counting blocks or by manipulating objects to reach the correct answer.

I was in the tactile group.  In her assessments, she told the parents that students that excel with tactile learning, mostly boys, often have the most difficult time in the classroom where larger class sizes permit only visual or auditory teaching methods.

She's now the head of the elementary education department and a professor of pedagogy at the local university.  After falling behind in 1st grade in both math and reading, I leapt ahead in 2nd grade and was put in advanced groups that were learning advanced math and doing advanced reading.  It didn't happen by accident... which is why I am so adamant about this.
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« Reply #27 on: May 06, 2011, 07:34:02 pm »
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Is there a way to separate based on those groups rather then sex? I mean, "dominate" isn't the same as "completely comprised of", as such what do you think would be the practicality (especially measuring accurately who is auditory, who is visual and who is tactile etc) of using that instead, as the most effective way to achieve the best learning environment?
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« Reply #28 on: May 06, 2011, 07:57:54 pm »
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Is there a way to separate based on those groups rather then sex? I mean, "dominate" isn't the same as "completely comprised of", as such what do you think would be the practicality (especially measuring accurately who is auditory, who is visual and who is tactile etc) of using that instead, as the most effective way to achieve the best learning environment?
Well, the point is that while the sexes tended to separate out some... if you split it up that way, then your'e talking about splitting 3 ways, which is logistically much harder.  On top of that, you'd need assessments to determine the exact learning styles of each student.

By separating boys and girls you can put an emphasis on various learning styles that boys do better without those rigid differences... which is important since even a tactile learner must still be able to glean information through visual or auditory means and so on.
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« Reply #29 on: May 07, 2011, 04:41:24 am »
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Boys and girls are not born with the same brains.  It is absolutely ridiculous to pretend that they are.

sigh...

Whether or not the "learning differences" are scientifically documented, deducing that these differences are a direct consequence of gender is silly. Instead of trying to fight agains the social processes that encourage different attitudes between boys and girls, you prefer to officialize this discrimination in the law ?
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« Reply #30 on: May 07, 2011, 01:46:01 pm »
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Boys and girls are not born with the same brains.  It is absolutely ridiculous to pretend that they are.

sigh...

Whether or not the "learning differences" are scientifically documented, deducing that these differences are a direct consequence of gender is silly. Instead of trying to fight agains the social processes that encourage different attitudes between boys and girls, you prefer to officialize this discrimination in the law ?


To be fair, I don't think you can compare (as seems to be the analogy you're hinting at) this to racially-based discrimination. Sex [1] is a scientific, objective concept. Race is a vague social construct. There are real, physical differences between male and female brains, that have been scientifically documented. I could dig up the relevant references - and will, if need be - but IIRC the differences start appearing after three or four years of age. So your point that males and females are born with the same brains is (almost) true, but irrelevant.

I would agree with your post if what you were saying was true - that the suggestion of the bill merely enforces preconceived discrimination and prejudices. I don't think that is the case, though.

More to the point, it's a pilot project, and surely worth trying. Let's give it a shot and see the results, then we can argue some more. Tongue

[1] Is this basically a debate about sex versus gender?

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« Reply #31 on: May 07, 2011, 03:46:53 pm »
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Of course there might be some differences in brains. Does that mean girls and boys think differently ? For this program to be legitimate, you need to provide the irrefutable proof that the differences in learning between boys and girls have a biological origin.

I know I have a very principled (call it hackish) position there, but for my entire life I've learnt to instinctively reject any argument based on the idea of "natural differences" between human beings.
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« Reply #32 on: May 07, 2011, 04:36:47 pm »
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My brain is confused. Me is excluding myself from any debate.

/reset/
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« Reply #33 on: May 07, 2011, 07:30:25 pm »
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Of course there might be some differences in brains. Does that mean girls and boys think differently ? For this program to be legitimate, you need to provide the irrefutable proof that the differences in learning between boys and girls have a biological origin.

I know I have a very principled (call it hackish) position there, but for my entire life I've learnt to instinctively reject any argument based on the idea of "natural differences" between human beings.
Why do you think we're doing the pilot program?

A pilot program is basically an experiment or test to see if implementing a certain program on a wider scale is worth the cost.

There is a very small chance that this will have a negative impact on either boys or girls since they would still be together at crucial socializing times of the school day (like recess or lunch time, or in non-basic classes like art, music, and phy ed... or story time, or various other subjects in the classroom that aren't specifically the four basics).

The point is to think outside of the box.  You are not reinforcing gender roles by delivering the exact same educational content in ways that might be more universally suited to one sex or the other.  It's not as if we're separating the boys and girls and then saying "now boys, remember that girls are inferior and should be beaten into submission!" or "now girls, remember that women are meant to be seen and not heard!  Not to speak unless spoken to!  And by all means, in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant... cooking dinner for your husband!"

Maybe girls have a better time learning about insects by studying an ant farm while boys have a better time by taking a hike in the woods and finding ants under a rock.  That is the point of this experiment.

On the other end of the spectrum, mixed age classrooms have been shown to be a great success.  My first grade teacher did this for several years not long ago with a veteran 2nd grade teacher (actually my sister's first grade teacher).  They were separated for some subjects like spelling or math, but were mixed together for science and social studies.  The two classes were then mixed together in order to allow the 2nd graders to help the 1st graders with math and reading.  Having the 2nd graders help the 1st graders didn't lower them to the 1st grade level like Antonio might suggest... but actually improved their learning ability and helped them move faster at the more advanced 2nd grade curriculum.  It also greatly aided 1st graders in moving through the 1st grade material.  Like trade, there were benefits to both sides with almost no drawbacks.

Again.. simple thinking outside the box.

Because with these rigid 19th century teaching/learning styles... we really have to ask ourselves "is our children learning?"
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« Reply #34 on: May 08, 2011, 10:18:20 am »
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Do you really think a pilot program can help us discover natural differences in processes of thought between boys and girls ? I personally don't see how they could : what they can instead is favoring different methods of teaching/learning based on gender stereotypes. Teacher will adopt a different behaviour based on sex of their students (they probably already do, but this can only reinforce differentiation), students will be incited to act in a way conform to their gender, etc...
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« Reply #35 on: May 08, 2011, 02:07:30 pm »
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Do you really think a pilot program can help us discover natural differences in processes of thought between boys and girls ? I personally don't see how they could : what they can instead is favoring different methods of teaching/learning based on gender stereotypes. Teacher will adopt a different behaviour based on sex of their students (they probably already do, but this can only reinforce differentiation), students will be incited to act in a way conform to their gender, etc...

I wasn't aware we were trying to raise a generation of Pats and Sams.  You're just being blind in this issue.  You are basically cutting off your nose to spite your face.  You would rather see lower academic performance by all and ensure some fantastical notion of complete gender neutrality.  It's pretty ridiculous.  How dare a girl learn like a girl!

The alternative is one-size-fits-all... when you pack 25-35 kids in a classroom with one teacher... there is nothing you can do.  At least by separating boys and girls for part of the day, the teachers can offer a limited amount of personal attention to more specific learning styles.

And again:  The entire point of a pilot program is precisely to measure whether this is worth implementing on a wider scale.  There would be reviewal of test scores and academic achievement to look for improvement.

And the purpose has never been to discover natural differences in the processes of thought between boys and girls.  It is to improve academic achievement.  Hillary Clinton, of all people, has praised the merits of separate sex classrooms.  I wouldn't exactly call Hillary a meek, submissive housewife.
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« Reply #36 on: May 09, 2011, 04:50:05 am »
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And yet, what about this program actually encouraging discriminations ? You can't dismiss this possibility.

And what is "academic achievement" for you ? Yeah, maybe with this system students will get better marks (since they will be taught things they are more "conform to their nature"), and then ?

We just can't have a men's education and a women's education, that's all. School is the place where equality should be the most sacrosanct.
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« Reply #37 on: May 09, 2011, 07:10:10 am »
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Not that it would be considered scientific, but I went to an all male school and my sisters to all female.  It worked out pretty well.  However, after two years, we moved and the new schools were co-ed.  Once I got into a school with girls, I can tell you, my studies went way down.  I also noticed, for the first time, the rigid social structure of high school.  At the all-male school, while not everybody was friends, there was not the drama associated with "coolness" that I saw later.

On the flip side, my friends from the co-ed school, I believe were a little better prepared for the experience of college with girls than my first school.
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« Reply #38 on: May 09, 2011, 06:34:19 pm »
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Exactly. School isn't just for education, but it's for the social aspect. Life isn't separated by sexes, so I find it hard to believe separating sexes at schools is beneficial in the long run.
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« Reply #39 on: May 12, 2011, 03:55:29 am »
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Would you be more supportive of having mixed age classrooms in a pilot program?  Many school districts do this out of necessity because of a lack of students in any one grade to justify having its own teacher.
I think this more than answers your concerns about socialization because it is very important that children have contact with other children that are at a different academic/maturity level.  It teaches them to work with others better.

I will write up an amendment to the bill tomorrow.

Also, I left the bill open ended if you guys had your own ideas.  The idea is to try new methods at improving academic performance.
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« Reply #40 on: May 12, 2011, 06:57:13 pm »
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My head is literally spinning. I will say I support mixed age classrooms over dividing the sexes. I don't know a lot about school reforms because I went to a traditional private school, but I still feel strongly about splitting up sexes. Ages I can compromise on, but I don't understand how the curriculum works on that case.
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« Reply #41 on: May 12, 2011, 07:24:41 pm »
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My head is literally spinning.

That seems doubtful, but I'd get to an emergency room ASAP, just in case.
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« Reply #42 on: May 12, 2011, 07:36:02 pm »
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http://media.education.gov.uk/assets/files/pdf/8/8311dcsfgender%20what%20works%20bmkpdf.pdf

Snowguy is raising some good points, I am going to see if a regional level pilot program would work.
Antonio, you sound like the little kid with fingers in his years afraid to hear something he already knows is true.
If you really believe school is the place where equality should be most sacrosanct, you'll want to try out programs that could potentially eliminate the gender gap.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2011, 07:43:45 pm by Speaker Napoleon »Logged

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« Reply #43 on: May 12, 2011, 08:51:24 pm »
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Napoleon, best of luck with your regional efforts on that. To my mind that's really a much better level at which to deal with this issue.
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« Reply #44 on: May 13, 2011, 04:41:52 am »
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Antonio, you sound like the little kid with fingers in his years afraid to hear something he already knows is true.
If you really believe school is the place where equality should be most sacrosanct, you'll want to try out programs that could potentially eliminate the gender gap.

OK... Roll Eyes

So you guys want to reduce the gender gap through segregation ? Sorry, but no matter the "evidence" you can present me to show the marvels of division by sex, it will never make it legitimate. That's not denial, just a matter of principles.
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« Reply #45 on: May 13, 2011, 01:30:34 pm »
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If the school teaching methods were biased in favor of boys and girls were consistently underperforming, would you tell them to go shove it? You're really the one being discriminatory here despite your narrow preconceived worldview. In fact you sound much the like the same kind of moralistic conservative that impedes progress. Since segregation (a nice, loaded term you picked) is so inherently evil, perhaps considering integrated locker rooms is next in order? There's no natural difference to account for, after all.
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When I was in the third grade, I thought that I was Jewish
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I told my mom, tears blurring my vision
He said, "Mort, you've loved God since before circumcision"
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« Reply #46 on: May 13, 2011, 01:52:54 pm »
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Do you really think separating groups is a solution to solve an inequality ? This is a mistake that has often been made, with dramatic consequences. Just like those who thought imposing racial quotas to universities would have solved the problem of racial inequalities... I staunchly oppose any form of "positive discrimination", and I believe I have some reasons to.

And also, you can always make a big deal of boys underperforming girls at school (of course I also wish to fix this problem), but considering that, despite this, women still end up having lower jobs than men and get paid less for the same job, maybe this isn't exactly the most important problem of gender inequalities.
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« Reply #47 on: May 13, 2011, 02:21:51 pm »
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Unless you are suggesting that it is acceptable for boys to perform worse in school due to methods used having a bias in favor girls because women and men work different jobs and receive different pay than men, I believe that is best addressed in another discussion with another bill. Should boys and girls be required to meet the same standards on physical education testing, or is that a form of "positive discrimination" you want to eliminate? Instead of a small pilot program to have a trial separation limited to a few subjects, would you prefer to overhaul the entire system to one where girls are consistently underperforming and we will just call it fair? I'm not willing to throw an entire gender under the bus to fit an irrational PC worldview when there are fair and reasonable solutions we could try on for size.
This isn't at all analogous to racial quotas...this is more similar to improving inner city schools so that quotas aren't needed in the future.
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I told my mom, tears blurring my vision
He said, "Mort, you've loved God since before circumcision"
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« Reply #48 on: May 13, 2011, 06:51:00 pm »
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Napoleon, best of luck with your regional efforts on that. To my mind that's really a much better level at which to deal with this issue.

This is correct for sure.


I for one, don't have a problem with seperating genders for the sake of a pilot project just to test what impact it would have.

Since the includes an experimentation with an alternative learning environment, are there any other such experiments that could be included as well, as either pilot projects or studies or what not for the sake of testing a broader ranger of alternative environments?
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« Reply #49 on: May 13, 2011, 06:54:51 pm »
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It would be fruitful to provide a level of federal fundding if the Northeast adopts a pilot program, as the results of such could be beneficial nationwide. Smiley
« Last Edit: May 18, 2011, 05:54:13 pm by Speaker Napoleon »Logged

When I was in the third grade, I thought that I was Jewish
Because I could count, my nose was big, and I kept my bank account fullish
I told my mom, tears blurring my vision
He said, "Mort, you've loved God since before circumcision"
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