"A little girl’s school assignment has generated impassioned debate online after her father, blogger Steve Bowler, sparked outrage by posting the third-grader’s worksheet, which dealt with gender stereotypes."
|Image: Kozzi Free Images|
The child's class was reading a story about gender-bias and the teacher sent home a worksheet requiring the students to place each toy or activity into a column labeled Boys, Girls, or Both. In response, this student forced all items into Both and her teacher wrote, "We talked about how each square needs to be filled"
Now, don't even get me started on why she referred to the rectangles as squares and why some of the non-proper nouns were capitalized...
|Image: New York Public Library|
... and this parent was upset, confused, and left with lots of questions about the meaning of the assignment.
When I was teaching, I always to tried to remember to include a written explanation of the assignment's intent so that if a student couldn't remember, or appropriately articulate the purpose for the worksheet or project, at least the parent could read it for themselves. In this case, there were no directions. However, in all fairness there may have been other pages to this same assignment where directions were included.
There is no mention of email. The father is on Twitter, so he has Internet access. Does the school? Does the teacher? Could he have emailed the teacher immediately with his question and received a reply immediately as opposed to waiting a few days for a conference?
Please read the entire article. There is some great discussion in the comments, too.
This article raises many questions for me. I have my own thoughts but I'd really like to hear from you. Please leave your thoughts in the comments section.
- Is everyone overreacting?
- Did the father overreact by posting this on Twitter?
- How would you handle this situation?
- Did the teacher do anything wrong? If so, what?
- If you were this teacher's principal, how would you handle this with the parent?
- If you were this teacher's principal, how would you handle this with the teacher?
- If you were the father or mother, how would you address this with your daughter (the student)?
- As the teacher, how important is it to include written context so the parent can understand?
- What other questions does this generate for you?