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12 Aug 2005 - 22:23 Carnival entries, I found further evidence of the invisibling of boys at A Passion for Teaching and Opinions. The blogger, a male high school teacher, is taking a required course in Multiculturalism (with a capital M) this summer. Here are 4 of the 7 questions on an assignment asking him to rate his Cultural Responsiveness (also capitalized):
The word 'boy' appears nowhere in the assignment. The word 'man' appears twice, as a negative to be avoided. In the Culturally Responsive classroom, the word 'man,' including compound words ending in 'man,' is not to be spoken. I feel a bout of protest letter-writing coming on.
USA Today report on 135:100 boys:girls ratio in college
sexism in Everyday Math
boy trouble (New Republic on boys)
slacker boys, middle school, & forbidden positive images of boys in textbooks
throw rocks at them
please remain seated at all times
Ann Althouse thread sums up classroom change
cooperative vs. competitive learning
the girl show (8th grade graduation awards)
the boy show (character ed)
the other boy show
Where the Boys Aren't
letter from Robert Lerner, former commissioner NCES
Tom Mortenson's research
The Boys Project board
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So-called multiculturalism is a fraudulent term. It has nothing to do with culture. It's all about imposing some far-left fantasy on schools and society. See here from the horse's mouth: http://www.edchange.org/multicultural/curriculum/steps.html Instructivist -- KtmGuest - 13 Aug 2005
Speaking of which, did you see the op-ed at realclearpolitics today? T. Bevan was so incensed he suffered a momentary lapse in decorum. He was quoting a passage from a NATION article arguing that the reason we have terrorist attacks on the West is that we're not multicultural enough.
If we had deeply multi-ethnic societies, rather than shallow multicultural ones....it would rob terrorists of what has always been their greatest recruitment tool: our racism.I'm thinking THE NATION may have jumped the shark with that one. There are probably about 5 people on the planet--including NATION readers--who think our Real Problem is we should be multi-ethnic, not multi-cultural. Maybe not even. Are there 5 people on the planet who can distinguish between deep multi-ethnicism and shallow multiculturalism? I think not. -- CatherineJohnson - 13 Aug 2005
OK, I've checked out the Multicultural Pavilion. Definitely time for me to Write a Letter to Everyday Math. -- CatherineJohnson - 13 Aug 2005
don't blame the far left -- it's business that pushes this sick parody of "inclusiveness" by my lights. a case can be made. -- KtmGuest - 14 Aug 2005
Well, I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around that one. Why is it the fault of business? Businesses, in my experience, just want to make what sells. They tend to follow the market very closely. They generally don't have any power to shove things people don't want down their throats. As Bill Gates himself said, "you don't own your customers". People remain free in a free market to not buy what they don't want. So, I'm guessing that these sorts of textbooks are being written solely because they sell, and they sell because teachers want them and order them. I'm gonna have to blame the ed schools on this one. Again. -- BernieJohnston - 15 Aug 2005
hmmmmm. I'm interested in the case, too, and I don't rule it out. Having worked in business for my entire adult life, I can pretty much state as a fact that business is not exclusively or in some cases even primarily interested in "what sells." If business did want to make what sells, Hollywood would have made THE PASSION a very long time ago. Or they'd make a couple of TV shows for people over age 30. When you work in 'content' realms like writing you see this very, very clearly. Years ago I simply had to give up complaining that agents & producers weren't thinking about 'the market' and realize that no agent, ever, was going to represent my work unless he or she liked it. Period. An agent had to connect with my work, and he had to connect with me. That's just as true today, now that I've had a bestseller. I've seen agents turn away high-selling authors, because they didn't like the work. It's a truism of selling that the salesman has to believe in what he's selling. It's also a truism that salesman are the easiest to gull! That's because salesmen have high-enthusiasm personalities like mine--they're always getting swept away by the new, new thing. I love to sell, & my love of selling and 'pitching' is part and parcel of a general high-enthusiasm character.... Plus which, businesses certainly endeavor to create markets. Look at Carolyn & me. We're trying to create a demand for a math wiki! -- CatherineJohnson - 15 Aug 2005
OK, I have debriefed Ed on the subject of the far left. This is pretty close to a direct quote: "The far left is opposed to cultural nationalism, because they think the source of problems has to do with class divisions & economic inequality, so that people who privilege ethnicity and national identity are getting the cause of the problem wrong." -- CatherineJohnson - 15 Aug 2005
I've begun reading John Taylor Gatto, and am now seeing path dependency as a big part of the picture. -- CatherineJohnson - 15 Aug 2005
One last thing! Temple and I have a whole long selling-Animals-in-Translation saga. We spent, I think, 18 months working on the proposal, doing one revision after another for Temple's agent, who hated each and every one. To me, it was ridiculous. Temple had a built-in audience--she was already a minor celebrity--and I had a track record with SHADOW SYNDROMES. Rationally, from where I sat, the book was a sure thing. That didn't matter. Her agent hated the proposal. When I appealed to my own agent--who is either the most powerful agent in the business, or one of the two or three most powerful--she hated it, too. She told me to dump the project. Temple and I had a contract saying I would receive $1000 or $1500 or something if the proposal didn't work out, and my agent wanted me to take the money and move on. I would have been paid $1000 for 18 months' work. This was my own agent! The proposal ended up selling for a huge advance; every publishing company but one bid on it and the auction went on for days. When the book was published it was on the TIMES bestseller list for six weeks, and it's being translated in numerous countries. Rationally, no one could predict that kind of auction or success, and I certainly didn't. But purely on the basis of rationality, I could and did predict that: a) the book would sell
b) the book would be good
Rationality didn't matter. Temple's agent didn't like the book; my agent didn't like the book. And these are high-level agents who have to 'meet their numbers'; they have to bring in lots of income. Ultimately, to get the book written, I had to have a certain level of irrationality myself. When my agent told me to drop the project I dug in my heels; I was so ticked off I would have written the book for free. Maybe I wouldn't have; Ed and I were rapidly going bust at that point, and I had to have an income. But that's the way I felt. That feeling--and it was sheer emotion--kept the book alive. -- CatherineJohnson - 15 Aug 2005