Single-sex classrooms, circumventing poverty, and “hump day"—here’s what you might have missed this week in news and thoughts related to student engagement, school climate, and the world that affects them.
1. “Coeducation is an American tradition, and that will never change. But some parents and students prefer girls’ and boys’ schools, so why deny them that choice?”
—American Enterprise Institute resident scholar Christina Hoff Sommers, on how the American Civil Liberties Union should back off its campaign against single-sex classrooms
2. “One of the things I wish schools would do a better job of is giving [parents] important dates earlier. A work calendar gets established a year in advance and schools send out notices the day before.”
—Barnard College President Debora Spar, on the balances and sacrifices of being a working mother
3. “I’m not suggesting that teachers deliberately create Dickensian classrooms, where students learn to toughen up in the face of disappointment. Instead, teachers need to explain that setbacks are an inescapable part of the human existence.”
—Walt Gardner, on how to build genuine self-esteem in students
4. “If I worked at the L.A. school district, I’d set up a hacker curriculum where each week the students must complete harder and harder challenges.”
5. “If identity is a kind of public performance for today’s youth, then understanding young people’s creative practices is a requisite complement to studying their self-presentation.”
—BookMarks Blog guru Amy Wickner, in her criticism of the new book The App Generation
6. “Some teachers have outright banned quoting the commercial in their classroom, which in turn has led to some students being called to the principal’s office for violating the ban.”
—Gawker’s Neetzan Zimmerman, on a new and, perhaps unfortunately, popular Geico ad
A version of this news article first appeared in the Rules for Engagement blog.