Category Archives: contrarian

Things you shouldn’t have to go through just because you have a daughter

First World Problem I know… but…. When visiting Disney World or going on a Disney Cruise, get ready for employees, crew members, etc to call your daughter “Princess” 10 times a day. Are they calling my sons “Prince”. Uh no. If it were my daughter, I am not sure what I would do… since I am kinda slow with words when caught of guard with such ridiculousness, I would probably have to prepare an answer for “next time”. I know I am not going to change anything, especially since it is probably Disney company policy, but just something to be aware of if you are a parent who is sick of our kids being treated this way. I am not being “PC”… this just actually feels very wrong to me. Like constant “what a pretty dress!” comments to girls and men calling women “girls”. Uh, no. Same thing.

Examples from Google
https://www.google.com/search?q=princess+kids+disney+cruise

Especially ridiculous example:
“Q: We are planning a visit to WDW the first week in May. My 4yr old daughter is not a princess. I don’t want her called that all day. It will upset her. What is the best way to handle this?”
https://web.archive.org/web/20150514021237/http://disneyparksmomspanel.disney.go.com/questions.aspx?pgm=2&pid=80&cid=84&qid=215849

See also: benevolent sexism
That seems like a good term for this.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/27/men-dont-recognize-benevolent-sexism_n_885430.html

Luckily my boys… 1) are boys 2) go to Sudbury Valley School where this kind of baloney doesn’t go on. And 3) (if I do say so myself) have somewhat enlightened parents who call this kind of crap out at every turn when we are watching TV or out-and-about. So they are probably pretty aware of it rather than it floating around unseen or un-examined in their brains.

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Filed under contrarian, kids are complete people, sexism, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School

Standardized testing is so 1.0

Standardized testing is so 1.0 “On a recent morning at Riverside Elementary School, Alyssa Walter, 7, opened her first-grade “data binder,” in which she recorded progress on reading and math tasks throughout the year.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/12/us/school-districts-embrace-business-model-of-data-collection.html

======
Comments include:
“Preparing students for their cubicle lives in an Orwellian future is probably the fairest thing we can do, I guess…”
“There is plenty of research data that says physical activities improve learning, attention and scores. But no one is pushing physical activities as requirement in any school.”
“Well, can’t say this trend isn’t preparing kids for life in the real world, where, as adults, most will be poked, prodded and bullied by number by bosses and HR managers all their lives.”
======

I really do think traditional schools will eventually move in the direction of “continuous testing” aka data collection. So there is no need for a test… you’ve been collecting the (standardized) data all along. “Big Data”.

At our kids’ Sudbury school the “data” collected I suppose includes:
1. The number of times they add money to their discretionary account (tracking the amount of clay they bought and/or the number of fundraiser lunches they’ve partaken of?)
2. Sign-in and -out times. Since there is no fixed start and stop times, kids write down the time when they arrive and leave. But I don’t think this makes it into a database actually. Just for the attendance clerk to note people who are not attending. It also helps people at school know who is there. For instance, if it is 10:15am (or 4:15pm) and you can’t find Ansel, you might first check to see if he has signed-in (or out) for the day or not.
3. J.C. violations. Not much to learn there…
4. If you look at the list on the side of the microwave you can see the “data” of who is certified to use it. But no dates. Darn! Still that’s something I suppose!

;-)

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Filed under big data / personal data collection, contrarian, kids -- freedom and responsibility, kids are complete people, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School

Negative attitudes about school

I’ve started a “Negative attitudes about school” youtube playlist. If you know of any videos to add to my list, let me know! https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLgujPLkhFHkxu3-ZhfaunkGIH9TdqBsD7

This is the EXACT OPPOSITE of how my kids feel about school. But that’s because they go to http://sudval.org/ . Instead they are:
1. Happy when school starts in September.
2. Sad when it stops in June.
3. A bit bummed when there is a snow day.

Sure they enjoy a fun dumping of snow every now and then, but generally they really like going to school because they get to do their own thing for 5 or 6 hours without their parents bugging them. Not that we bug them much at home, but kids like to do their own thing. Even 4-year-olds!

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Filed under contrarian, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School

We learn to think by thinking…

“We learn to think by thinking. We think even as small children, amazingly, without the help of algebra or art history. What happens is that people stop kids from thinking by telling them the truth and failing to have conversations with them that might challenge their beliefs or force them to defend their ideas. We learn to think through intellectual engagement and intellectual combat, not through indoctrination.”
— Roger Schank

http://educationoutrage.blogspot.com/2015/03/zakaria-and-ivy-graduates-keep.html

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SO BRAVE: decision-making using anecdotes vs data

“So to avoid bravery debate framing, here is a table showing the tradeoffs.” (for decision-making using anecdotes vs data) http://carcinisation.com/2014/09/09/considerations-on-reasoning-by-anecdote/

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Filed under anecdotes vs data, contrarian, thinking

Do Nots for parents?

Do not make your children eat greens
http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/sep/22/dont-make-children-eat-greens

Do not praise
http://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2015/03/09/parents-stop-overvaluing-your-kid-you-may-create-a-future-narcissist-study-says/

*Do* love your kids unconditionally.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/11/how-this-harvard-psycholo_n_3727229.html

*Do* respect (more important than love?)
https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/freedom-learn/201208/in-relationships-respect-may-be-even-more-crucial-love
(Peter Gray, the author of this post also talks about the huge increase in narcissism and corresponding decrease in empathy that has been measured since the late 1970s LINK)

Why I’m Not Raising a ‘Good Girl’
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/galit-breen/why-im-not-raising-a-good_b_6729796.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000037

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Filed under advice, contrarian, narcissism, person: Peter Gray, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School

fact?

“[W]e didn’t subject our most highly paid professionals [doctors, lawyers, etc] to international competition in the same way as manufacturing workers. In fact in some ways we increased their protection. This matters because the inequality resulting from globalization was by design, not an accidental outcome.”

http://www.cepr.net/index.php/blogs/beat-the-press/would-doctors-benefit-from-globalization-that-lowered-their-pay-and-the-cost-of-health-care

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Filed under contrarian, globalization, person: Dean Baker