March 2, 2008

"What kind of message does it give when you tell a group of kids that boys and girls need to be separated because they don’t even see or hear alike?"

Here's a big, interesting NYT Magazine article about educating boys and girls separately.
The walls of the boys’ classroom are painted blue, the light bulbs emit a cool white light and the thermostat is set to 69 degrees. In the girls’ room, by contrast, the walls are yellow, the light bulbs emit a warm yellow light and the temperature is kept six degrees warmer...
Gah! I'm getting hot just thinking about it. You're cooking the girls!

Actually, I love the idea of classrooms set up for different styles of learning, and I can even accept one classroom designed to appeal to most boys and another designed to appeal to most girls, but you've got to let boys and girls self-select into the classroom that suits them.

AND: 69° is not a cool classroom, and it's a waste of energy heating a room even to that temperature in the winter. I recommend 62° and put on a sweater if you're cold. And as for the warm yellow light... I thought Congress was taking away our incandescent bulbs. I'm pretty upset about that, and I'm warming up to the idea that it's sex discrimination.

IN THE COMMENTS: Palladian said:
"Taking away" incandescent bulbs? That would be a revolution-provoking act, as far as I'm concerned. And I consider it disability-based discrimination, since fluorescent lights (tubes, the stupid compact fluorescents, whatever) trigger migraines (with and without aura) if I sit under them for prolonged periods. They do not produce continuous illumination, no matter how "flicker free" they claim to be.

I am also very sensitive to color and light, in order for me to work I need proper, non-irritating light. I use both regular incandescents and incandescents coated with neodymium (full-spectrum bulbs), especially in my studio.
I said:
Palladian, the law is already passed. You have 4 years to stock up on incandescent lightbulbs to last the rest of your life.
Palladian said:
Christ.

I hate the fucking compact fluorescent bulbs. Their light is ugly, the bulbs are ugly, they don't fit into a lot of classic lamps that I own, they're expensive, they've got mercury in them, it's illegal to throw they away in New York, placing yet another burden on taxpayers to try and figure out how to dispose of them.

Seriously, it's this kind of petty tyranny, this kind of ignorance to aesthetics, this kind of disregard for personal choice that pushes me closer to anarchism.

This kind of collectivist shit is fast turning us into Europe with less-interesting architecture. Fuck congress and the lobbyists from Philips who I suspect were primarily responsible for hiding this little turd in the "energy" bill.

Doing some calculations to figure out how many bulbs I'll need to buy...
Buy a lot so you can sell them to your aesthete friends who will beg for them and so you don't have to skimp and worry about whether any given situation is "lightworthy" (like "spongeworthy").

24 comments:

rhhardin said...

No more pigtails and inkwells.

vet66 said...

Once again the feminists are attempting to demonize and emasculate the male students in a homage to the 70's.

A case could be made regarding radical Islam that this is the first step, separating the sexes, in ultimately denying girls an education.

Maybe I am overreacting, but one wonders if wimpy educators could pass on the opportunity to teach abortion to impressionable females as the males across the street celebrate "Girls Gone Wild" videos.

Educators and NOW/Feministas do not trump natural hormonal urges among normal human beings. Bill and Hillary Clinton come quickly to mind.

Elliott A said...

How can men learn to treat women as equals in the work force if they can't work with them in school? How can women learn about men (They just need to remember the boys in school when they were about 10) to understand how to get along with them. Somehow, I don't see 7 year olds failing in their studies because they are having sexual fantasies about their classmates.

As alluded to gratuitously for Islam, this is just another step in denying parental freedom personal freedom, and attempting to "program" our kids. It is scandalous enough that the powers to be have drugged half of them. I'm sure that I would have been one of the drugged ones had I gone to school now and not in the 60's. I managed to do well, get educated and become a productive member of society. I don't know if all this could have happened with Ritalin and all boy classes. I also wouldn't have my wife who I met in the 6th grade, and who sat in front of me in 11th grade English. I think I am beginning to understand why Scientologists do not like Psychologists.

Elliott A said...

How can men learn to treat women as equals in the work force if they can't work with them in school? How can women learn about men (They just need to remember the boys in school when they were about 10) to understand how to get along with them. Somehow, I don't see 7 year olds failing in their studies because they are having sexual fantasies about their classmates.

As alluded to gratuitously for Islam, this is just another step in denying parental freedom personal freedom, and attempting to "program" our kids. It is scandalous enough that the powers to be have drugged half of them. I'm sure that I would have been one of the drugged ones had I gone to school now and not in the 60's. I managed to do well, get educated and become a productive member of society. I don't know if all this could have happened with Ritalin and all boy classes. I also wouldn't have my wife who I met in the 6th grade, and who sat in front of me in 11th grade English. I think I am beginning to understand why Scientologists do not like Psychologists.

Palladian said...

"I thought Congress was taking away our incandescent bulbs. I'm pretty upset about that, and I'm warming up to the idea that it's sex discrimination."

"Taking away" incandescent bulbs? That would be a revolution-provoking act, as far as I'm concerned. And I consider it disability-based discrimination, since fluorescent lights (tubes, the stupid compact fluorescents, whatever) trigger migraines (with and without aura) if I sit under them for prolonged periods. They do not produce continuous illumination, no matter how "flicker free" they claim to be.

I am also very sensitive to color and light, in order for me to work I need proper, non-irritating light. I use both regular incandescents and incandescents coated with neodymium (full-spectrum bulbs), especially in my studio.

Jeff with one 'f' said...

"Cooking the girls"?!?

Every office that I've worked in, and I mean every, was overheated to at least the mid-high 70's because of women who refuse to dress appropriately in the winter.

The squabbles that resulted were predictable. Men don't have the luxury of wearing sleeveless sweater tops or loose skirts and open-toed shoes, so we just have to sweat and use desk fans while many of our female co-workers use space heaters and complain of drafts. Needless to say it's the women who dictate where the thermostat is set.

These kids will not be prepared for the co-ed workplace.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Maybe I misunderstood, but does the article obscure that single-sex education produces a %39 net benefit?

Palladian said...

I support this single-sex education as well, with the provisions that Ann mentions.

This applies to college students as well. I frequently notice the vastly different working methods and habits of the male and female students in my drawing classes. Of course, there are exceptions to this, but we're generalizing here. There's an even distribution of good work from each sex, but the males need more "stimulation" and frequent breaks. Of course, my sample is skewed because the women far outnumber the males in my classes, always (currently its 6 males to 15 females in one class, 6 males to 16 females in the other). I try to maintain a balanced teaching style, and engage both the female and male modes of working and learning, but it's very difficult when the class is demographically skewed towards women.

Jennifer said...

Those of you who see this as a male bashing program might be interested to know that the net academic improvements have been generally stronger for boys than girls when switched to single sex education.

Yosephina said...

"Every office that I've worked in, and I mean every, was overheated to at least the mid-high 70's because of women who refuse to dress appropriately in the winter."

Are you daft? There are well-known physiological reasons why women are more sensitive to cold than men are. It has nothing to do with clothing.

Also, I've NEVER seen an office with the thermostat set to the "mid-high 70's". I've worked places where they were still running the air-conditioning in January, despite it being 50 degrees outside! To claim that women control the thermostats in most workplaces is laughable.

There is a reason why women routinely keep sweaters at work and have space-heaters under their desks - if offices were routinely kept at 75 degrees, that wouldn't be necessary.

In any case, offices are typically too cold for lots of women in July also. I don't think you can reasonably spin that as the women not dressing appropriately for the weather - the problem is offices being routinely over air-conditioned in the summer.

Blake said...

You're right about the 62 degrees. That's about the temperature the brain is most alert.

If I'm sitting around in that kind of cold, though, I need a jacket.

George said...

"....you've got to let boys and girls self-select into the classroom that suits them."

The problem, however, is that children typically do not know what is in their own best interests.

I love this language from Ginsburg's opinion (p. 7)..."in some contexts, single-sex schools might be legal, as long as those schools worked to “dissipate, rather than perpetuate, traditional gender classifications.”

Cause to disappear "traditional gender classifications." What's a "gender classification"? And "traditional"? Must we make the girls run lathes and compel the boys to knit?

Ann Althouse said...

Palladian, the law is already passed. You have 4 years to stock up on incandescent lightbulbs to last the rest of your life.

Palladian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Palladian said...

"Palladian, the law is already passed. You have 4 years to stock up on incandescent lightbulbs to last the rest of your life."

Christ.

I hate the fucking compact fluorescent bulbs. Their light is ugly, the bulbs are ugly, they don't fit into a lot of classic lamps that I own, they're expensive, they've got mercury in them, it's illegal to throw they away in New York, placing yet another burden on taxpayers to try and figure out how to dispose of them.

Seriously, it's this kind of petty tyranny, this kind of ignorance to aesthetics, this kind of disregard for personal choice that pushes me closer to anarchism.

This kind of collectivist shit is fast turning us into Europe with less-interesting architecture. Fuck congress and the lobbyists from Philips who I suspect were primarily responsible for hiding this little turd in the "energy" bill.

Doing some calculations to figure out how many bulbs I'll need to buy...

TMink said...

elliot wrote: "I think I am beginning to understand why Scientologists do not like Psychologists."

Actually, the target of their ire is psychiatrists. They are the ones who perscribe the medicine. Us psychologists just listen.

Trey

rhhardin said...

You'd dispose of burnt-out CFL's by swapping them with ones in the subway. Unfortunately the subway lights have left hand threads, I'd bet.

Trooper York said...

Don't girls have cooties?

That is until their breasts begin to bud.

Just sayn'

Synova said...

I don't have objections (much) to single sex education but I've long ago come to the conclusion that anything done in school to make it better for girls was done as a focused attempt to make my life hell.

Which sort of described school to begin with.

But if there was something that did work for me and I did well at it, and someone came up with a way of testing or working that was better for girls it invariably took that thing where I did well and exchanged it for a method that worked not at all.

I don't know if I'd prefer the cooler blue room or the warmer yellow room but just on past experiences I'd put money on getting stuck in the one that hurt me the most.

Synova said...

"Giedd suggests a thought experiment: Imagine trying to assign a population of students to the boys’ and girls’ locker rooms based solely on height. As boys tend to be taller than girls, one would assign the tallest 50 percent of the students to the boys’ locker room and the shortest 50 percent of the students to the girls’ locker room. What would happen? While you’d end up with a better-than-random sort, the results would be abysmal, with unacceptably large percentages of students in the wrong place. Giedd suggests the same is true when educators use gender alone to assign educational experiences for kids. Yes, you’ll get more students who favor cooperative learning in the girls’ room, and more students who enjoy competitive learning in the boys’, but you won’t do very well."

I'd be in the right locker room and in the wrong classroom.

Henry said...

Buy a lot so you can sell them to your aesthete friends who will beg for them...

No joke. Once upon a time there were guys who stocked up on freon and ended up with lots of vintage-car-hobbyist friends.

Palladian, how about halogens? Are halogen bulbs going to be legal?

Or candles! There's always candles.

* * *

As for the 69 degrees of learning perfection. I laugh. Ever in my life, the thermostat has been a blunt instrument. My two-story home has steam radiators and one zone. The large windows in my modern office create a 5 to 10 degree temperature gradient in the first 20 feet from each outside wall.

Going all the way back to high school (a new school at the time), the rooms baked in early fall and late spring then fluctuated wildly in temperature the rest of the year. In warm weather, radiant energy on a flat tar roof plus teenage body heat easily overwhelmed the meager AC system, assuming it was even on. In mid-winter, waves of cold poured off the low r-value windows, countered somewhere in mid-room by the blast of the forced-air heating system.

Thus, for a few months of the year we students could have self-selected 62 or 79 -- at least in short intervals, based on the timing of the furnace.

Jeremy said...

"Giedd suggests a thought experiment: Imagine trying to assign a population of students to the boys’ and girls’ locker rooms based solely on height..."

In Giedd's thought experiment, everybody is currently in one giant locker room and no one is particularly happy about it.

Thought experiments suck. Stasis sucks. How about an actual experiment and check the results? Good on this school for trying something different. I hope they keep tweaking it till they get it just right.

sandyshoes said...

All else aside, there are few defensible reasons why a public building should ever be heated to above 65F or cooled to below 70F. Pet peeve of mine.

Harriet said...

As a schoolgirl, I hated yellow classrooms passionately. My mother actually mentioned it to my 5th grade teacher who laughed, of course.