I’m trying something a little different today. Diana and I have discussed what she and I should contribute next to these discussions several times since last week. We’re not stumped, exactly, but we’re at a bit of a standstill. We’re agreed that education needs to be discussed over the next couple of months in a comprehensive way, and glad we’ve finally got that going. Here’s the problem of the moment. Neither she nor I have studied education very much, and what we have studied is focused on reading and writing pedagogy.
It’s difficult for either of us to write off-the-cuff posts about education as it relates to gender equality. It’s going to require some research. Otherwise, we run the risk getting our facts wrong, or of making some argument that accomplishes nothing except touching off a heated, divisive debate. I started looking for something to use in a post this week on Wednesday, and I was overwhelmed by the amount of information that even a casual Google search requires me to sift through.
All this doesn’t mean we can’t have a good discussion this weekend, just that I don’t have a post about a single issue. What I’ll do, instead, is toss out a few options and invite you to comment on any or all that interest you. Previous discussions are archived on a page at The Writing Catalog for your convenience, and to give people who join us in the future a way to catch up.
Last week’s discussion went so well the thread was still active on Wednesday. The campaign I proposed was well-received, but it’s not something a handful of bloggers can get off the ground without some help. We don’t have the resources. I proposed it to see whether people thought the idea was sound. It seems as though a lot of people think so. The next logical step is to put together a proposal and try to convince a few organizations to read it. I’m good at writing proposals, but they’re always better with input, and I haven’t given much thought about who I would send it to yet. So we can talk about this.
We can also talk more about early childhood education. Last week we focused on the fact that children learn first by imitating the people who care for them. That’s an important issue – critical, really – but there are other aspects of early childhood education, as well. We can talk about the need for children to have quality, structured educational programs at an earlier age than most children start them. We can also talk about whether or not encouraging more men to choose careers in early childhood education is a good idea. I’ll probably return to both these topics at some point, because I think they both have some bearing on last week’s discussion, but we can start on them now if anyone has thoughts to share.
I am also open to comments on how these discussions have gone so far. Things like: What was your favorite post or favorite discussion thread? What stands out to you? Have you learned anything you didn’t know when we started? Are you re-thinking your views on any of these issues in light of the previous discussions? Thinking about writing something related to these topics in the future? What could we have done to make these discussions even better?
So, not quite an open thread, but a semi-open one. Think of it as a chance to take stock of where we are and chatter a bit before we get back to the heavy stuff. However it goes, we’ll have another discussion thread next Friday.