Monday, June 17, 2013

Conversation: Is Parenthood a Barrier to Education?

This is anecdotal, I realize, but a summer class started this morning. Like most classes, the full roster in front of me did not correlate with a full classroom. Each first day, some students don't show up. There's been a nagging trend: most of the people who don't show up are women. In fact, almost all of the ones who didn't show up to my class this morning were women.

Obviously, being a woman doesn't necessarily mean that you're a mother, and being a mother doesn't necessarily mean that you're the only caregiver available for your child. Still, it seems that a lot of the students who disappear mid-way through the semester are also women, women who have often been struggling to find stable childcare.

Empty Desks

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Dev Ed in the News: Does Remediation Need Remediation?

Leticia Bustillos, a remedial education consultant, has a post over at Huffington Post about the problems with the way we talk about remedial and developmental courses. She suggests our conceptions of remedial education are too limiting, especially on a policy level:
Unfortunately, policymakers and their outdated definition of "remediation" stubbornly cling to a perception that does not fully account for the issue's complexity. Rather than asking the question, "What does it take to successfully serve students considered underprepared?" policymakers are more inclined to ask "What does it take to make remedial education programs most efficient?" In doing so, policies emerging from this imprudent focus do not make allowances for the "development" of students as learners and impose arbitrary timelines and restrictions for the mastery of knowledge.
Read the whole thing here. 

Do you agree with Bustillos? What would be the best way to remediate our discussion of remediation?