red and white stop sign
FeminismPedagogySecondary Education

Sex Ed: Teaching consent

Trigger warnings: Sexual abuse of children   As unexpectedly as a virgin giving birth I found myself in charge of teaching sex ed to 6th graders. It’s been an interesting (and sometimes depressing) experience. We don’t have any of that “Abstinence Only” crap over here and while the parents were …

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Exclusion, Segregation, Integration, Inclusion
EducationPedagogySecondary EducationSpecial EducationUncategorized

Competing needs

Author’s note: I’m sorry this got posted in an unfinished version. I swear I’d finished it, but somehow my last additions got lost and an unfinished but saved version got posted.   I’m a big fan of inclusion as a principle in school. If you’re not familiar with the concepts, …

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Refugees Welcome
EducationPedagogy

Racism is easy, Integration is hard

You may have heard that the European Union is currently being overrun by Syrian refugees. Like, a full million of them. Just to give you a sense of proportion, as little as 508 million EU citizens have to cope with as many refugees as all those 4,7 million citizens of the Lebanon! Imagine …

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Respect on the street
EducationPedagogyPrimary Education

#StopBashingTeachers, a charter school’s equivalent to #PoliceLivesMatter

There’s a video of a New York charter school doing its rounds at the moment in which you can see a teacher verbally and emotionally abuse a first grade student. If you love kids, if you’ve been abused as a child yourself, that video makes you want to cry, puke …

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Red rose
CultureEducationPedagogy

A Rose by Any Other Name…

Names can say a lot about us. Even though our parents did not choose for us the way J.K. Rowling did for her characters (you could think that the parents of Remus Lupin were asking for their child to be bitten by a werewolf), they still had their reasons for …

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EducationPedagogy

Crime and Punishment

Two things cropped up simultaneously in my Twitter timeline this week. One was the outrage over the brutal assault of a black teenage girl by a white police officer in class that you sure all heard of. The other one was less prominent and I would have missed it if …

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The famous Archaeopterix fossil in Berlin
CultureEducationPedagogy

Education vs Intelligence

It’s no secret that kids from low income household and or a migration background are underrepresented amongst those deemed “gifted and talented”. So how come? Are they just not as intelligent as their middle-class peers? If you ask me, the difference isn’t “intelligence”, it’s education and people are notoriously bad …

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DRawing of animals with gears and mechanical features
CultureFeminismPrimary Education

Crafting Gender

Permit me one of those exasperated sighs from the intersection between parenting, feminism and teaching. As I am writing this, my daughter is in her room, trying to finish a crafting project for school. She’s been postponing this for a while. The others in her class have all finished, but …

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Book Shelf Science and Skeptical Books
CultureEducationFeminismPrimary Education

Doing Diversity and Doing Diversity Right

Hello folks. I’ve been away for a while, and if you’re good kids I will one day tell you what I did while I was away. So now I’m back, and school’s back, so it’s time to talk a bit about diversity in schoolbooks. Diversity has been a big topic …

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A statue of Columbus in Barcelona, pointing west towards America
Secondary Education

¿Hablas español? ¿Sí? ¿Cuál?

As you may remember, I recently went to the German “Hispanistentag”, the biannual congress of Germany’s and Austria’s researchers on Spanish language and literature. The section I was in was about the different varieties of Spanish and what to do with them in school.   Spanish is spoken by around …

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