GovernmentPrimary Education

Canada’s Residential Schools: Abuse, Disease, Colonialism, and… ESP Tests

December 15th, 2016 marks the first anniversary of the release of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission report. The Canadian TRC was about Canada’s residential school system for indigenous children. The schools were mandated by the federal government but were run by churches and were sites of awful abuses. The secular …

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EducationFeminismPrimary EducationSecondary Education

Bathrooms: for trans students who have considered suicide when the rainbow is not enough

bathroom – a room in a public place with a toilet and a sink sex – the state of being male or female as assigned at birth gender identity – a person’s internal sense of being male, female, some combination of male and female, or neither male nor female transgender …

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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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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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Cross-postEducationPedagogyPrimary Education

A Meditation on Ratio

What do you think a ratio is? I emphasize “think” because I’d like you to be interested only in the fragmentary pictures conjured by the question—you want to be aware of what you think a ratio is, not what you think you know about ratios, which are two different thinks. …

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Critical ThinkingFeaturedPrimary EducationReligionUncategorized

Going Up Against the Good News Club: An Interview with Dan Courtney

Dan Courtney is President Emeritus of the Freethinkers of Upstate New York and is active in a number of Freethought and church/state separation groups. Dan gained international attention for being the first Atheist to offer an invocation at the Town of Greece following the US Supreme Court’s ruling on the …

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EducationGovernmentPrimary Education

Why the Opt-Out Movement is Growing in New York

Last week, tens of thousands of children sat out the New York State Common Core English Language arts exams as their parents’ frustrations pushed them to finally boycott the test. In some districts, over 50% of students sat out the test with over 175,000 children opting out in grades 3-8. …

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Critical ThinkingEducationPrimary EducationScience

Tackling Science Project Turmoil

Science Fairs can sometimes get a bad rap. As a recent viral image illustrates, these school projects are often met with dread by students, families, and yes – even teachers. But I’d like to propose that science projects – done properly – are a valuable tool in teaching children how …

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Critical ThinkingPrimary Education

About those viral Common Core problems

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably seen one of those viral posts on social media presenting a (seemingly) ridiculous common core math problem, and possibly even a frustrated parent responding with some kind of exasperated takedown. Like this one. (Also pictured) It is super tempting, especially for those of …

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