Wednesday, October 01, 2003

HURL follies III -- Reprogramming begins early 

Third in the series (here are the first and the second) of course proposals from the Department of Human Relations and Grade Inflation. I almost chose not to run this one as it looked relatively mundane.
HURL 414/514 Gender Issues in Education. Overview of school experiences of girls and boys. Special focus on girls and issues of self-esteem, peer pressure, academic performance, curriculum, school culture and extracurricular activities. Theories of pedogagical chance are studied.
"Special focus on girls" is not a shocker -- I can hear the retort "there's been special interest on boys for centuries!" out of the mouths of these nincompoops, and frankly I've become inured to this "retribution motive". No, what caught my eye were the course objectives. I'll just list the three of the six that I find troublesome.
2. To understand the special problems that girls face in terms of self-esteem, eating disorders, peer pressure, parental influences, media images, and sex-role stereotyping.
Yes, those darn parents. They are a "special problem". Did anyone in HURL ever read Huxley, or are they too busy reading and learning to hate Bush?
3. To redefine masculinity and boys' issues in socialization learning styles and communication.
Not to understand or analyze, but to "redefine". The theme from the "Six Million Dollar Man" is in my head (and the stupid AOL 8.0 commercial). "We can build boys gentler, more sensitive ... better." It makes me want to "ride the Tilt-A-Whirl".
6. To define pro-active strategies for change in educational settings.
They will not only rebuild boys, they will create activists. As you can tell by now, creating activists is a recurring theme. Too bad education isn't.