Time for a new subtitle. From now on, we’ll dedicate ourselves to “Awkward Conversations about School and Society.” What does this change mean? Not much, really, but I think it is necessary.
For SAGLRROILYBYGTH, this might seem familiar. In its four-year lifespan, the blog has changed directions a couple of times. At first, I hoped to explore and explain to my fellow secular progressives why some religious conservatives thought the way they did. I was interested in why smart, educated people could believe the earth was only 6,000 years old. I was curious why dedicated parents would want to keep knowledge about sex and sexuality away from their kids. I was puzzled about why some people could tell you that they loved you, but you were going to hell.
As the years have rolled on, my research interests have changed. I’m still curious about creationism, and conservatism, and old ladies who say they love you but you’re going to hell. But these days, I find myself asking those questions specifically in the context of schools and education. These days, I find myself curious about how all of us think about schools, not just the ways conservative activists think.
In every case, these difficult questions often get swept under the rug, since they are not fit for polite conversation. But they need to be aired in order to keep from festering. So from here on out, we’ll shift our focus a little bit. Instead of focusing exclusively on educational culture wars, or on conservative thinking about culture and education, we’ll ask things such as the following:
- Why are schools still so racially segregated?
- Should public schools teach sex ed? How?
- What history do schools embrace? Why?
- Why do so many people want creationism taught in public schools?
- Who has the power in public schools? Who SHOULD have the power?
- What sacred cows do we need to eliminate in order to get a truer picture of public education?
- What does it mean to “reform” education? Why does every politician preach it, but so little changes?