Archive for May, 2010

The Illusion of Security

Posted on May 20, 2010. Filed under: personal |

So yesterday I went to the passport office to get a new passport under my married name.  When I got there, they sent me to the pre-room where this guy checks to make sure you have everything right before you go to the real room to apply for a passport.  Surprisingly, the passport office wasn’t busy and I was the 2nd in line to talk to this guy.  He asked to see my health card, birth certificate and driver’s license.  I showed them to him and he attached them to my application and sent me to the other room.

 

My old passport

There, I waited a couple more minutes before going up to see a very unfriendly man.  He took the information and asked me a couple questions about school and work, and then I paid and was done.

As I was walking down the 5 flights of stairs (trying to keep healthy) I realized they never once asked to see my marriage certificate. I had it with me, but it stayed in the envelope the whole time.  I thought this was kind of strange because the reason I was applying for a new passport was because my last name changed.  Yes, I understand that my new name was on my drivers license and health card, but all I had to do to change those was show the little paper printout that our church gave us the day we got married.

 

Technically I could have gone in there and got myself a “fake” passport with a new last name.  Scary hey?

I mean I am glad they trust me, and I am happy I had a smooth application process for a passport, but it makes me question how secure our Canadian security actually is.  I remember Robin Williams character, Tom Dobbs, in the movie, Man of the Year, make a speech about the illusion of security. He joked that we can spend 4 hours in line at an airport while your grandma is being frisked, and yet others can walk across an invisible line drawn on the ground threatening to hold a briefcase with a bomb, and they are let through.  I wouldn’t go this far, but it does get me thinking.  Do all of the processes and paperwork and people standing in uniform really help, or are they our comfort in the illusion of security?

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Is There a Difference Between Male and Female Teachers?

Posted on May 18, 2010. Filed under: cultural, educational, personal, reflection, teaching and learning |


Are there specific differences between male and female teachers?  Are male teachers needed more in elementary classrooms than female teachers?  Do males have different teaching styles than females? If so, is nature or nurture the cause?  These are some of the questions I asked when I did a survey last year for my Women in Education class.

The majority of people I asked believe we need more male teachers.  There were a variety of reasons behind this, but one of the dominant reasons was because it is assumed that males command more respect from classrooms and provide balance in a female dominated workplace.

As I was doing this study, I was hearing a lot of interesting opinions and assumptions about education.  Have you ever thought about your own thoughts on this matter?  Gender roles can be discussed in any and every context, but I want to talk about them in an educational context.  Where do men and women fit?  Why is there a general trend that elementary teachers tend to be female- especially in early childhood?  Is it a women’s job to look after the children?  Some might say that women are way better at it then men- is this true?

I want to revisit this topic to see if my opinions have changed from a year ago, but I also want to hear your opinions on the matter. Check out the link below for my powerpoint presentation from last year.

View more presentations from bahslerd.
Some quotes from people surveyed: “We need proportional representation of both male and female teachers.  Currently there tends to be limited incentives to encourage this.  School systems reinforce the status quo.  The current practice needs to change in order for this [more males in ECE classrooms] to change.” -Male educator
“Young boys and girls need to have positive male role models in their lives, and I think seeing men in different roles, (roles traditionally held by women) will help both genders disregard stereotypes.” -Female educator
“I believe that a male commands more from children than a female may, and when used responsibly I believe it can be more influential, perhaps more inspirational.” – Male educator
“I think that it is good for the younger students, namely boy students, to have someone to relate to starting at an early age.” – Female educator
So, do you agree? Do you believe there is a misrepresentation of male teachers in education?  The (fairly feminist) professor from my class seems to think that we do not need anymore male teachers in the schools, and that assuming we do means that you are using a gender stereotype to assume that a male educator can do something that a female educator cannot.  Can males “outperform” females in certain areas of education and vice versa? We know that men and women are different, but what is the difference, if any, between male and female teachers?
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