Monday, October 23, 2006

Marriage as a Social Contract

In Sunday’s Philadelphia Inquirer, there was a commentary entitled “Marriage as a Social Contract.” The author, Stephanie Coontz stated that “for the first time in 150 years, households headed by single adults and unmarried couples now outnumber married-couple families.”

Though we have been sensitive to this issue in schools for some time (one example would be sending home letters with the salutation “Dear Parent/Guardian”), I could not help wonder if there is more that we need to do as a school given some of the issues the Ms. Coontz raises – families that are started much later in life which result in “older” parents who are more likely to both work outside the home and the high percentage of individuals living together but not married who have children in the home.

Ms. Coontz writes that “many of our assumptions and expectations are based on the world of the 1950s – a world that no longer exists.” Does our school organization, in general and/or at Woodbury, need to change in any way to better account for the issues raised by this commentary?

  • Philadelphia Inquirer Commentary

    Anonymous said...

    Thoughtful positive change is always good. As you point out there have already been changes. Before and aftercare in the elementary schools, something unheard of not that many years ago, is an excellent example of a positive program that can aid a busy parent and offer the child a safe and stable environment.

    We have more tools available today than ever before. Classroll, for example, can be very helpful in aiding today’s parent and teacher alike. The ability to have accurate information so easily available can be of tremendous benefit in a busy world. Yet, too many faculty, and perhaps parents, are hesitant to take advantage of the opportunity this affords.

    If we use what our modern society has to offer, with consideration to the needs of all, we’re sure to benefit.

    Joseph Jones said...

    I agree. The Classroll observation is a good one! Classroll is another way to address the changing family dynamic of today. Even in the "traditional" two-parent home, the easy access of the web-enabled gradebook is welcomed.

    For your information, last year was our pilot year (and well over 50% of our teachers were "on board"). We continue providing staff development and fine-tuning the technical end of the program. We plan to have everyone up and running by the start of the next school year. I expect that this year we will have even more faculty active than the last school year.