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Friday, March 17, 2006

A two-handed truth

There is an old story about a man looking for a one-armed lawyer. When asked about the strange request, the man replied as follows:

Whenever I ask a lawyer a question, I always get a reply that begins, "On the one hand..." and what follows is a logical explanation, and when I am just at the point where I know exactly what to do, the lawyer will say, "But on the other hand..." and proceed to with an entirely different point of view. I wind up more confused than before. I am looking for a good one-armed lawyer.

So many truths are two-handed truths. One the one hand, there is this to consider; on the other hand that to consider.

An article in yesterday's Birmingham News featured one of the two-handed truths I see. The article was about the trend in elementary schools to return to a more unstructured "recess" time during the day. The article focused on Jefferson County, Shelby County, and Hoover. One quote from the article, in reference to Jefferson County Schools:

"A movement is under way, in line with national trends, to persuade the county Board of Education to mandate recess in all elementary schools." Also, "...unstructured play would undoubtedly benefit children, especially those who have trouble focusing in class."

What's the point? On the one hand, our students at Graham would benefit from a structured program that would ensure students are mastering course of study standards in Physical Education. On the other hand, our students are benefiting from the unstructured play that so many kids are missing.

I have posted the article on the Staff Room bulletin board if you would like to read further.

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