#classsizematters Or Does It? | Sourcewell's Cyndy Harrison and Mary Mehsikomer

Welcome back to school and welcome back to the OnEducation blog! In this post we will be exploring dress code and hat policies, class sizes and if they really matter, and some pretty amazing information about the ImpactEDU19 conference hosted in Minneapolis, MN. Let’s dig in!

As the school year is starting back up for most of our listeners, we start off this episode by exploring ideas around dress code policies and bring up the great hat debate. This topic comes to discussion as Glen shares about reflecting on posts from Brian Aspinall where he digs into looking at the history and current reasonings on why hats are not allowed in schools. Glen’s current high school actually did away with this type of policy and allows students to wear hats during the school day, with teacher discretion. Dress code is something that is discussed a lot about in education - but are we really digging into how these policies impact if students can learn, if they are limiting themselves to conform, or if these policies are created for the ease of the adults in the school? Dig into more discussion around dress code from another Education Podcast Network podcast the Cult of Pedagogy

So why is it that a student wearing a simple hat brings so much struggle to so many schools? Are these policies focusing on limiting distractions, elimination of expression, or student compliance? Is enforcing this type of policy worth the time and effort - or have we moved past the ban on hats as a society? We want to know your opinions on this topic - head over to this #ChatOnEducation post and let us know your view! 

Every fall we find ourselves chatting with our colleague about class sizes - this is a problem that does not seem to be going away anytime soon. As we reflect on our own experiences, it is hard not to reference this article from the Des Moines Register which highlights some massive class sizes, 35 students in AP Calculus and 59 students in yearbook. While the district responds that these are not average class sizes, we can’t help but to think about the educational limitations and safety hazards are with that many students in a single classroom.

In a world where we have to think about school shootings and intruders… imagine a room with 59 kids in it and how you would deal with an emergency situation… it’s just one of the disasters waiting to happen
— @misterwashburn

Different content areas, grade levels, or specialties may fit better with larger or smaller class sizes such as a band/choir needing to rehearse as a whole, or an industrial tech class needing a small class size due to the use of specific tools. As we know that growing class sizes are not going away, and that 26-28 students in a room seems to be the new norms, we want to know more about the class sizes from schools from all of our listeners! We want to compile this information from you about your class right now- please consider completing this form to contribute to our search!

During this episode we also were so excited to chat with Cyndy Harrison and Mary Mehsikomer from Sourcewell Technology. Sourcewell Technology is the host of the newly rebranded Impact Education conference, many of our midwest listeners may know this as the TIES conference. The Impact Education conference has a great reputation for high quality sessions, incredible speakers, and some of the best swag. This year Sourcewell Technology has shifted the standard to offering books away as conference swag. The books available are all from the keynote and featured speakers and can be viewed here! Here at OnEducation, we are fans of this shift moving from disposable swag to real literature that can shape and transform classrooms and educators! The conference will have a new three day format (running December 14-December 17) and we would encourage you to check out the keynoters and featured speakers. This year’s conference has a super high quality line-up of speakers and session - we are excited! 

We are also incredibly excited for ImpactEDU19 because we have been named the official podcast of the conference! This partnership will put the OnEducation team in a great place to not only share the amazing learning that is happening at this conference, but also share about podcasting in education, host live interviews, and invite you all to join us for some personal sessions and events! Check out the second half of our podcast to learn even more details!


If you are interested in any of the topics Mike and Glenn chatted about in the intro check out more on Boris Johnson, The Great Brittish Baking Show, and our new team! Lastly - go check out our Youtube Channel and smash that subscribe button!

Dave BlanchardComment