Friday, January 15, 2010

Alice's soap box or something good for kids?

one more news item that caught my eye recently. Caitlin Flanagan wrote this piece ( in the Atlantic calling out Alice Waters and her edible school yard program.

a lot of people have voiced their dismay and objection to Flanagan's article (pretty typical of more liberal news/opinion outlets). While I don't think the gardens are a bad idea (my first grade class grew green beans right outside our class room, in the middle of taipei, it was fun), and it is good for kids to learn that food doesn't have to come out of a McDonald's wrapper, Flanagan did make some interesting points.

To me, her attack may not have been entirely fair, but I think it did accomplish something important, it is making these programs have to defend themselves from a critical point of view. They can't just keep doing these programs, keep asking for money just because some nice lady who owns a restaurant in Berkeley thought it was a good idea. These programs have to take a harder look to make sure that they are not just wasting the time of the students, and something good is coming out of this. The children needs to benefit, that is the bottom line of an education, that is why they go to school, growing vegetable or not.

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