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Candidate Harriet Powers Urges Woman On Board

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Mrs. Harriet A. Power s is running for a seat on the Ann Arbor Board of Education becauseshefeels that a woman's voice is needed to make the school board more representative of the community. A fórmer teacher here, Mrs. Powers is a gradúate of the University and is presently working toward her master's degree in the School of Natural Resources. She is a member of the Citzen's Advisory Council to the Washtenaw C o u n t y Juvenile Court, the local League of Women Voters chapter and works as a field guide in the city's outdoor education program. Married and residing at 1408 Orkney, Mrs. Powers issued the following statement on her candidacyto the board: "Teachers are disturbed, parents are upset, and the students themselves are the most disI tracted by continual threats of; I disruption in the classroom. I School administrations have I T-pantfiri p. i t h e r by additional p u n 1 1 1 v e measures o r d y increased permissiveness. Neither reaction has been notably successful. "It would seem that if we are to deal successfully with the vandalism, violence, extortion, and drugs - all symptoms of general boredom and dissatisfaction - we must develop I school programs that are ble enough to meet the needs of all students. We must develop a curriculum that will enable the students to learn about and understand the world they will soon be asked to manage. "Plainly, the traditional curriculum approach has failed. Other school districts, with much the same problems as ours, have tried innovative techniques which have had startling success. The most radical plan that I know of is being used in the Beloit, Wis. junior highs. There, the school day is divided into three large chunks. One chunk stresses the basics - math, science, etc. Another part óf the day is devoted to creative activities, with the stuJ dents free to budget their time among many options. The third part of the day is devoted to problem solving in which the students bring all the disciplines to bear on community problems. "This Beloit plan is not necessarily the right one for Ann Arbor. But it does show that the traditional curriculum approach is not the only practi cable one and it hints strongly that we can stop thinking of schools in terms of administrative convenience and begin to think of them in terms of what they should do for their students. "As long as our schools are over - crowded and the city is growing we must keep up with the building program. But it is short sighted to believe that buildings, alone, will relieve us of population pressures. Classes are crowded and new teaching techniques have been developed to help teachers give individuali z e d instruction even though classes are crowded. We must make more effort to encourage the understanding of and the use of these techniques. "Our school system is getting larger and more bureaucratie and depersonalized every year. Extra-curricular activities are one way to help the students feel as though th school is part of their own environment. The use of school facilities after school hours should be maximized and made available for more children. The guide lines for chosing and developing sites for schools must be re-evaluated. Natural áreas around a school must be considered as part of the learning environment and their locatcon and preservation should be a part of the total developmental plan." 1


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