I'm left-handed (surprise, surprise). So is my love, Leslie. So are half our children.
We all went through public school (except for my 8 months in the parochial wilderness as a 1st grader--and I might mention I dropped out of kindergarten half-way through).
Back in the 1960's, left-handers were supposed to tilt their papers opposite the direction right handers were.
Think about this.
We were not writing backwards (though most of us can). Our hands were smudged with ink and graphite, and our words often smudged as well. We were writing in the direction completely contrary to physics.
And somewhere along the line some "expert" decided that we could write better if we tilted our papers opposite the way right-handers do.
And we were required to do so. As any left-hander older than 40 years old who went to public school.
And what does this have to do with anything?
Ask the children. Every left-handed child in the 1960's knew that tilting the paper the wrong way only aggravated the situation. Yet we knew enough not to question it--life was tough enough in class.
Today, a child could appeal to a higher authority (what better way to use Google?) and show the teacher why tilting the paper backwards is less than a good idea.
Information (if not education) has become a truly democratic resource. It's messy, it's mixed up, it's often wrong, but it's accessible.
Education is no longer about sharing information--the kiddies already have the keys.
It's about discernment.
And what does this have to do with scissors?
In the 1960's, public schools spent a lot of money providing left-handed children with scissors that had special green rubber coated handles.
Left-handers do not need special green handles--we need the blades crossed the opposite way.
Not one right-handed teacher I met through elementary school had a clue why I could not cut paper without making a mess.
Today we left-handers, alone or buddied with at most 2 others in class, have a forum. We have thousands of voices sharing a similar plaint. Public school, meet the internet.
Still, change is hard in a public institution. Just ask Mrs. Andretti back in 1966 about the new kid in her class struggling to cut paper with "special" scissors.