Check out The Lamp, Holderness School’s new place for conversations about teaching and learning! (better viewed on Safari than Chrome at the moment). My first post is about work-life balance at a residential school.
Work-Life Balance. From some very quick research, this phrase seems to have first been employed in England in the 1970s in New Ways to Work and the Working Mothers’ Association in the United Kingdom. Historically the creation of a dichotomy between work and play is an industrial concept. Time away from work was a byproduct of the industrial revolution. While often this “time” was limited to Sundays because of long working hours, the separation of work from the home was perhaps as big a shift in human history as the agricultural revolution was to hunter-gatherers. So the notion of work-life balance isn’t very old, perhaps 100 years for the United States.
The language we use to describe this balance came from another historical event — women in the Western world’s entry into colleges, universities, and some boardrooms. The curious world wondered, how can they run the company and have company for dinner? Women were told “they could have it all” with newly won rights such as Title IX, and Roe v. Wade (1973). Setting an almost impossible standard for women, the idea of “everything” – the job, the family and the freshly baked bread – erased any notion of balance (see video below). More recently the phrase has been employed across the gender line to discuss the tentacles of technology bringing work into the home.
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