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Thread: Bad lesson? Ohio elementary school in trouble after black student made to play slave

  1. #161
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    Re: Bad lesson? Ohio elementary school in trouble after black student made to play sl

    Quote Originally Posted by Fiddytree View Post
    History is a sensitive subject given the right events and it can get quite controversial even when you think these people are just telling you "the historical truth", even for professionals not dealing with angry parents acting irrationally. I think people just look at this and think "well they should stop whining", which could be a desirable outcome, but it would be foolish to knowingly or unknowingly test those waters as a public school teacher, especially with students so young. It just is not worth it, unless one would consider constant complaints and punishments against a teacher as worth it or desirable. It is always best to do the safe thing in these regards. The public's right to accurate knowledge and emotional impact be damned, I say. In an unsafe area, I'll stick to the former than the latter if I can help it. To some extent, let the family deal with such matters on their own, if they go to a display town that reenacts the slave auction, that should be their call. I would not want to be burdened with such things when the public could lash out at me at any moment.
    So you are pretty much agreeing with me that this kind of melodramatic, irrational display, combined with a voracious and unethical media has combined to damage the quality of kids' education. If there are certain legitimate and important themes and lessons that cannot be taught through fear of this kind of reaction, then it's unsurprising that people talk accurately about our societies in the WEst as being 'dumbed down'.
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    Re: Bad lesson? Ohio elementary school in trouble after black student made to play sl

    Quote Originally Posted by Candice Lynn View Post
    Do you have a problem with new people posting? And no, I understood your statement. Thank you very much.
    What made you ask that? New posters are the life-blood of the forum. Welcome!
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    Re: Bad lesson? Ohio elementary school in trouble after black student made to play sl

    To a degree, we are in agreement. Where I differ from most commentators thus far is that I am more than eager to supply the public with its deserved.....mythology and safe history lessons to avoid punishment for going further than they want.
    Michael J Petrilli-"Is School Choice Enough?"-A response to the recent timidity of American conservatives toward education reform. https://nationalaffairs.com/publicat...-choice-enough

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    Re: Bad lesson? Ohio elementary school in trouble after black student made to play sl

    Quote Originally Posted by Fiddytree View Post
    I am more than eager to supply the public with its deserved.....mythology and safe history lessons to avoid punishment for going further than they want.
    Woah! You're happy to supply the public with myths in place of fact-based, researched and documented history? Because you're scared of the drama queen element? That's dreadful! What could possibly motivate you to do that?
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    Re: Bad lesson? Ohio elementary school in trouble after black student made to play sl

    Perhaps mythology was too strong of a word. In the first place, I would not in most cases see it in terms of mythology anyhow. In the second place, it is likely to be only in some small number of issues where one has to tread carefully. Americans like their history, and can somewhat handle the notion that it is at times gritty..but it doesn't mean that they don't want history of America to be portrayed a certain way or certain areas to be portrayed a certain way. Most of the time, I am in personal agreement in the outlook. But even should I differ, I hardly think it necessary to try to abandon it simply because I see it differently or think it would do good to get x degree of immersion in the subject matter. In difficult and personally deadly matters, it is always best to err on the side of not making it hands-on. Psychologists can no longer do certain experiments with students in classrooms because of ethical violations and possible emotional damage or trouble isolating the experiment from the outside world. Likewise educators trying to teach history or political science have to be careful not to step on fingers and toes, because it is a very personal matter.

    A teacher is merely one small cog in a wheel. An meaningful cog, but it is not as if it has so much leeway it can run on its own course (nor should they). Part of public school history is the idea that teachers will build up a healthy citizen, which is somewhat of a societal goal. Certain lessons from history are passed down, say, slavery was bad and awful and we should never forget or do again. Well, you can bring that lesson, but as you have younger and younger and less mature students, the more simplified you have to make it, and perhaps the starker the differences between good guy and bad guy the better. Professional historians would scoff at such a way of looking at actual research publications, but maybe are fine with taking the core societal lessons and simplifying it for the audience at hand. You likewise do not want to make it incredibly personal for students when they become younger and younger. Parents just want the core nugget, society just wants the core nugget. No need to dig further, and if you do, I wouldn't be surprised if you would get a bad reaction. Once a student is older, the more intellectual immersion can take place (though you don't necessarily have to do a simulation like this whole story started with, but it can be helpful), and the more complex the lesson of history becomes, but nevertheless, the societal lesson of history can remain intact. But throughout that process, I have to consider the audience, my supervisors, parents, and outside influences. I wouldn't be given free reign, nor should I be allowed it.
    Last edited by Fiddytree; 03-16-11 at 01:17 PM.
    Michael J Petrilli-"Is School Choice Enough?"-A response to the recent timidity of American conservatives toward education reform. https://nationalaffairs.com/publicat...-choice-enough

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    Re: Bad lesson? Ohio elementary school in trouble after black student made to play sl

    Quote Originally Posted by Fiddytree View Post
    Perhaps mythology was too strong of a word. In the first place, I would not in most cases see it in terms of mythology anyhow. In the second place, it is likely to be only in some small number of issues where one has to tread carefully. Americans like their history, and can somewhat handle the notion that it is at times gritty..but it doesn't mean that they don't want history of America to be portrayed a certain way or certain areas to be portrayed a certain way. Most of the time, I am in personal agreement in the outlook. But even should I differ, I hardly think it necessary to try to abandon it simply because I see it differently or think it would do good to get x degree of immersion in the subject matter. In difficult and personally deadly matters, it is always best to err on the side of not making it hands-on. Psychologists can no longer do certain experiments with students in classrooms because of ethical violations and possible emotional damage or trouble isolating the experiment from the outside world. Likewise educators trying to teach history or political science have to be careful not to step on fingers and toes, because it is a very personal matter.

    A teacher is merely one small cog in a wheel. An meaningful cog, but it is not as if it has so much leeway it can run on its own course (nor should they). Part of public school history is the idea that teachers will build up a healthy citizen, which is somewhat of a societal goal. Certain lessons from history are passed down, say, slavery was bad and awful and we should never forget or do again. Well, you can bring that lesson, but as you have younger and younger and less mature students, the more simplified you have to make it, and perhaps the starker the differences between good guy and bad guy the better. Professional historians would scoff at such a way of looking at actual research publications, but maybe are fine with taking the core societal lessons and simplifying it for the audience at hand. You likewise do not want to make it incredibly personal for students when they become younger and younger. Parents just want the core nugget, society just wants the core nugget. No need to dig further, and if you do, I wouldn't be surprised if you would get a bad reaction. Once a student is older, the more intellectual immersion can take place (though you don't necessarily have to do a simulation like this whole story started with, but it can be helpful), and the more complex the lesson of history becomes, but nevertheless, the societal lesson of history can remain intact. But throughout that process, I have to consider the audience, my supervisors, parents, and outside influences. I wouldn't be given free reign, nor should I be allowed it.
    Okay, that's a little different to talking about mythology. I'm perfectly aware that teaching is not just about imparting one's own views of a subject on the student; that a teacher is not the only player in the development of a curriculum. That's quite different from saying that you need to tell convenient lies, pedal untrue myths simply to avoid a public back-lash. I think this is the central dilemma in the issue of teaching intelligent design, isn't it? How can anyone teach something that is so beyond empirical learning simply because a local school board is peopled by religious extremists? Of course you have to consider the stake-holders in the educational process. That doesn't mean that you should be forced into imparting propaganda that contradicts your own learning or grasp of a subject.
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    Re: Bad lesson? Ohio elementary school in trouble after black student made to play sl

    That quite different from saying that you need to tell convenient lies, pedal untrue myths simply to avoid a public back-lash.
    Well, you won't exactly be seeing historians peddling "Honest Abe" literature to other professional historians without it being a matter of historiography. But you would see me doing it to elementary school students. I like those stories for very young people. I know they are grossly romantic, and build what some would definitely argue is a mythology, but I think they are good for young minds and deviating from that path too far would possibly make me get in trouble. I like the notion of making a living relatively unharmed. That part of being fearful of public backlash seems sensible as well.

    As far as intelligent design goes, I would have little ills discussing it in a social studies classroom (where I would be anyway, as I am quite aware I would have to expect a societal backlash if I were to teach science due to lack of skill and knowledge ), just because it feels right at home with most of the works of philosophy since ancient times and with our founding generation, even if they were deist. But on the whole, if the curriculum dictates you teach X, guess what, if you want a paycheck, you teach X.
    Michael J Petrilli-"Is School Choice Enough?"-A response to the recent timidity of American conservatives toward education reform. https://nationalaffairs.com/publicat...-choice-enough

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    Re: Bad lesson? Ohio elementary school in trouble after black student made to play sl

    Quote Originally Posted by DiAnna View Post
    On the surface, I was shocked. However, after reading the article I have the same kind of questions CC has. If both the "master" and "slave" groups were mixed races, then it seems out of line for a single boy to complain. Apparently they have done this "lesson" before without complaint. Personally I think that these kids are a bit young for this kind of lesson, since their empathy and compassion brain cells haven't really developed yet, and I think any teacher who is going to conduct social experiments like this should have specific training in how to do so safely. There have been instances where these role-playing lessons have had some pretty nasty consequences.
    I would say that we have no obligation to cater to everyone's fears or opinions. Consider them, yes, cater to them as if they are relevant or reasonable, no. Nobody was singled out. Everyone was treated equally. Isn't that where we need to be going? The exercise wasn't justifying or glorifying slavery. Some people will never, ever be satisfied. Let's ignore those type of people and move on to a better society.

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    Re: Bad lesson? Ohio elementary school in trouble after black student made to play sl

    Quote Originally Posted by Fiddytree View Post
    Well, you won't exactly be seeing historians peddling "Honest Abe" literature to other professional historians without it being a matter of historiography. But you would see me doing it to elementary school students. I like those stories for very young people. I know they are grossly romantic, and build what some would definitely argue is a mythology, but I think they are good for young minds and deviating from that path too far would possibly make me get in trouble. I like the notion of making a living relatively unharmed. That part of being fearful of public backlash seems sensible as well.
    I don't know the Honest Abe myth, but I get your point, but accommodation can go too far. I probably mentioned (about 100 times) that I'm from Yorkshire. You've probably also heard of The Wars of the Roses, fought in the 15th century between followers of the houses of York and Lancaster. In Yorkshire schools, not only were we taught that it was a war between the two duchies, but that Yorkshire won it! If you know your late-medieval history, you'll know that it had virtually nothing to do with the duchies, just the dynastic houses and that, eventually, the Tudors - followers of Lancaster - ran out winners. Is that degree of misinformation justifiable just because it's the way North Yorkshire Education Committee wants history to be taught? I just let the question hang.

    But on the whole, if the curriculum dictates you teach X, guess what, if you want a paycheck, you teach X.
    To an extent. Personally, I couldn't teach something I know to be false simply because an examining board says it's true. I'd be fighting the good fight, and if I lost, I'd find a job somewhere where the truth carried more weight.
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    Re: Bad lesson? Ohio elementary school in trouble after black student made to play sl

    Quote Originally Posted by ludahai View Post
    Reviewed by whom? When I filed my accountability folder at the end of the year, there was no more than a cursory review of my portfolio...
    That's says a bit about your districts standards.

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