Sunday, September 14, 2008

Teacher can't Teach

MPS social studies teacher Bob Peterson doesn't think students are learning enough about racism and social movements, "whether labor, the women's movement, the peace movement or the environmental movement." He wants to enlist the NAACP, the Milwaukee Ethnic Committee, the American Jewish Committee, the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, the teachers union, and the Educators' Network for Social Justice, and four area universities to rewrite social studies textbooks. You can read his entire commentary at http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=794155

Now if our left leaning public school teachers can't teach leftist ideas to students, despite having a near monopoly on education, how can we expect them to teach anything at all?

16 comments:

Michael Gibson said...

As a high school senior, I know that I can form opinions for myself. If there is a class discussion and the teacher, or anyone in the class, says something that I don't agree with, I'll speak my mind. I see where the concern could be for elementary or middle school students, but high schoolers can think for themselves.

All this teacher is suggesting is that we teach kids what has really happened over the years. Why not teach about the anti-war and civil rights movements in the '60's that have had a long-lasting impact on our society?

Anonymous said...

If this isn't a strong argument for why we should have vouchers for "school choice" then I don't know what is!

Denis Navratil said...

Michael, opinion formation is easy and I am sure it is encouraged at your school. All you need are some feelings, maybe an anecdote or two, and bingo, you have an opinion. More important than opinion formation is actual learning. Reading, critical thinking, analyis of facts, open mindedness, considering alternative points of view, etc... are just a few of the pre-requisites to forming logical, consistent and defensible opinions. I don't see a whole lot of those from students these days.

Of course social studies should cover the civil rights movement and other social movements, and I am certain that they already do. Furthermore, given the left of center political viewpoints of the majority of teachers, it is inconceivable that history teaching in public schools is biased in favor of the dead white guys.

And anon you are exactly right, imho.

Anonymous said...

So I ask if teacher prep time is better spent campaigning for Obama, helping write new "textbooks" or possibly getting one's work done so it doesn't have to be taken home?

Michael Gibson said...

Speaking for myself only, I learn a lot in school because my teachers tend to play the devils advocate against you, whether they agree with you or not. They also put us in situations in class where we will have an open debate and need to argue for a side of the debate which we might not agree with either.

For example, we are examining the Consitiution, particularly the Bill of Rights, in my governemnt class now and we are playing out Supreme Court trials for real cases. My group is defending to girls that were strip-searched due to suspicion that they had stolen money from a teacher. We have to come up with arguments on why that is unconstitutional, while another group of students in the class was assigned to defend the otherside and justify the search. Mind you this was all randomly selected by picking numbers out of a hat. I can't think of a better way to look at issues from different perspectives.

Denis Navratil said...

That sounds like a pretty good lesson Michael. So have you detirmined whether you are a strict constructionist (ie, adhere to the words as written in the constitution) or are you a living constitution kind of a guy?

An additional problem for social studies teachers is that many of them have never been exposed to conservative thought and therefore are unable to offer the class a different perspective to consider.

Anonymous said...

I beg to differ, social studies teachers have had to endure 8 years of conservative thought AND practice. They've had much experience over the last 8 years as have all americans.

Anonymous said...

SPLASH !

Caledonication said...

I guess the splash was the turd hitting the water.

Anonymous said...

Yep - that one was almost big enough to necessitate breaking it up with a stick before flushing.

Does anyone else see the humor in the fact that the Madison teachers union, a pro-worker anti-business enclave at best, is named "Madison Teachers Inc."?

Anonymous said...

Sam Johnson was about the only corporate billionaire to get it right. He realized his companies had no need for unions and operated by the simple philosophy, take care of your employees before someone else does at your expense.

Michael Gibson said...

tough call denis, bus as an umbrella statement i would say that since the constitution was written over two hundred years ago that there definitely is room for more amendments. there are things happening now that the founding fathers would have never even imagined.

Urban Pioneer said...

Micheal Writes:
"tough call denis, but as an umbrella statement i would say that since the constitution was written over two hundred years ago that there definitely is room for more amendments. there are things happening now that the founding fathers would have never even imagined."
Enjoyed your comments today as always, it helps me to get a view into the world of educators. I think the Courtroom drama is a great idea.
But u state the 200 year old document, which has been amended 26 times (as recently as 1964?, when folks your age 18 were granted adulthood responsibility. The purpose of the Constitution was to LIMIT the size of the Federal Govt. Not to increase it. With that in mind what changes would you propose to further REDUCE the size and scope of the Federal Govt.??
I would like to see a repeal of a few amendments like the 16th (Income Tax), for instance. I might support a Balanced Budget requirement, and perhaps a flag burning amendment.

Right now the Constitution has no comment on Marriage, Gay or otherwise.
What Say u?, Sir.

Denis Navratil said...

Michael, the constitution allows for changes via the ammendment process. What it doesn't allow is justices ammending the constitution because they feel like it or because they hope the Europeans will like us if they do.

Michael Gibson said...

Believe it or not I do know how the Constitution is amended. I do not have specifics on what should be added or subtracted.

Urban Pioneer said...

Hey Michael Denis and others this article was interesting. Especially dealing with constitutional issues and the current election:
http://www.washtimes.com/news/2008/sep/23/an-electoral-college-doomsday/

Will we back in court in December??