November 22, 2006

Teaching truth is hateful?

Thanksgiving lessons taught in new lightTeacher Bill Morgan walks into his third-grade class wearing a black Pilgrim hat made of construction paper and begins snatching up pencils, backpacks and glue sticks from his pupils. He tells them the items now belong to him because he "discovered" them.

The reaction is exactly what Morgan expects: The kids get angry and want their things back.
Oddly, not everyone is happy with this appraoch.Others see Morgan and teachers like him as too extreme.

"I think that is very sad," said Janice Shaw Crouse, a former college dean and public high school teacher and now a spokeswoman for Concerned Women for America, a conservative organization. "He is teaching his students to hate their country. That is a very distorted view of history, a distorted view of Thanksgiving."
Comment:  The lesson Morgan uses is described in Rethinking Columbus, an educational resource for teachers.

4 comments:

Carole said...

Interesting teaching approach, one I'd think more effective and appropriate for older kids--maybe age 14 or so. Younger kids might not understand the complexity of the greater lesson imparted.

writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
In actual point of fact, such a 'teaching approach' only more would serve to confuse or anger or even frighten students, no matter the age, because they already have been inculcated by parents, the schools, their churches, the communities, the culture, AND the media into a system of beliefs which theretofore never had been contradicted. They eventually learn that there is no Santa Claus or an Easter Bunny or a Tooth Fairy or that STAR TREK was just another TV show, but accept and defend racism and stereotypes as quantities that have been handed to them as their seeming cultural birthright.
Per exemplum: in 1972, the University of Oklahoma malled off the south campus oval into student walkways because the in-between class throngs truly crowded the sidewalks and caused students to walk on the grassy areas. The thought was that if the u-shaped street became usable as sidewalks, the crush would find relief. But, save for a few hardy souls, the students still mostly clung to the sidewalks when they rushed to their next classes. writerfella had a weekly column in THE OKLAHOMA DAILY student newspaper and he saw a faculty Letter To The Editor that asked just why the students wouldn't use their malled walkways, especially since it had cost so much and had taken away from teacher parking. One-quarter of writerfella's next column answered that letter: few students ever would use those streets as walkways because they have been beat over the head ever since they could walk with, "STAY OUT OF THE STREET!" Such conditioning dies slowly, if at all. Early conditioning, cultural or otherwise, always supercedes.
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella'

Not a Sioux said...

heh. I wrote such an article for a high-school newspaper, myself

Rob said...

Note that it was a high school teacher who said Morgan "is teaching his students to hate their country." Presumably she thinks his lesson is inappropriate for all ages.