“so as not to besmirch the reputation and standing of the Founding Fathers.”
WHAT THE ACTUAL ——.
I have no words…I can’t even articulate my thoughts properly right now I’m so mad.
“No portrayal of minority experience in the history which actually occurred shall obscure the experience or contributions of the Founding Fathers, or the majority of citizens, including those who reached positions of leadership.”
And… they don’t see what’s wrong with that at all? J—— C——-, it’s seems like such an obviously horrible thing i don’t know how to explain why it’s wrong.
Language bleeped since this is supposed to be family-friendly content, but the sentiments are shared.
You should watch this closely, and I imagine you might consider being a little horrified.
According to Klopfer, the game to be developed under this grant will be designed as a Massively Multiplayer Online Game (MMOG), a genre of online games in which many players’ avatars can interact and cooperate or compete directly in the same virtual world. “This genre of games is uniquely suited to teaching the nature of science inquiry,” he says, “because they provide collaborative, self-directed learning situations. Players take on the roles of scientists, engineers and mathematicians to explore and explain a robust virtual world.”
The game will be designed to align with the Common Core standards in mathematics and Next Generation Science Standards for high school students and will use innovative task-based assessment strategies embedded into the game, which provide unique opportunities for players to display mastery of the relevant topics and skills. This task-based assessment strategy will also provide teachers with targeted data that allows them to track the students’ progress and provide valuable just-in-time feedback.
But will this keep their attention, or will students be put off by the fact that their in-game performance is actually being potentially monitored by their calculus teacher? Will this “robust virtual world” be able to provide experiences that are comparable enough to real-world activities to be transferable? And what will the trash-talking sound like when it’s over who grabbed the last test tube, not the ammo?
“….other researchers have talked to teen moms who believed they couldn’t get pregnant the first time they had sex, didn’t think they could get pregnant at that time of the month or thought they were sterile. “This report underscores how much misperception, ambivalence and magical thinking put teens at risk for unintended pregnancy,” said Bill Albert, a spokesman for the Washington, D.C.-based National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.”—
There are a lot of reblogs and comments shaming these girls for what people perceive as stupidity, which bothers me. We as animals can figure out how to reproduce — but birth control methods have to be taught.
If we don’t teach correct information about sex — and that means details about how our bodies work — they’re going to rely on that combination of misconceptions and magical thinking. Combined with the ambivalence and invincibility complex that is, frankly, naturally in these years of development, exactly what do we expect?
So please don’t assume that in all these cases it’s a lack of responsibility. Many times it might be. But just as many times, it may be a lack of information. And in some cases, that isn’t a teenager’s fault. If you want to say “That’s what the internet is for,” there’s plenty of MISinformation along with legitimate help. That’s why frank and honest discussion and the availability of information are important tools for effective sex ed.
“The nature of academic and research librarianship changed today. Today, all Harvard librarians were essentially given pink slips, asked to participate in a website that has tips on rewriting your resume and changing your career, and also asked to basically re-apply for their jobs. You can read updates on twitter at #hlth”—
I’m a bit disappointed that, titled the way it is, this is only an interview with a proponent of the ban. That being said, host Michael Martin doesn’t back down from pointing out so many illogical arguments, weaknesses, inconsistencies, and points of possible bias that come out of state superintendent John Huppenthal’s mouth.
What I find even more disappointing though, on a larger scale, is that there are some legitimate points to consider in regard to “ethnic studies” or “minority studies” (that framing of which, by the way, irritates me immensely) that could lead to appropriately positive views of these approaches to a broader social studies education, but the issue itself is so inherently political, and the ideal positive outcomes such a threat to those who do not want to let go of privilege, that the conversation is sometimes nearly impossible to have.
The question is not a matter of whether a class promotes resentment toward a certain group — to me, learning about certain parts of history is going to naturally lead to some feelings of frustration, resentment, or anger. It’s a matter of how those feelings are then handled, how the injustice that is present at every level of history toward so many people is digested and then faced. As someone in the LGBTQ community, if I had learned about Stonewall when I was younger, I would have been furious, but I can’t honestly say whether I would have known what to do with those feelings or how to turn them into something coherent and constructive. It didn’t matter then; that history was never considered relevant to the history of my country. I was not a part of it.
Is it possible, in the larger scheme of things, to teach these kinds of focused classes in a framework that makes them not necessarily geared toward a certain group of people, but educating about certain groups to all people in a way that encourages critical thinking and a second look at the history of this country?
At least, that’s what the question seems to be — Huppenthal makes it sound as if the Mexican American Studies courses were grounds for indoctrination specifically focused on teaching students of a certain racial background to hate Caucasians. But supporters of the program include Caucasian students — who were also taking these classes — and their families. So is it even really a question?
Approaching academics from a suppressed or overlooked viewpoint is entirely possible. It’s done on the college level very frequently and, with the right leadership and allowances, can also be done on the high school level. In fact, it could be done on the middle school level if framed correctly. I’d take it a step farther and say that it can be done on the elementary level — some states require local history units to focus a large amount of study on Native Americans, and I have seen many teachers take advantage of that fact as an opportunity to teach their young students that history is seen from different vantage points. It isn’t that radical an idea.
So to see this question — bad ban or bad class — supposedly approached this way, with one biased interviewee, rather than critically with multiple informed speakers from multiple viewpoints, should not only prompt aggravation, but further discussion.
Yes, any area of study taken from certain angles can be one-sided. They can paint some figures as heroes when they may have committed atrocities. They can look at these people and events void of the context of one side, or in a context that glorifies one side over the other. But doesn’t that sound suspiciously like the way history has been taught for as long as we’ve been learning about history? Is anyone else reading this remembering, I don’t know, being taught that Christopher Columbus was a glorious explorer who gave the Native Americans a curious once-over instead of smallpox blankets?
Every story has the potential to be told from numerous sides. The question shouldn’t be “Do we tell this side?” It should be, “How do we tell as many sides possible while maintaining critical thinking skills?” Learning about injustice does not mean learning to hate, or learning to view one’s self as a victim. As for whether the classes in question did that, I would trust Huppenthal — a man who seems to have so little understanding of the dynamics of privilege and power that he thinks Obama being president means that minority youth are no longer subject to a biased system — far as I could throw him.
I'm trying to take this interview seriously, but at this point, I had to stop for a moment.
HUPPENTHAL:This thing all went into court and the judge said absolutely you can teach about historical injustice and we have an obligation to do that. When I read about a slave ship coming across the ocean and throwing all their slaves into the ocean, I'm like - the impact that that has on me - exactly. But that doesn't mean that that wasn't an historical fact well documented.
MARTIN:But what about slavery, for example? I mean, slavery became racialized in this country - I'll just use racialized because that's a word I understand. I mean, how can you teach slavery without talking about race? I mean, it's true that servitude in this country was not racial, initially, but it became racial. It became directed in the law at people of African descent.
So how can you teach that without talking about race?
HUPPENTHAL:I think you have to talk about race in that regard, but again, being very careful about it. To tell young kids that the whole deck - that they can't get ahead, that they're victims in, you know, a country in which Barack Obama is president, it defies what we know.
“Moreover, I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial “outside agitator” idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds.”—
An idea that needs to be remembered among all people, in all struggles against injustice. Whatever your movement, whatever your identity, be aware of those who are also struggling. Respect them. Invite them. Work with, and not against, them.
Before we could start though, she gave us a warning. She didn’t want to see Harry Potter because “it is for purely entertainment purposes only in getting younger children to enjoy reading and has no social impact or value.”
And she kept going. She was like, “I give it a lot of credit, but it really holds no true value like so many other books.”
My Friends and I were SO tempted to get up and just
This horribly disappointing.
I use the entire Potter series to walk kids through concepts of Joseph Campbell’s quest pattern.
PLEASE UNDERSTAND; SHE’S THE MINORITY! PLENTY OF US LUV DEH HARRYZ.
Degrading students’ choices in literature: is there an easier way to shame a student out of what fuels their love of reading? When I was a child the same thing kept me away from sci fi for years, because a teacher told me adamantly that it “wasn’t real reading.” Now I don’t know how I went so long without it.
Nothing that makes someone love to read lacks value. Even Captain Underpants has his place, whether I like him or not. But of all the books to claim this of, Harry Potter? A book that spurred debates about subjective and objective good and evil, second looks at historical genocide, and critical examinations of religious symbolism? I’m honestly surprised.
I’ve been seeing a lot of questions from student teachers floating around lately. These questions have been getting great answers, but they’ve also been getting an added line of ‘your host teacher should know’ or ‘you could ask your host teacher’. I have to throw my two cents in, though, and say…
GWALP: And yeah, that sucks you had a not-great-host teacher, but we don’t know all the nitty-gritty details of these student teachers’ situations.
They’re asking us questions that we can give GENERAL responses to, but the specifics or more accurate responses should be the host teacher or some other school rep—even student teacher cohorts would be a place to start. We’re (I’m) speaking from the assumption they’re going to a welcoming place, because host teachers are supposed to be volunteers. I’m sorry that wasn’t the case for you.
And if someone were to ask me, “What do I do when my host teacher won’t make me feel welcome or give me the time of day,” my response is:
Call your university facilitator ASAP and get some type of intervention or new placement. YOUR FUTURE EMPLOYMENT MAY DEPEND ON IT BECAUSE HOST TEACHERS WRITE EVALUATIONS TOO.
Take that bolded advice. I had one of the most discouraging, uncooperative cooperating teacher experiences right off the bat, and it nearly ruined me — both in spirit and in evaluation. At one point he asked me, “Why don’t you know any of this? I’ve never had a student teacher from this college before who didn’t know what they were doing.”
In that particular situation, I also was unfortunate to have a facilitator who was equally poor: she could not or would not give me any information about how to do my check-ins or evaluations, nor could she or my cooperating teacher keep observation dates straight even when I gave frequent reminders.
I was a transfer, and a scheduling error had left me without the necessary intro seminar that I didn’t realize I was supposed to have. I really DIDN’T know what I was doing — or where to find that information. And I was too embarrassed and afraid to ask for help.
Make sure that you advocate for yourself. If you’re having issues with your cooperating teacher and/or your facilitator, ask around and see if any other student teachers have had this issue and what they did that may have resolved it. Additionally, assess whether or not the issues are something that you could address with them directly in a respectful and non-confrontational manner. If the conversation doesn’t resolve the issues, if it aggravates the problem, or if you don’t feel comfortable even having that conversation, call your student teacher placement office or equivalent, explain the problem, and see what interventions are available (or, if necessary, if your placement can be changed).
If I could give any piece of advice, it would be this: If something doesn’t seem right, ask someone about it. Never feel ashamed or embarrassed to ask for that help. You’re still learning.
“DJ_Wat_Wat: Wikipedia is gonna shut down for 24 hours from Tues til wed #FMC I got a paper due on thrus! fucking selfish protesters”—A student on Twitter who is both missing the point and slowly chipping away at my faith in the fate of the world with all his/her/their similarly-tweeting classmates.
When planning your literature curriculum, include authors and characters from diverse backgrounds — instead of waiting for special events or history months, use the whole year to represent people of various races and ethnicities, cultures, belief systems, genders and sexual orientations, etc.
Your turn. Go!
I like this idea! I think it’s also great to remember that in a music classroom we really do have a unique opportunity to explore and experience other diverse viewpoints through music.
I hope someday when I’m planning my future curriculum I remember this and try to hit a variety of different genres.
That’s a good one! A friend has remarked in the past about a teacher who used to create an entire atmosphere with the art and music of whatever age and area they were studying that session, and it brings this to mind. Music offers the beautiful opportunities not only of culture but even of a difference in basic genres, and introducing students to different forms of communication they may not otherwise hear on their own.
Anyone have any other ideas? I’ve love to see more!
Let's try an add-on pass-around: Ways to honor MLK all year round.
When planning your literature curriculum, include authors and characters from diverse backgrounds — instead of waiting for special events or history months, use the whole year to represent people of various races and ethnicities, cultures, belief systems, genders and sexual orientations, etc.
We set aside one day of the year to return to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s values when we should be educating about and exemplifying them all year round.
Every year we remark on how far we’ve come in pursuing Dr. King’s dream, when these days I frequently see more steps backward than forward, frequently in backlash and fear of actual progress.
The same pieces of biography, the same speeches, are retold again and again, but how often do we actually examine Dr. King’s life in a way that shows people that he was human, prone to anger, and that his rooting in nonviolence was a conscious channeling of that anger rather than an absence or a quelling of it?
MLK was a hero and a role model and if we truly believe that, we need to strive to be more LIKE him, not to put him on a pedestal and dedicate an annual service-day in his name. We need to be critical of the institutions in place and look for solutions to the causes of continuing social injustice, not ways to alleviate or mask the symptoms. We need to treat one another like human beings and unite with others in working toward true equality. We need to acknowledge inequality and social injustice and actively work against it. When it applies, we need to recognize our own privilege and use whatever that may grant us to be active forces in trying to dismantle that imbalance of power. We need to call others out, to educate, to act.
Many of the people who read this blog probably do much of this already, and are always willing to do more. Some do so to the point of burnout. Much of this is just preaching to the choir — but maybe some small piece of it will spark a new idea somewhere.
We cannot be complacent in the recognition of a great man in such a way that deters us from continuing his work. And if that is what MLK Day is going to be, it falls short of representing the man it’s supposed to honor. If we could extend the message of that one day and connect it to our thoughts and actions throughout the year…then, we might have something I think he could be proud of. But we can’t pat ourselves on the back. Not yet.
“Administrators told Mexican-American studies teachers to stay away from any class units where “race, ethnicity and oppression are central themes.”—They must be joking — by this logic, administrators in Tuscon don’t want students to learn anything about history at all.
I didn't realize that answers were enabled on that Girl Scout post but now I have to address this:
“for me transgender is an alien. sorry”
I am sorry you feel this way, not only for yourself but for the people you’re hurting with views like this.
It’s my hope that anyone following this blog, whether or not they are initially accepting of all people, would at least be open to learning more about others in hopes of pushing past the discomforts of lack of familiarity. People who are transgender are people. People. They’re human beings who are just as deserving of respect and recognition as anyone else, but who rarely get it.
Claiming that these individuals are “aliens” or any other variation of unnatural is dehumanizing, and shows a great need for education on the part of whoever says it. I would be more than happy, if this issue makes someone uncomfortable, to try to help them through this discomfort by introducing you or anyone else to some amazing resources by some amazing people who also happen to be trans. But what I cannot do is idly accept that a mild discomfort that can be assuaged by information, exposure, and open-mindedness should cause the ostracism and suffering of other people trying to live their lives.
If this offends you, I hope that you’ll stick around and try to work through that. If you feel you need to unfollow me for it, do. It isn’t anyone’s right to deny or accept another person’s existence. I won’t stand for it among students, peers, or strangers.
While I respect the fact that she is this active and civic-minded about voicing her beliefs, I wish she actually had accurate information to work with. A part of me wonders if she is actually doing this herself, or if her parents suggested it and she’s just parroting what they told her to say. I don’t know which would be more sad. If you watch her video, she discusses issues of safety, as well as the fact that “including boys” in the Girl Scouts would ruin the freedom that an all-girl environment provides, since there are some things that girls only feel comfortable discussing around other girls, etc. The problem with her reasoning is that she can’t seem to wrap her head around one thing:
Transgender girls ARE girls!
They identify as girls. They think like girls. They feel like girls. They have many of the same concerns (certainly the ones that would be talked about around a campfire or in a cabin) as girls. Their insides don’t match their outsides, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t girls. Regarding safety concerns, since a transgender boy is, for all intents and purposes, a girl, there is no threat to the well-being of the other girls. They can use the same bathrooms, sleep in the same rooms, etc, because it would be just like any other girl doing the same. As for the all-girl environment, it WOULD STILL BE ONE. Because transgender girlss ARE GIRLS.
No cis boy is going to dress up and “pretend” to be a girl just to get into the Girl Scouts to look at girls in their underwear. And even if they wanted to try a hair-brained scheme like that, what parent would allow it?
The girl in the video also states that the GSUSA aren’t being “honest” with the girls and their parents when they allow transgender boys to join. Yet, the Girl Scouts has had, for a long time, a very level-headed approach to issues of gender and sexuality, unlike the Boy Scouts of America (hey, isn’t it usually girls who are supposed to be irrational and emotional?). From a GSUSA letter from 1991:
As a private organization, Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. respects the values and beliefs of each of its members and does not intrude into personal matters. Therefore, there are no membership policies on sexual preference. However, Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. has firm standards relating to the appropriate conduct of adult volunteers and staff. The Girl Scout organization does not condone or permit sexual displays of any sort by its members during Girl Scout activities, nor does it permit the advocacy or promotion of a personal lifestyle or sexual preference. These are private matters for girls and their families to address.
If a child identifies as a girl and the child’s family presents her as a girl, Girl Scouts of Colorado welcomes her as a Girl Scout.
Where is the dishonesty? The GSUSA has made it clear that sexual orientation and gender identity is a non-issue for them. Why the sudden surprise? A lot of the concerns expressed by the girl in this video, which seem to stem from “being uncomfortable and icked” more than anything else, can be alleviated simply by getting to know a transgender child, which allowing one to join Girl Scouts would do. This girl seems very ill-informed about what being transgender means, and the Girl Scouts, by welcoming transgender children, allows girls to be exposed to them and become less “icked.” And guaranteed, after an initial shock, most girls will likely forget about it and just treat that transgender girl as an individual.
What’s always been funny to me is that the Girl Scouts’ position has been controversial, because there are those who oppose transgender people on religious grounds. First of all, transgender doesn’t mean gay, yet they’re often used interchangeably, which is a mistake. But more importantly, they never see welcoming transgenders on religious grounds. What if, just what if, God allows transgender people (as well as gays, people of different races, people who are disabled, etc) to exist so that we learn to treat them with compassion? The assumption is always that we’re supposed to stomp these differences out. What if God is trying to tell us the very opposite? What if the lesson we’re supposed to be learning from these people is one of tolerance? Considering that every major religion on the planet professes some version of The Golden Rule, you’d think that it would be in these people’s interest to treat transgender children with respect. After all, if you knew in your heart of hearts that you were a girl, but looked like a boy on the outside, wouldn’t you want people to see you for what you really are?
As for the cookie boycott, I think now would be a great time to buy Girl Scout cookies! Two of my nieces are Girl Scouts, so if you’re looking to both show support for the GSUSA’s position on transgender children, and want to support two wonderful cis girls in meeting their cookie-selling quotas, let me know!
So, who wants to buy Girl Scout cookies.
So far this is the best analysis of the situation I’ve seen yet. It touches on both the organizational history and the basics of a person’s right to self-identification. It’s generally respectful (there’s a little snark but take that as you will). The only issue, which I fixed here, was a little vocab snafu that could have gotten very confusing — always refer to someone as the gender they prefer, not the biological sex they’re transitioning away from (unless a person specifies otherwise). Originally this article referred to the Girl Scout at the root of this “controversy” as a “transgender boy.”
Basically, this is a current event I wanted to share with all of you, and I just wanted to find the right post or story to pass along. I have to give the Girl Scouts a standing ovation on this one.
(And I don’t have the money to buy cookies, but when I told my mother about this she said “If I’d known all along they were this kind of organization I would have pushed you harder to be a Girl Scout — we’re buying double cookies this year.” I had to laugh.)
Something to consider when writing papers or doing research projects:
When saving a large amount of research and reference articles to your computer or thumb drive, there are a number of things you can do to make life much easier for yourself in the long run.
Save all your research to an easily-identifiable location, whether this is a folder specific to your class, your project, or to research in general.
Use as much of the full title as possible, or the author’s names and partial titles, when you name your file. It may seem like a pain (journal article titles can be abominably long), but will save you grief later — articles on the same subject can be very similarly titled.
Tag your files if you’re working on an article, project, thesis or dissertation that has you hoarding fifty files or more. Tags and keywords could be invaluable in finding your sources for specific points (when you need it for the paragraph on vocabulary-building exercises, for example, as opposed to the paragraph on general vocabulary acquisition). Just google “tags” and your operating system to find walk-throughs on how to tag as well as downloadable programs that can assist you.
save files with the default name. You’ll waste more time than you expect switching back and forth between seven different files named “untitled” or “document” to find the one you want.
use abbreviations for titles if you have a large collection of resources; research repeats itself. ”Word problems, 3rd graders” may seem like a perfect name at the time, until you look back later and can’t remember if that one is about the use of word problems to connect curricula for third graders, or an article on tactics improving word problem scores in third grade students, or a study on word problem outcomes for a set of third grade students who are non-native speakers of English.
assume you’ll recognize a nondescript, incomplete, or unhelpful file name later. I promise you that after your collection reaches a certain size, you won’t.
spread your research across every folder in your computer. Unless you have tags (see above), finding what you need will seem impossible if you aren’t sure whether you saved it in the downloads or my documents folder and the title doesn’t have the keywords you’re searching.
Another helpful tip:
Consider where your attention lies in references or citations both when you save your sources and when you organize them. Long titles will be far easier to scan in the “List” view of a folder, as opposed to the “Tile” or “Thumbnail” settings many people use as a default. If your files have other pertinent information in its properties — publication, tags or keywords, authors, etc. — the “Details” view can allow you to sort files by those pieces of information as well as by the typical file name, date modified, or other basics.
For example: I write using APA style, where the researchers take front and center; after a few years of it, I’m far more likely to remember the names of the authors of an article than I am the title. Certain properties of the PDFs I work with are unalterable and don’t always include the correct authors, but if they did I could arrange them alphabetically by author in the “Details” view. Instead, my file names include the author’s name before the title. Beginning each file name with the last name of the first researcher that would be listed in the references page and in-document citations means I can find the work I’m referencing almost immediately from there.
I worked with a professor and researcher who couldn’t necessarily remember either, but could tell you the year it was published because the research was all very current and every new finding was substantial. She and I would have greatly benefited from including publication years in the titles, if we’d thought of it at the time. This is especially helpful when working with news articles, historical texts, or court documents.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go back to taking my own advice a little too late. Over sixty articles and only a handful of the names tell me what they actually are…maybe I need to find myself a research assistant.
“Three years ago, a Teach For America recruiter plastered the Fordham campus with flyers that said “Learn how joining TFA can help you gain admission to Stanford Business School.” The message of that flyer was “use teaching in high-poverty areas a stepping stone to a career in business.” It was not only profoundly disrespectful to every person who chooses to commit their life to the teaching profession, it advocated using students in high-poverty areas as guinea pigs for an experiment in “resume-padding” for ambitious young people.”—
This. Some people for TFA came to my Teaching in America class and were incredibly offensive and ignorant when they talked about the “poverty stricken” areas and children they worked with. Ugh it pissed me off so bad
I appreciate when people recognize a) that this program, though that is not to say all participants IN this program, often uses students as a stepping stone to other careers, and b) that this incubator-of-innovation mentality can reduce students to little more than tokens of poverty or lab rats for educational experiments, rather than people.
(I would have said guinea pigs, but I bet monasequeda would have taken issue seeing as she treats her guinea pigs like family.)