Monday, April 14, 2008


Clay Burrell posts that fear makes teaching irrelevant.

He posts:

These young adults are screaming their critical attitude toward the roles we’ve limited them to in our culture in everything they do, from their attitudes to their music, fashions, and past-times. They live in passive revolt against what schools, parents, communities at large are doing to them. And having no constructive outlet, they either self-destruct or seek solace in the trivial.

So why not let them write about that?

He then writes:

A bit more: They’re also woefully oblivious to the burning issues of their futures (and that pun, though pregnant, was not intended). Doug has commented about the fear in (American) schools of teaching anything controversial, god help us (and this does not mean Doug’s complicit in that). That’s a screaming admission that schools fear relevance.

The logical corollary? Fear makes schools irrelevant.

My thought: Students do not really understand the burning issues. Many are complex and difficult in nature to understand. If we cannot give them the background information that they can use to think critically about it than they make uninformed decisions. We also need to be sure that they know the correct way to discuss these issues as well.

Parent pressure and demands as well as administrative policies make this difficult. If you can spark their interest in the topic, will students search out the truth for themselves? Realy, that is what we need to be focusing on: the ability to keep learning and question.

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