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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Why I Want to be a Teacher

“We won’t get those new books for two more years,” laments Morrison, who teaches in Manchester, Mo., near St. Louis.

To a large extent, this leaves secondary and even grammar school teachers relying on their own wiles to incorporate 9/11 and the events that have followed in rapid fire order into the classroom.

“The integration is challenging,” Morrison says about bringing Sept. 11 material into her lessons. Morrison says that last year she juxtaposed the Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa with Al Qaida’s Osama bin Laden. “Would Villa be considered a terrorist today,” Morrison asked her class?

History is more important than this. History is more important than a teacher’s personal agenda. If we can’t rely on teachers to present facts rather than opinion who can we rely on?

Which isn’t to say that history is a collection of numbers and facts. It is much more than that. But it is important to look at history objectivly and without bias. Coming to the argument with many preconceived notions and biases, as these teachers appear to have, does nothing for the students. In fact, it hurts them. History becomes meaningless if it changes to fit a bias. Orwell taught us that lesson. History is written by the victor, but we must make sure that it is also true. If not, then we have lost it.

“Obvious parallels exist especially when looking at World War II.” Some are well-trod ground: 9/11 and Pearl Harbor, for instance. Others are more subtle. For instance, Chase says she asked students to compare the internment of Japanese-Americans in the 1940s to the increased scrutiny Arab-Americans have come in for following 9/11.

At the same time, it is important to look at history from all sides. America is not perfect. But is it really fair to compare increased scrutiny to the Japanese interrnment? Did FDR come out days after Pearl Harbor and urge Americans to not lump all Japanese together? I don’t remember hearing that speach.

This is why I want to teach. I think that many teachers have lost their way in their zeal. There is far too much emphasis on groups and collectivism in schools today. There is far too much PCness in schools today. There are far too many biases in schools today. And far too little honest teaching. History transcendes politics. At least it should. If it doesn’t, we are in danger of losing it.

via USS Clueless

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3 comments to Why I Want to be a Teacher

  • Guy Herbert

    Why’s this on White Rose? It really isn’t a civil liberties point.

  • CPT. Charles

    I respectfully disagree…the issue highlighted by this post DOES relate to your personal liberty. Let’s approach the matter from a different angle.

    What is thought? What is conscience? One answer: a quiet conversation with youself.

    Reason? Logic? Those tools needed to order thought so as to derive the positive outcomes when engaging in intellectual inquiry.

    While your parents should be the ones who get you started properly down that path, like as not it will be a TEACHER who will give you your first exposure to those subjects.

    Political correctness is the prime vehicle for the ‘ordering’ of minds. Selective exposure to facts (or history if you will), altered definitions of words, IMPERMISSIBLE words and concepts (thoughts). Have an agenda? The minds of child are empty bowls waiting to be filled…are they being handed the tools to order their thoughts, or are they being led down a path to a destination of someone else’s choosing?

    Remember the phrases: ‘Slavery is Freedom’, ‘Freedom is Slavery’ ?

    If I control the meaning of words, the permissibility of thoughts, and the flow of facts…I CONTROL YOU. Orwell DID warn you, but were you listening? If you think these issues are NOT interlinked with your ‘civil liberties’, then you do have a problem.

    Do you know what your children’s mind are being filled with? I do. Do you?

  • Guy Herbert

    Had I children, I’d try to cultivate in them the same skeptical attitude to what they’re taught that I had. Children aren’t passive vessels below some arbitrary age. They are inexperienced human beings, capable of rapid learning and acquiring the skill of (genuinely) thinking for themselves.

    I’ll put it stronger than I did: The thread seems to offer a doctrine of alternative political correctness that’s the antithesis of my approach to liberty. I don’t agree with a lot of the predominant ideas and beliefs among teachers, and I think almost all of the educational theory that teachers learn under state mandate in B.Ed or PGCE courses is pernicious; but I’d like them to be free to be wrong in their own ways.

    What is a current threat to liberty (in the UK at least) is a state prescribed curriculum forced on teachers regardless of how wild or sane their personal views are. In particular we should worry about the government’s adbocacy of “citizenship” lessons as a source of political indoctrination and monitoring.