September 2, 2009

The leader is going to speak to the children!

On September 8! (Here's the scoop.)

chinese children with portraits of Comrades Mao and Stalin

...On the "Activities for grades PreK-6" document, the Department of Education has lined up some ideas on what teachers can do with their 4-14 year olds in the classroom. What is odd about the list is that all of the ideas revolve around Obama, not about the students or the country.

"Teachers can build background knowledge about the President of the United States and his speech by reading books about presidents and Barack Obama..." is the tip for what to do before Obama's speech. Why is it so important to know about him? Is is really appropriate for schools to have students read all about Obama as a standalone project and not encourage and more in-depth civics lesson as part of the curriculum? Teachers should be careful with the suggested reading and make sure their 2nd grade class doesn't get to read all about how Obama tried cocaine, as he admitted in "Dreams From My Father."

Throughout the speech, teachers are asked to encourage students to think about many things... mostly relating to Obama himself:

"As students listen to the speech, they could think about the following: What is the President trying to tell me? What is the President asking me to do? What new ideas and actions is the President challenging me to think about?" (emphasis added).

"Students could discuss their responses to the following questions: What do you think the President wants us to do? Does the speech make you want to do anything? Are we able to do what President Obama is asking of us? What would you like to tell the President? "...(emphasis added).

Stephen Green: It's not mere education — it's learnyness!

Posted by John Weidner at September 2, 2009 11:58 AM
Weblog by John Weidner