In response to my lobbyist commentary…
dizzyksc said: After spending the past five years studying political science, my peers and I have concluded that this country severely lacks in civic education. There has been no incentive for schools to teach civics or for government to push for civic education.
What do you all think? Is civic education getting the short end of the stick? What can we do about it?
Today I explained what a lobbyist is…
We were talking about the chocolate industry and how they invest in lobbyists to stop restrictions on the child labor used to produce cocoa.
There juniors in HS were completely shocked and appalled by the idea that companies could pay people to go represent them and attempt to manipulate Congress. They were even more shocked by the idea that companies then invest in campaigns for elections.
And I thought they would have learned about this somewhere…
I ruin everything for my students…chocolate, diamonds, and now the US government….
What are you planning to do this summer with your time off?
I’m going on a vacation…
So…a student asked to do an independent study with me on WWII
Anybody every done an independent study? I’m not sure what a teacher is supposed to do with it. Any ideas?
Discussing female circumcision/female genital mutilation in Africa with my class…
So, after asking you all for advice on the topic, I finally got around to teaching my students about it. Here are some interesting reflections on the discussion:
- I added some extra interest for the topic by mentioning that there would be a really interesting but controversial topic discussed in the next day of class. I referenced that is is something that I even struggle with teaching due to the sensitiveness of the topic (despite the fact that I teach genocide and human rights) so the students were of course interested in being in class.
- I introduced the topic by explaining why we were talking about it at all. I explained that it is a cultural belief that this ceremony be done to women in this age group.
- I explained what it actually is, the different types recognized by the UN and WHO, what medical equipment or lack thereof is used, and why this is done at all in Africa. Lastly, I discussed the negative effects of this procedure and told a story about a girl who experienced FGM.
- I did you proper anatomical terminology and the students all handled it well like we were in a health class or anatomy class.
- Students were generally very horrified. They had never heard of this happening before and were shocked that this could be going on. Some guys put down there head while we were discussing the topic and feel totally uncomfortable even talking about it.
- Surprisingly, a lot of students had questions about FGM and the beliefs behind it. One class rolled into a debate on whether or not outside organizations like the UN or WHO should be trying to change someone’s culture even if it is unsafe or unhealthy.
- Most of the questions pertained to why FGM is practiced in these countries and how organizations like WHO are aiming to change that behavior.
- About one student in every class had heard about the topic before at some point which was nice to know as well.