Wednesday, March 08, 2006

This is no geography class

Colorado teacher Jay Bennish is in a lot of hot water. People are shocked that his teaching tactics are being questioned. People are shocked that he would say the things he said. Count me among the latter.

I don't think he's actually doing what he's paid to do--teach 10th grade geography. We're not talking about adults who've paid for this abuse in order to get a higher education degree. We're talking about 15/16 year olds who are compelled to sit in that class and be subjected to this. The father of the boy recording this didn't believe what his son had said about this 'teacher'. The only chance at freedom from this was bringing home proof. And this boy did--in spades.

The right wingers are getting blamed for trying to control the curriculum. But it's obvious to me that lots of people are upset that someone has entered the educational sanctuary and dared to hold a teacher accountable for their words. They've never liked anyone daring to question their absolute right to rule every aspect of this process. They have fought accountability since the day Horace Mann created his accredited schools to ensure that teachers would follow his plan for our society.

I've listened to the 20 minutes (thanks to Michelle Malkin's link and she's got a transcript. ) and this was not thoughtful back and forth between a passionate geography teacher and his inquiring and participating students. This was 'eerily similar' to just about any cult leader I've ever heard. Most damaging was his insistence that we 'don't know' and so a different point of view isn't valid (about 12:15 into the recording). THAT small question, imo, is very akin to the snake in the garden saying 'Hath God said...'. It will knock the pins out from under these students for a long time. And let me make it absolutely clear I'm not equating the Bush administration with the voice of God. I'm pointing out that the teacher didn't say--"Let's dig further and discover the truth." He just left them doubting. No good teacher does that.

It's been routine for parents to be refused the opportunity to observe their child's classes. They're told it would be disrupting to the class. Maybe. Maybe not. Perhaps what would be disrupted is 'teaching' careers instead.


George Rand said...

Heartily agree. This is why I am so disappointed that we have no one(that I'm aware of) other than a parents council activist running against the incumbent school board members. Don't you know of anyone competent who would run?(I know you're in a district not up-hope to see you in 08!)

Anonymous said...

You all know don't you that nothing is keeping good conservative people from becoming credentialed teachers and applying for jobs in education. Just something to consider.

George Rand said...

"Credentialed" is what's keeping "good conservative people" out. Because of the emphasis on "education theory and methods" requirements, the system serves as nothing more than a re-education camp for the NEA ideology. That's why we must first replace the school boards with members willing to stand up to the unions and break the stranglehold of indoctrunation and return to education.

Kay Brooks said...

Anonymous: I wouldn't condone similar tactics from a conservative either.

And George makes a good point. Once you rise above the local school the system leans more and more left to nearly a precarious point. Check this .pdf from Education Intelligence http://www.NEA Pyramid for details on that. So while there may be outstanding conservative teachers in many of our classrooms--they are rarely in positions of real authority and decision making.

Michael said...

Why is he getting up and talking about this in geography class...does this have anything do with geography?

Kay Brooks said...

Michael: Maybe the answer is in this a Rocky Mountain News opinion piece.

The Chronicle of Higher Education documented this trend in a Dec. 15 article [subscription required], noting that "some education schools have begun questioning whether students value social justice, acknowledge white privilege, and agree to be change agents in battling sexism, racism and homophobia."

It seems to matter less and less now days that you know the subject and more and more that you 'socialize' the children properly. Which is exactly what Horace Mann intended all those years ago.

Anonymous said... that's what they mean when they say "kids need socialization" - in the hammer and sickle sense... ;o)

And George, Anon only said "applying", not that they would actually be hired. Maybe if they swear fealty to John Dewey we could work something out.

Eric H