Saturday, April 17, 2010

Opportunity Lost

The Oregon teacher who sought to "destroy" the Tea Party has been placed on paid administrative leave.  As a "Tea Partier" I am not thrilled with Jason Levin's activities that included everything from foolishness to encouraging people to commit identity theft.  Most of all, I wonder what Levin was teaching his middle school students and disappointed that he choose to pass on a wonderful opportunity.

He could have divided his students in to two groups, one pro-Tea Party, one anti, had them research the positions of the group that they represent, held debates, etc.  This was a great teachable moment for Levin and he blew it. 

Actually, the teaching opportunities involving the current crisis of government are endless.  How many teachers are blinded to the possibilities by their own ideology?  I am not advocating politics in the classroom but the study of the political process is certainly legitimate.  Teaching children to research policy positions, if done objectively, is certainly desirable.

In a classroom where the teacher's goal is to teach children how to think, as a opposed what to think, the dissection of current events is a powerful tool.  Shame Levin didn't appear interested in teaching when the opportunity arose.

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