Schools in America are open to a tremendous amount of criticism. Much of it is even deserved. However, the increasingly tight control of curriculum based on political correctness is an area that is worthy of conversation.
It’s kind of an open secret in education that we sanitize the hell out of things that don’t portray us in the best light. The Civil War was fought because those fine, noble northerners found the idea of slavery morally reprehensible (forget the economy). Lewis Carroll had a fabulous imagination that really resonated with children (redact the pedophilia). Our involvement in Vietnam was a success (I’m not really sure how we’re able to keep that whopper floating–probably by arguing that we’re not all a bunch of communists–but somehow the myth perpetuates).
Therefore, the idea of facing head-on a subject that will without question raise controversy and–oh, my stars!–make kids think is invigorating.
That Feminism falls under that umbrella, though … I’m not sure how I feel about that.
I recently attended a fantastic training on inquiry-based instruction and assessment in an English Language Arts classroom (a fancy way to say “good English teaching”). The presenter, who teaches at an inner-city school in New York City, shared lots of great strategies, techniques, and resources.
What stood out the most to me, though, was a unit she shared focused around feminism. It was absolutely mind-blowing … everything from evaluating the degree of impact made by Charlotte Bronte and Jane Austen to analyzing the philosophies of Mary Wollstonecraft to ..