Saturday, September 5, 2009

President Obama - Is His Speech Really Controversial?

Will Richardson has posted what I feel is an appropriate perspective on the President's upcoming speech on Tuesday. What are your thoughts? I say this is an important teachable moment where we should allow our kids a chance to analyze the content and judge for themselves. Isn't that the type of higher level critical thinking we are supposed to be promoting in schools?

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2 comments:

  1. As much as I often disagree with Obama's policies, I trust that this speech will not be a policy-infused lecture but rather a request of the students to work hard and continue their own education. I do not think I will take issue so much with the content of the speech; indeed, it is more troubling because of the reminder that the school is ultimately government-run. With this speech, we are reminded that we, as students, cannot boycott this speech, either by skipping school or refusing to listen to the speech, without getting in trouble with the law. Perhaps there will be nothing wrong with the speech and it will be inspirational and politically neutral. But the fact that we students will be forced to listen to the speech, and not have the choice to ignore it...that is the troubling aspect. I would consider it an ignorant choice to not listen to the speech, but America is founded on the belief that we all have the right to make that choice.
    I think teachers most definitely should spend time using this as a teachable moment. But teacher questions about the speech should not be "How will you help our Dear Leader?" but should be "In what ways does this concept resemble Aldous Huxley's Brave New World?" Teachers must be careful not to let there love or hatred of Obama cloud how they generate discussion in the classrooms. If we are to continue to let our schools be gowernment-run, they MUST continue to be a politically neutral space.
    -A BHS student

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  2. Diana Marcus - Grade 5 TeacherSeptember 5, 2009 at 2:10 PM

    I agree with you, Mr. Larkin. If I do nothing else for my students, I hope to teach them to think critically about all that they learn and how they can best make use of the opportunities afforded them every day. My hope is that the President's address to the students of the country, along with my lessons, will give my students the chance to reflect upon how their hard work and good choices can lead to a better future for them and the world we all live in.

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