Sunday, November 27, 2005

Let the Man Teach

A mini controversy brewing over a Vermont social studies teacher who likes to engage his students in debate over the Iraq war and other issues. He also uses some "over the top" questions on his tests.

When I was in high school, I loved the social studies classes that allowed us to discuss...well, "social" issues. I always thought that was what our education was supposed to be about. Learning to think issues through. Making the hard bound books come alive with conversation on contemporary issues.

That Mr. Chenkin is a liberal, is of no matter. I'd be as happy if he were a right long as he can engage the minds of his students and allows for debate.

These are high school kids. Only a year or so away (if that) from possibly BEING in Iraq. Are we so afraid that they can't think for themselves that we won't allow them to HEAR a different point of view.

It appears to me Mr. Chenkin is one of those teachers that goes beyond just reading a few pages from the text and giving a pop quiz. He actually wants to get his student's minds working.

And now he comes under attack.

Is it any wonder we are losing good teachers?

(The right-wing bloggers-- in what I'm sure they think is really "cute" --have posted Mr. Chenkin's e-mail and ask people to let him know what they think. I did. I told him I appreciate a teacher who actually engages his students and asked him to keep up the good work. Maybe you'd like to do the same.)

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