Skip to comments.FR EXCLUSIVE: Class Syllabus of Bush-bashing Colorado Geography Teacher Jay Bennish
Posted on 03/02/2006 11:57:54 AM PST by doug from upland
This is an exciting time to be studying global and regional geography! In this course you will take a penetrating look into the geographical - or spatial - relationships between human societies and cultures, the natural environment, and historical changes that have shaped the contemporary world. More than answering the question "what is where," this course adopts a conceptual approach to understanding and explaining the dynamic human and natural features of the earths surface. Particular geographic themes will e emphasized and applied largely to the regions of South, East, and Southeast Asia, the Middle East (North Africa & South West Asia), Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, Eastern Europe and Russia, and Australia. Important themes include: population, religion, human rights, notions of development and underdevelopment, impact of colonialism historically and currently, sustainability, impacts of modernization on developing countries, globalization of economy and culture, political and international conflict, cultural diversity, and global environmental concerns. To that end, a deeper understanding of current events from a historical and geographical perspective is imperative. Thus, timely issues and events in the news will be tied into the overall framework of the course.
Because of the emphasis on the relationships between social, cultural, political, and environmental components of human societies and regions, world geography combines various aspects of the social sciences. Further, it addresses four essential skills: critical and creative thinking, critical reading, spatial reasoning, and effective writing. Such skills will be derived from a combination of questions sets for reading assignments, mapping exercises, seminar (class discussion), films, lectures, group projects, and essays that synthesize your understanding of concepts and theories related to the themes presented in class.
1. Critical and creative thinking
2. Critical reading
3. Spatial Reasoning
4. Effective writing
1. Students know how to use and construct maps, globes, and other geographic tools to locate and derive information about people, places, and environments
2. Students know the physical and human characteristics of places, and use this knowledge to define and study regions and their patterns of change
3. Students understand how physical processes shape Earths surface patterns and systems
4. Students understand how economic, political, cultural, and social processes interact to shape patterns of human populations, interdependence, cooperation, and conflict
5. Students understand the effects of interactions between human and physical systems and the changes in meaning, use, distribution, and importance of resources
6. Students apply knowledge of people, places, and environments to understand thepast and present and to plan for the future
The course is comprise of lecture, readings, films, seminars, map exercises, group projects, participation in the global fair, and writing assignments. Your grade will be calculated from five areas: tests/quizzes, writing assignments, seminar, group work/projects/maps, and homework. Sharing your knowledge, opinions, information, and experiences is a requirement. The format of the course is intended to reinforce learning on the course topics. It is critical that you attend each and every class, keep up with your reading assignments, have questions or problems ready for discussion, and take concise notes from ALL sources of information.
The following materials are required for every class meeting
1. 3-ring binder/fold for handouts and readings
2. Lined paper for notes and class work
3. Pencil and pen
4. Textbook and/or readings
1. Colored pencils and black fine point pen
2. Goodes World Atlas (20th edition or later)
Your grade each semester will be determined by total points accumulated from the five areas listed above.
Grading Scale A = 90-100%
B = 80-89%
C = 70-79%
D = 60-69%
*** All written assignments except impromptu essays or tests are on a portfolio grading system, which means they may be re-written as many times as desired for additional points. This is done in the interest of improving writing skills, as well as, generosity.
Make up/Late Work
· Notes should be acquired from a fellow student
· Any assignments given during an excused absence must be turned in within two school days following your return from the absence for full credit
· To get make up work just see me during my office period or pick it up in the classroom
· It is students responsibility to stay up-to-date on assignments, late/make-up work, tests, activities, and notes
· Any assignments given prior to an absence are due the say the student returns
· Unexcused absences assignments due on the date of an unexcused absence will not be accepted. I reserve the right to refuse collection of work related to an unexcused absence
Extra credit may be obtained from a variety of sources dealing with current, historical, or geographic events. Students must submit a written/typed paper that includes a brief summary, a connection to course material, and an opinion. Extra credit may not increase your standing more than one letter grade. Sources for extra credit include, but are not limited to:
· NPR (National Public Radio) 1340 AM · The New York Times
· The Wall Street Journal
· The News Hour (PBS) channel 6
· The BBC News (PBS) channel 12
· Respect must be shown to myself and fellow peers at all times
· Tolerance for differences, remain open minded
· Turn in all assignments at appropriate time
· Complete all readings and arrive to class attentive, prepared, and willing to participate
· Disregard for these rules will not be tolerated
As your history teacher, it is necessary to inform both of you as to the nature and make up of my class. Two of the primary tenets of my class are respect and tolerance. The classroom must be a safe learning environment. As such, all students are entitled to their own opinions and beliefs. Students will not be permitted to insult or belittle others in the class, respect is paramount, tolerance is also extremely important. Students will be treated as adults, as long as they demonstrate mature, responsible behavior. Since discussions and participation are a significant part of my class, all students must feel comfortable sharing their ideas. Listening skills are essential, interruptions and/or disruptions are inappropriate.
Students will be given weekly syllabi to help organize and manage their time. Students are expected to be prepared, with necessary materials and/or assignments completed. I expect students to be attentive and active participants in their own education; the following is a brief list of classroom rules that are very important:
· Respect must be show to myself and fellow peers at all times
· Tolerance for differences, remain open-minded
· Turn in all assignments at appropriate time
· Complete all readings and arrive to class attentive and prepared
Disregard for these rules will not be tolerated. Students who fail to adhere to these rules will not be permitted to attend class. If the infraction is serious, parents and administrators may be contacted. The main objective of my class is to help students to think for themselves, and to become independent, responsible, upright young adults. This entails showing respect, consideration, and tolerance to all people and ideas in an academic context.
Students individual incentives for achievement are personal respect and satisfaction. Grades may, to some extent, determine ones future opportunities; however, grades should not be the primary motivating factor in education. Students need to learn for themselves, in the end, this make their education more meaningful and relevant.
All students are expected to follow school policy regarding attendance. Make-up work will not be accepted unless the absence is excused. Studetns must complete make-up work within two days of the date of the absence.
Parents will only be contacted in extenuating circumstances, and/or if requested. The lines of communication are always open, students and parents are encouraged to inquire or arrange conferences or meetings. Please read the class syllabi, then sing and print your name at the bottom of this page. Thank you.
Mr. Jay Bennish
Parent ______________________________ Student ____________________________
Sorry if there are some misspellings.
Well, at least he bothered to list the Cato Institute website.
Good find. This guy's inflated ego is very evident in the letter to students/parents.
I like how he has a few radical leftist websites mixed in with news sites for 'extra credit' sourcing...
How interesting. He touts tolerance and respect for other's opinions in his classroom.
Quite the jumped up little despot wasn't he?
Ok, it was 30 years ago, but my geography class was GEOGRAPHY. We did have certain classes that dealt with issues of the day among other things. What I remember is our teachers in those classes did not stand at the front of the class and indoctrinate us. We were presented with a topic or idea, and in discussion, we were all encouraged to speak our minds and LISTEN to each other. We weren't taught WHAT to think, so much as HOW to think....for ourselves. Ah, the good ol' days.
His rant was recorded by a student and played on the Rush show by the co-host....you have to hear it to believe it....
Did you guys hear the recordings of this punk's rants? He sounds like he's about 19 years old. If my child was in this class, I'd have a lot to say at the next school board meeting.
Is this guy I heard Roger Hedgcock playing this morning? If so, where did the audio come from?
it's one of those implied things..
You know, we're turning this creep into quite a celebrity. Maybe he'll go on tour with Cindy Sheehan.
Typical left wing values:
Question everything (except what I tell you.) Take a critical approach to what we read (except for the required materials in this class.) Practice tolerance and look at people as individuals (hear me you evil white racist, sexist, homophobes?)
The extra credit sources say it all!
He would fit right in.....
Those right wing cranks at LGF also has a bit of commentary and a link to the tape:
The rant is over the top.
Yessiree. About the only thing he left out of this letter to students and parents was something like this: "This course is designed to turn students in creative, and self-actualizing citizens of the world," or some such claptrap.
There is no doubt that this teacher is a maggot. Another bloodsucker on the public payroll.
One of the students recorded it on his mp3 player and took the audio home to play for his father.
It is up to every parent to right the wrongs our kids pick up at school.
I made a point of asking my son about his teachers and what he was hearing in class.
Only a few times did I need to reeducate him.
When he reached 18, he registered as a Republican and I now have no worries.
I first registered as an independent and actually voted for Carter in 1976.
My son is smarter than me.......
He had a good teacher........at home.
"Disregard for these rules will not be tolerated"
"Remain open-minded", which means "pass no judgements, whether moral, personal, or ideological."
Im glad the son knew what to do. Im firing off an email now..
They'll contact you Jay.
Just what do any of these have to do with GEOGRAPHY? .........This guy was running a LIBERAL THOUGHT RE-TRAINING CAMP!!!!!!..........HE IS A DISGRACE!.....
Nice to know the LIHOP and MIHOP conspiracy sources like guerrilla news are extra credit. Maybe the kids could just read the DUmmie FUnnies instead lol
Here is another example of why NOT to send your kids to the public schools. What this guy needs is a quick trip behind the wood shed and a good A$$ whipping. Amen. Mom can wash his mouth out with the Ivory also. Amen and Amen.
Oh I'll add my kids' "world geography" classes are just social studies (a.k.a. socialist indoctrination 101) with more maps, like this class.
I find those with the "Question Authority" bumper stickers particularly annoying.
I agree with the sentiment, but sometimes the answer to the question is that the Authority is legitimate and should be obeyed. Those with the sticker never seem to recognize this reality.
Sounds like a poli sci class to me.
I bet the teacher is one of those guys who think empirical
science is best interpreted in a framework, rather than
letting the framework and the empirical data "battle it out"
for epistomological "bragging" rights.
I think there are plenty of topics of geography that are
non political in nature, and can fill all of the hours
that the class is allotted.
Bottom line: teacher needs a new job.
The logical response to that bumper sticker is
n : study of the earth's surface; includes people's responses to topography and climate and soil and vegetation
They could at least call the class "How to be a raving lunatic with tenure and using the classroom as a way to indoctrinate the youth of America" so kids could know what they are getting in to.
Ought to have a "Guess His DU Screen Name" contest.
What a dumbass ...he would have been comfortably at home in the re education camps run by the Khmer rouge in Kampuchea or the Soviet indoctrination camps in the GULAGS there or the "memorize or die" koranic terror schools.
I wonder if he includes Muslim/Commie imperialism and colonialism in his section on colonialsm.
he sourced Indymedia? BARF
No. "Open-minded" means "Ready to reject what you know for my nutty left-wing ideas." You'll note that they have no desire to be "open-minded" when it comes to conservative ideas and have no problem being quite judgemental about traditional, Judeo-Christian, or conservative ideas.
The reference to the Bush -- Hitler thing is a reference to the recording that the student made of his 20 minute rant. You can find that recording here:
The alarms should start going off when you reach "Critical Thinking." This is a code word that has everything to do with criticism, specifically of the status quo, and very little to do with actual thinking. It basically means placing a filter on everything you encounter intellectually (see "critical reading," the next entry down) that assumes that there is an oppressor/oppressed class dynamic that is inseparable from the ostensible message. When you hear somebody insisting "you're only saying that because..." you gotcha one right there.
Yeah, the radical Heritage Foundation and Cato Institute! ;-)
(But I bet "tompain.org" was actually "tompaine.com")
Yes, this is the school that had the walkout. I saw it on local TV news. It was a lark, an excuse to get out of school for a few minutes. Some of the kids were throwing gang signs, some shouted "Bush sucks" and the rest just waited until the teachers herded them back inside in time for school to start at 8:50AM. There was no actual walkout, just a "walk-about" until class time supervised by teachers, who probably organized it to support the clown of a "teacher". The media ate it up.
That's a good one.