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
click here to read article
The thing is that their idea of "authority" and my idea of it are different things. They don't question the "authority" of the MSM; I do. They don't question the "authority" of Liberals in power; I do.
Very good point that authority is often legitimate and should be obeyed, too.
My list of most annoying bumper stickers, the ones that really just piss me off! --
Hate is not a family value.
Baby On Board
I always get an irresistable urge to stuff a tennis ball in the mouths of the drivers. Wankers.
I'll admit in my youth I had a bad bumper sticker that read: Save gas. Fart in a jar. *sigh*
Wow! Sounds like a very cool teacher! Wish there were more like them!
Some teachers are considered "cool" by their students, but their approach to instructing their pupils should not be governed by a desire to be popular with pimply-faced adolescents.
Teachers must guard zealously and impart enthusiastically the subject matter with which they have been entrusted and to which they have devoted their life's work.
They should never distort or depart from their subject matter just to facilitate some "fun" activity or to flog some personal viewpoint.
This "geography teacher" seemed to be doing both. He was souping up geography to stroke his own ego.
When I teach, I constantly remind myself, "It's not about me!"
The syllabus is academic spinach. If he could just make #3 happen: "Students understand how physical processes shape Earth's (note the cute capitalization of 'earth')surface patterns and systems," he would earn his money. But then he would have to call the course Physical Geography or Geomorphology. (FYI: For years introductory Physical Geography was the most difficult, but likely the best, undergraduate geography course taught at the University of California, Berkeley's renowned Geography Department.)
Thanks for posting a more intellectually honest syllabus for a geography class.
Those of you who are not in public education need to understand that one of the fundamental attacks on traditional teaching and learning is the assault on subject matter itself.
The idea that, within a given academic discipline, there is a universally recognized body of knowledge that must be mastered is the "authority" that is continually being "questioned."
Hence, geography need not include geography. It, instead, can be the launching point for the discussion of a hundred seeming unrelated (and often more interesting and less intellectually demanding) topics.
The comparison between a real geography syllabus and Mr. Bennish's syllabus reveals what is happening in all academic subjects in public schools.
I think there are also cool teachers in the sense that he presents everything clearly and thoroughly and in an easy-to-understand manner. It must be noticed, though, that most adolescents may not "appreciate" such teachers!
I remember a few teachers in high school that I consider cool: one teacher always called back to basic foundational principles in 5th Form (equiv to US high school Sophomore) chemistry such as moles, empirical formulas, etc when we got stuck. He also extended the teaching materials and included something about acid-base concepts that were not examinable until 7th Form (senior) but which helped us immensely in understanding 5th Form materials (of course he didn't set any tests on these extension materials). Another teacher in maths taught all the common tricks in problems such as solving (2x - 1 = 2x + 3).
Of course, bad teachers are those that actually refuse to really teach anything, those who actually thought he had gone over a topic but in reality hadn't (I had one teacher like that when in high school - and it produced confusion in the class). I'm sure that most of the students in Mr Bennish's class would consider opinions like mine as from nerds.
Thanks, and to be honest NCEA is already affacted by the postmodern theories of education that the modern Left is so fond of. My alma matar is so unhappy with the whole concept of standards-based education and "skills-based" learning that it single-handedly introduced Cambridge University's international exams to New Zealand's schools.
You can notice that the first syllabus is more hard-knowledge-and-skills-based, while the second one starts to look more Bennishized.
I love when we catch them doing stupid things like this. Makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.
I was also one of those nerds who considered "cool" those teachers who could teach their subject matter in such a way that I could both understand it and feel motivated to learn it.
I had several excellent, many mediocre, and a few flat-out bad teachers in my academic career.
To this day, I cherish the memories of those teachers who really inspired me to learn.
There are a couple of interesting bits at the Denver county court. Nothing big, though.
Dude, she's not even cute.
"One of the students recorded it on his mp3 player and took the audio home to play for his father."
I'm sure audio recorders (even used to record class lectures for later studying) will be the next thing added to "zero tolerance" contraband.
Twenty years ago when my brother decided to home school his two children I thought he was nuts. Now, 20 years later, I would do it also if my life were to be re-lived. Public schools absolute cesspools. I am pointing things my daughter needs to watch for in my grandkids public school - so far fairly good school system and excellent teachers in grades 1-6. Next year (grade 7) should get interesting.
I spoke to the school district today and asked about the curriculum and his class. The woman volunteered to fax me the syllabus.
I am furious enough over the abusive treatment of these children (and the destruction of their safe learning environments), let alone if one of them were my very own.
Actually it is quite well written. I have no problem with any of it, unlike his recorded rant, which is at tension with the above.
This from the Ward Churchill School of Government
Back in my day, any percentage in the 70s was failing.
Well listing this site (www.indymedia.org) as an extra credit source, really says it all... Portland's Moonbat Parfait Deluxe. A unique mix of Stalinists, Anarchists, Psychopaths.
I disagree, as a Conservative I pride my self on critical thought. Critical thought is why i am a conservative. People SHOULD question what they read. Be it God and Man at Yale or the Communist Manifesto. I like professors that question my views and make me think. I have had several Left wing professors and their classes were some of the most enlightening. If for no other reason because they made me come up with reasons for my views. The problem with this teacher is that he did NOT encourage critical thought instead he lectured. I did find one part interesting though, he admitted that the student had a good point about Israel. That is good.
I would also like to point out that teachers make say some nutty things to get their students to think. My 8th grade history teacher was nuts, or so i thought at the time. It turns out that he did not believe most of what he said but instead wanted the class to think and then argue with him. He did not hold grudges either. I questioned almost every thing he said, and hardly did any work. I got an A+ in his class even though i deserved a B. He said he gave me an A because i was valuable to the class and because the fact that i argued showed him i understood the material far better than what a test could. This is what a teacher should be. I think this teacher may have tried to do the same thing but went overboard. This does not mean i agree with him comparing The Commander in Chief to hitler.
I am rambling so i will shut up now LOL.
I LOVED teachers like that. They make it easy to learn, because it's fun.
His lawyer was on cable last night spouting that the name of the class was HUMAN Geography! What in the world is that?
The fact that this thing is teaching our children is definitive of what the 'RATs have done to destroy our country!
They're trying their best to make our children as anti-American as most of them are and I hate them for it.
My only gratitude now is that because of my delaying childbirth as a professional woman, I could have none, so I don't have to watch their being destroyed too!
That doesn't mean I won't come to that conclusion, but I don't ever accept the "first cut" of any story.
Something that we all MUST train ourselves to do.
We each, individually, know that when we read a news item with which we have first hand knowledge, we see errors in the reporter's work. Yet, when we read or see or hear a report on something that is unfamiliar, we believe that we are reading facts. Questioning everything these days has to become our default attitude.
Looks like a much more reasonable and interesting course.
In a Very Upscale neighborhood, that I drive through every day, there are lawn signs in UN blue: -- WAR IS NOT THE ANSWER
I dream of walking there someday and add a sticker that says
--- to what Question?
What is your Question?
After listening to the whole tape....this was more of a "nation studies" class that you'd take in college. I was rather surprised that you'd be bringing this into a high school environment...and especially with 10th graders. In fact...if this is the norm...then why bother with the last two years of college? I'd say that they were already preping them and four years of university is totally unecessary.
The amusing thing to this...is that this guy actually writes that views of other students must be respected...in order to be in the class...and by his own chit-chat...he violates those rules. If I were the director of the school...I'll be scrathing my head...this guy has to go but how do I terminate him? I'm betting that this fool wants to stick it out and the union stands by the teacher...and the whole district probably will be asking if peer review of teachers might have to be brought in to termiante teachers in the future.
I'm sure if the dimwit was dropped off in Cuba for four weeks...he'd proabably be begging to leave at the conclusion of the "trip"...and keep his mouth shut over liberal stuff. Once you go to foreign country's and see how things run...you really come to appreciate what the US offers. I doubt if this fool has ever been anywhere much.
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
5. Copy of the Communist Manifesto
6. Copy of Mao's Little Red Book
7. Copy of the New York Times
(Note: Numbers 5, 6 and 7 are interchangeable.)
My thoughts exactly. Teachers like this create the deepest conservatives and the shallowest liberals subject to enlightenment later on.
Yep, this teacher's syllabus is positively Orwellian. The following could result from educators like this guy:
"Nearly all children nowadays were horrible. What was worst of all was that by means of such organizations as the Spies they were systematically turned into ungovernable little savages, and yet this produced in them no tendency whatever to rebel against the discipline of the Party. On the contrary, they adored the Party and everything connected with it All their ferocity was turned outwards, against the enemies of the State, against foreigners, traitors, saboteurs, thought-criminals. It was almost normal for people over thirty to be frightened of their own children."
George Orwell's 1984
Proponents of this theory believe that logic and structure attributed to the law grow out of the power relationships of the society. The law exists to support the interests of the party or class that forms it and is merely a collection of beliefs and prejudices that legitimize the injustices of society. The wealthy and the powerful use the law as an instrument for oppression...
Well, you get the picture. HERE is the source if you want to see just how far this body of thought has wormed its way into academia.
The upshot of this "Critical" approach to thought is that everything is political, no one is objective, and that all of Western intellectual life is anchored around the vested interests of privileged classes. Don't try to talk its proponents out of it - even objecting to it is a sign that you are protecting your own class interests. You can't win at this game because they've set the rules that way.
NOW I have to look that up! LOL
What is wrong with Cato, Heritage, NewAmericanCentury, and brook?
Funny... I read the Colorado State Standards for Geography Education today, and NOWHERE in it does it state that Stalinism will be a part of the curriculum!!
Do different ideologies look at how to read a MAP SCALE, or how to get DRIVING DIRECTIONS from a map in different ways??
Do Maoists list tunnels differently on a map than say, Chomskiites??
Exactly where does Bush-Bashing help you figure out the height of a Mountain Range?
IS there a Liberal way to look at an Ocean?
Inquiring minds want to know...
We want you back Mr. Bennish.. when you give us a speech in the end you always tell us your opinion and that it is good we have the freedom of speech so what is all of this..?
Sometimes teachers forget their mission is OPEN-UP kids minds NOT to close them down. The arrogance of some teachers is to use thehir teaching post as a bully pulpit for their pro
Jay is a true American patriot exposing and standing up to tyranny wherever it exists in the world. I notice that none of his detractors challange the truth of what he is teaching.
It's just sad when I, as a student, am more intelligent, logical, informed, and intellectually ingenuous than the teacher. His college must've had high standards to graduate him!
I think it is important to do one's history research here; may i suggest we read William Shirer's book Berlin Diaries and the stuff on 1937 - 1939 in berlin.
Then we would be capable to assess that teacher's transgression, especially if we compare Hitler's propaganda machine as detailed by Shirer to the news leading up to Iraq.
Likewise with reports and documents of Nazi warfare and that in Iraq. Simple source research = reading and thinking. makes for much better arguments than gang ho forward march type dialog.
Just a thought ...
Again, I don't understand why people have to bash public education in general because of this. How many people in this forum have ever tried to do something to get better qualified teachers in our schools? Everyone wants to blame education system. Like all other "systems," it is not perfect by any means. But in all fairness, there are some really great teachers, who, by the way, get paid very little for the tremendous job they do each and every day. Let's not forget that!
If you don't like what you see, let these folks hear from you:
Dr. Monte Moses, Superintendent
Cherry Creek School District
4700 South Yosemite Street
Greenwood Village, CO 80111
Dear Dr. Moses:
Jay Bennish instructs us in the urgency of school vouchers.
Bennish is yet another example of the political indoctrination running rampant in public schools, schools that too often see their mission as overruling the basic values of parents. The First Amendment is not a license for teachers to indoctrinate, or otherwise opine beyond the scope of the curriculum and school policy.
If teachers can't teach about 'controversial' issues without neglecting to present all major views fairly, then such issues need to be excised from the curriculum. Period.
The pervasive politicization of public education by teachers like Bennish is just another reason why freedom of choice through measures such as school vouchers is essential to a free society.
Copy: Governor Owens (email@example.com)
Jana Frieler, Principal, Overland High School, (firstname.lastname@example.org )
I plugged this thread on the FoxTalkRadio -- John Gibson Show early this evening. Brought up that the rant was just the tip of the iceburg with this guy and that there was probably an entire distortion of the subject and the code words were easily known to the school administrators.
Thanks for the input.
"Tolerance" and "respect for other's opinions" has long been liberal code for leftist group-think. "Open-mindedness" is another term that means anything but.
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