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
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