Skip to comments.Al Gore documentary inconveniences high schools
Posted on 05/22/2007 6:38:15 AM PDT by Nextrush
This generation is one that thrives on media publicity, and right now global warming is in the spotlight. From melting icecaps to rising temperatures and sea levels, global warming seems to be the hot topic.
With the help of Al Gore's Academy Award-winning film, "An Inconvenient Truth," the issue of global warming has been projected from television screens worldwide, including those at Central York High School.
Both Gregory Wimmer and Eric Webb, teachers of global studies and environmental sciences at Central, have used Gore's film as a teaching tool.
"In a social studies classroom, "An Inconvenient Truth" allows for an open debate on environmental issues," Wimmer said. Discussions of the film led two of Wimmer's global studies classes to create projects to spread awareness of the effects of global warming and climate change.
However, with the increased publicity in high school classrooms, "An Inconvenient Truth" has caused tension on a political and educational scale. Federal Way School District in Washington banned Gore's film from schools for its "biased" material.
Frosty Hardison, parent of seven, called Al Gore a "propagandist" and protested the showing of the film in his children's classrooms. The district removed the ban with a new policy intact: teachers showing the film must request administrative approval and provide the opposing view in their lesson.
Webb said. "Obviously Gore has an agenda; he's a politician. He used the science data to say what he wanted it to say. But that's why this film got the press it did."
"Everything in the media that is produced by humans is biased," said Jay Butterfield, principal of Central York High School.
Butterfield said he supports teachers having open discourse about the issue. While he felt the film is "definitely" beneficial to high school students, he said, "The problem with showing an entire film is that it eats up valuable instruction time. Its better to find key moments to discuss the topic."
While the video provokes some skepticism, the message on global warming rings loud and clear. "There is a reason why its called "An Inconvenient Truth." said Webb. "If what Gore says is true....you feel very uncomfortable by the end of the film."
Webb hopes that Gore's documentary will make students think about how their lives and lifestyles impact the planet. He said "We all need to be better stewards of the planet. Maybe this movie will help make students more aware of that."
Butterfield commented, "Young people can make changes that affect the world in a positive way.'
However, Webb noted that while the film is making students more aware of the causes and effects of global warming, there is still the same number of cars in the school parking lot each morning.
"We are a nation that wants things to be convenient for us," said Webb. "(Carpooling) is simply inconvenient."
While Webb believes that fuel prices will have a greater impact on government policy than Gore's film, he remains confident. "If the general public demands change in environmental policy, it will happen," he said.
Butterfield notes that people have endured decades of crises such as whales washing on shore and rainforests depleting without significant change in action to stop global warming. Whether or not "An Inconvenient Truth" will be the neccessary motivation this generation needs to make a change, he said. "I don't know if it's enough."
The media industry promotes ideas around the globe. Rachel Carson fueled the Environmental Movement of the 60's and 70's. The publicity of her idea created the Environmental Protection Agency, Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act.
Webb pointed out that the media has changed environmental policies before. "Rachel Carson's 1962 book, "Silent Spring," started the ball rolling in making the public aware of the problem of pesticide use in America. Maybe this movie could have the same impact."
I wouldn’t mind if it were there, simply included as one unproven point of view about an important topic, balanced with opposing views from some skeptics that can make a good case, and followed with class discussion free of emotional blackmail. In that way, the kids could form a rational opinion on the subject, as well as get some practice evaluating people pushing an agenda. But liberals are incapable of teaching that way, so they can’t be trusted to use this movie as a teaching tool. Make sense?
I was searching for a social studies job and would have enjoyed NOT showing this film (I am for debate, but only when both sides are from an intellectual position).
Unfortunately, I will be teaching journalism instead. Well...I love the subject and know it will be fun to teach. But, I will miss not teaching social studies at the same time.
The liberal social studies teachers really get annoying. When you find one that is not, it is a real blessing.
Moreover, the "scientists"/tools who have signed on to this garbage should have their credentials stripped and be sent back to freshman science lab and do it over and over until they can recite and live by the scientific method.
IF they can pass freshman lab, then they should spend the rest of their sorry lives undoing the damage they've done to these impressionable young people and the simple minded adults.
Note I did say I am also fortunate since I love journalism.
I will just miss social studies. But, believe me...they will have the idea of objectivity and balance drilled into them. :)
That is why I briefly considered going into journalism professionally...so many biased or just plain awful reporters out there, but even after winning awards I felt teaching was my true calling.
Next year will be great.
Then how about using Leni Riefenstahl's Triumph Of The Will" as a teaching tool?
Try this for an in-class exercise:
1. Tape one evening’s newscast from ABC-NBC-CBS-FOX-CNN.
2. Remove the commercials, ads, etc.
3. Compare and contrast the different productions, stories chosen, order in which they are given, slant or bias of the reporter, etc.
4. Have class discuss the above, then “vote” on which of the news shows are the most objective, fair and balanced..........
That is a great lesson idea.
Fair and balanced.
My fourth grade son is already being indoctrinated by the liberal environmentalists. I'm having a hard time teaching him that in America, we are capable of turning back the clock and cleaning up environmental damage that we have done. We quite often do this without fanfare.
My son thought a landfill would always stay an uncovered eyesore. He didn't know that it is possible to use it as a LANDFILL, cover it up and re-use that piece of land.
He didn't know we can clean up the chemicals and waste from our rivers and streams.
The list goes on and on... it's important to counteract the message that the schools are giving out.
Have some discussions on John Stossel’s reporting style vs. Jerry Rivers’ reporting style, just for fun!..........
Not since Michael Moore changed the definition of "documentary".
I attended El Camino High School in Sacramento in the 1960's. Our class viewed Triumph of The Will as part of a world history course. Somehow, I survived its showing (sarc) ..and I'm Jewish!
Another thing that you should try to instill in the budding young journalists’ minds is:
FACT CHECKING!....Never ASSUME something is true, just because someone else told you, or you read it on some blog somewhere.
Many of today’s crop of so-called journalists are spoon fed info like baby formula. PRESS RELEASES are not FACT SHEETS!....FEELINGS are not THOUGHTS!.........
That’s another thing, FEELINGS.....That has become the most trite question in all of journaldom (dumb?).
“How do you FEEL about that, Mrs. Smith?”....BAH! Who gives a rat’s hind quarter! Ask about THOUGHTS, not FEELINGS!
rwfromkansas, You have the power to start to UN-DO the last 50 years damage by liberal journalism professors in this country. I envy you, and wish you ALL THE LUCK IN GOD’s BEAUTIFUL WORLD, because you’re really gonna need it......
First day of class:
Okay class, I want each of you to write a 50-100 word PARAGRAPH about:
WHY I WANT TO BE A JOURNALIST
Then see how many, nearly 100% I’d wager, start off with:
I want to make a difference
I want to change the world.
The one who writes:
I want to reveal the truth.
will be your star pupil...........
Maybe this is what those kiddies should be seeing instead of Algore's movie. This storm came through this morning.
Of course this is nothing compared to the snow storm we had about 5 years ago. On the second weekend of June we got 14" of snow; which is nothing compared to what my brother got. He got 48" of snow that weekend and he only lives about 100 miles north of me.
BIG FAT IF....
He forgot to say that IF it is not true, a lot of money will have been wasted and a lot of freedom will have been given away never to be returned.