Friday, January 19, 2007

I love stories like this, LXXXV

Master-slave. For some school administrators and teachers, it is vital to instill at least a soupçon of the degradation and shame felt by the slaves; so vital that role-playing master and slave is de rigeur for grade-school curricula. This story shows ... well, I was going to say "a healthy backlash", but it doesn't, as you'll see:
Clarksville, TN, school officials say they have ordered teachers to end a role-playing exercise on slavery for elementary students.

The exercise was halted after a teacher complained one student took her role as a slavemaster too seriously.

Teachers would divide their classes into slaves and masters on one day and then reverse the roles on the following day.

The students were not divided by race. Afterward, the students would write essays about "how it felt to be marginalized."

Does your gorge rise, too, at the thought that 5th graders need to be taught what it feels like to be marginalized? Of course, it was a white kid that ruined the fun for everybody:
But Ringgold teacher and Montgomery County Commissioner Lettie Kendall, who is black, became concerned about the exercise after a white student refused to do a math assignment, saying she didn't have to because she was a master.

Gad! The teachers and administrators want to teach the children what it feels like to be marginalized but only if the kids wind up feeling degraded and marginalized to the precise degree to which the teachers and administrators feel is correct and proper. Well, I feel that the whole role-playing idea is brainless. More reading and writing, less inculcation of the feelings of marginalization.

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