For some time I’ve considered proposing a new course or two to my department and then my administration.
My first thought is a Film Analysis course where students analyze movies (the way the film is shot and the thematic elements within each film). We could connect the films to literature, other films, and the students’ lives as well as meet the Common Core standards chosen for the senior English courses at my school. In addition, I could incorporate the following using contemporary and classic films:
- literary devices,
- the heroic cycle,
- Joseph Campbell’s ideas on mythology,
- classic motifs and patterns,
- Christ-like characters, and
My second thought would be a Modern History through Science Fiction course. This course could be a Social Studies or a Language Arts class and could begin with The Civil War and move through to the modern day. Authors such as H.G. Wells, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Ray Bradbury, Phillp K. Dick, and others would form the basis for a decade by decade historical study of political, economic, and military events as well as look at the ways science fiction reflects and influences American society.
Do you have a course like either one of these at your school? I’d love to know how well respected they are in addition to their popularity.
I don’t have the words to express what I felt on 9/11, so I decided to post a comic from one of my favorite strips. Remember those we lost and cherish those we still have.
I think it’s obvious that students across America will be studying living history today. The death of Osama Bin Laden is the obvious topic du jour.
What will you be doing with this today? How will you teach about this topic?
The author of this article and I thought of the same Mark Twain line when seeing the insanity of replacing the n-word with “slave:”
The difference between the almost-right word & the right word is . . . the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.
How could anyone think substituting an author’s words, intent, and meaning is acceptable?
There has to be a limit to the political correctness and perceived comfort levels of the public. No one learns anything of value in complete comfort; challenging ideas is at the heart of becoming educated.
As this article writer stated: “The one consolation is that somewhere, Mark Twain is laughing his head off.” Alan Gribben of Auburn University, in my opinion, should be ashamed of himself for sponsoring the censorship of art, the art of America’s most renowned author, and the alteration of America’s (arguably) most American novel.
Texas prepared to change the history textbooks to create a more right leaning slant, and Texas voted for a new curriculum that “amends or waters down the teaching of the civil rights movement, religious freedoms, America’s relationship with the U.N. and hundreds of other items.”
Maybe one solution to this problem is not to buy textbooks from Texas. If history is being rewritten, don’t purchase the books. Put a financial strain on the publishers since they rely on national sales.
A second solution could be more fun: have all students who come to a college in your state be required to take remedial history at your university or college. If their education cannot be trusted, force them to be re-educated.
How fun would it be to watch the education wars begin?!