Welcome! This is a free newsletter on becoming a Response-Able teacher
and developing Response-Able students.
My mission is to inspire, encourage and uplift the spirits of educators
so they can in turn inspire, encourage, and uplift the spirits of their
IN THIS ISSUE
"What good is academic learning if young people don't learn to become
contributing members of society?"
2. Disturbing Conversation [back
My granddaughter Chelsea is 15 years old and in ninth grade. She and
her brother Austin live with me. Chelsea is an all-A student who takes
an advanced language class at Central Michigan University. I tell you
this because I want you to know that I had the following conversation
with what I consider to be a very bright young lady.
"Grandpa, I got only 7 out of 10 on my history test."
"Not your usual score. What happened?"
"Not sure. Didn't know all the answers, I guess."
"Which ones did you miss?"
"I didn't know the Prime Minister of England during the Second World
"I missed some dates."
"Those sound like fact questions to me. How did you do on the opinion
"We don't have any of those."
"Grandpa, it's a history class."
"History is about facts - there's no opinion to it."
"There's no opinion to history?"
"No, it's all facts. It either happened or it didn't."
"That doesn't exactly encourage you to think."
"There is no thinking to history. It's about facts. You just have to
The next 15 minutes featured a lively discussion about whether or not
there is any interpretation to history. I said that while it's a fact
that bombs were dropped on Japan, whether or not they should have been
dropped is opinion. Chelsea didn't agree with me and took off shortly
to go study for her next history test.
My questions are these:
How can a kid get to be 15 years old without thinking that the events
of history are at least partly open to interpretation? For example, cannot
Manifest Destiny also be called genocide? Doesn't it depend on how you
look at it? How is it that a high school student believes there is no
thinking or opinion involved in the study of history? This bothers me
and I will need to invest some time in contemplating how I contributed
to that belief.
What do you think?
3. Article: Helping Students Understand War [back to top]
Helping Students Understand War: The Do's and Don'ts
By Chick Moorman
What role should teachers play in helping students understand war? How
can teachers walk that fine line between telling students what to think
and helping them understand more clearly what is going on? The following
do's and don'ts are designed to help teachers successfully perform the
balancing act of encouraging students to become informed while also teaching
them to use critical thinking skills that allow them to form their own
We live in a democracy that not only allows for active participation
but requires it. It is time to bring young people into the national dialogue
in a way that helps them see themselves as valuable, informed, contributing
citizens. That process begins in the classrooms of America's teachers.
4. Spirit Whisperer Contemplation [back
What if you are not really a teacher? What if you were sent to earth
to be a healer and don't yet realize it? What if healing is your main
purpose in the classroom?
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