20 May 2007

Whatever Your Ideological Perspective May Be, Can We All Agree On This One Thing?

That thing being, they show far too many films in K-12 schools. A North Ontario kid named McKenzie complains that he's seen Inconvenient Truth in four different courses at his high school.

But first, a digression about the, 'we used his first name only to at the request of his parents to protect his identity', bit. How protective of ones identity is the use of a first name if that first name itself is fairly unique? How many male 18 year olds in high school in North Ontario have the first name McKenzie? I know people have been picking some messed up first names over the past 3-4 decades, but a Canuck with the first name McKenzie? That's messed up. Besides, it's totally a chicks name to begin with, so unless you have centuries of family precedent you're honoring, don't name your boychild McKenzie. He probably would have been less identifiable had they gone with last name only rather than first name. But given the nature of his complaint (he makes no complaint about the content of the doc itself, just that the teachers at his school all feel compelled to show it, even in classes where it may be of dubious relevance), why bother with the whole, 'protect his identity' silliness in the first place?

But anyway, back to my point about the overuse of video in classroom settings. We don't pay teachers excellent money (yes, I said excellent money, given that it's a 9 month a year job, one that only requires 5-6 hours of face time with students per day, and has some of the sweetest benefits packages and most militant unions of any job available) to rely on videos to babysit the students in their charge.

Video should be used never to exceedingly rarely. Students are there to learn from each other and their teachers, if the teacher can't get the job done without wasting class time on videos of little true educational value, then find a different line of work, cause those teachers are just killing time and feathering their nests till they've served long enough to receive full benefits in retirement.

We all had those teachers more interested in counting the minutes than even their students, this is a symptom of that problem. Force them to engage, or quit, demand quality from instructors, maybe you'll find that if mediocrity is no longer tolerated, then higher quality people will be attracted to the job.

But back to this particular incident, it sure seems like Gaiaism is the newest and most agressive religion to be let loose on this planet. I'm fairly certain that there are those that believe in Goracle Infalibility with regards to statements he makes on the environment, and even if he's wrong on the facts, he's right with his message so don't let any inconvenient misapplications of the data get in the way of genuflecting before the holy DVD that shows the Goracle in all his most glorious Goracleness.

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