Saturday, July 08, 2006

Civics classes lacking

Sometime during the past school year, I substituted for a history teacher at a local high school. One of the classes was a civics class. In case you didn't know, starting with the class of 2006, Civics is a required course for high school graduation.

The assignment for the day was to read a handout about 3 Supreme Court cases (including Brown v Board of Education and Roe v Wade) and answer some questions about the cases.

Four questions, to be exact.

In an hour and a half.

I cracked a joke about how easy a day they had, and they replied that it was a typical day for the class. In fact, there were days that the teacher would have NOTHING planned for the day.

And then we wonder why our children are so dumb sometimes.

To emphasize this point, two guys went to an all-women's school with a petition to end Women's Suffrage. Shaun has posted the video at our humor blog, Strange Things are Afoot at the Circle K.


Jared said...

Beautiful observation. To be fair to all the other classes, most high school classes are lacking and could be improved greatly.

I can't recall one high school class that taught me as much in a year as any college class did in 3 months (that includes the easy general credits).

Steve said...

Thanks for the great post Bob. I wish there were more people like me. My two favorite pre-college courses were 7th grade Texas History and Geography and AP Comparative Government. Texas History was just fun, but AP Comparative Government was really tough. However, I loved it and ended up getting a BA in International Relations. I think that what made the course so appealing to me was that it was tough. I wish that schools would be less concerned about being academically rigorous...

That One Guy said...

academically rigorous... not much to worry about there.


My kids report to me often that MOST classes they attend are like this... there was even one teacher who would sleep on the couch in the class room while kids come and go during the period.

But let's go ahead and make a bunch of smaller districts, paying WAY more in administrative costs, and whine about overcrowded classrooms, because we need to make sure that our valued teachers have a "to-pupil" ratio they can handle.

I would guess it would be easier to "handle" if one was upright on one's own feet during the class period.