Thursday, October 2, 2008

Zionsville's Poor Education, Part II

I forgot to mention two other incidents of misinformation and poor lesson plans at Zionsville Community High School.

1) My brother reports that over 75% of his classmates believe Barack Obama is a Muslim. This may in part be due to the fact that his teacher has been teaching that Barack Obama is a Muslim.

2) My brother is watching the film The Truman Show in his History course and the teacher has assigned The Matrix for homework.


matt said...

Didn't you get a degree in Film? If they let you major in movies at a major university, why not assign movies as high school homework? ;-)

SuiginChou said...

I imagine Jay's response would be, "Matt, are you suggesting that it would be a proper way to teach high school chemistry if the teacher decided to have the students read Melville?"

Jay seems to be giving the impression to you, as he did to me in his previous update, that he is upset with ZCHS faculty relying on films to do the teaching for them and to still get paid for it. But in this particular blog update, his focus seems to be more importantly (and relevantly) on the fact that the teachers are showing movies with little relevance to the course at hand.

Simply, The Truman Show is an excellent movie well worth days of academic discussion but the place for that is in a philosophy course (and, more specifically, in a lesson plan dealing with existentialism, cogito ergo sum, etc), not in a World History or US History course where its only relevance is teaching students that changes made to history books today can easily become the historic facts of tomorrow, i.e. "history is written by the victor."

We already have a quote for that, so why do we need a 2-hour long movie?

The only reason to watch the full-length film is to discuss the specific subject matter in pertinent scenes (e.g. the spectacular finish where Truman is literally talking to the Director stationed in the prop-Moon after his boat has knocked into the edge of the studio but Truman is metaphorically talking to God, to his God, and he is doing so at the very End of the World). And the thing is, this has nothing to do with US History and everything to do with art, storytelling, and philosophy.

Jay said...

I do feel a little bit like a traitor to my major! Then again, maybe I have an insight into the inanity of trying to teach with so many films.