26 January 2010

Something to Think About: Advanced Pressure

I originally posted this at the blog I keep for my journalism students, but thought it would be interesting here as well. I taught AP World History to sophomores for four years and, though I enjoyed the challenge and loved the idea of the class, I was frustrated with my students' progress. I often wondered if they were really getting the content or if they were just doing what needed to be done to get the grade they wanted/needed.  To give you an idea of pace in an AP class, we covered in less than six weeks what California standards require of sophomores in a year long class. The pace is insane.

As journalists, part of our job is to question everything that is around us. Why is it this way? Why do things that way? What does this mean when...? How do I know this to be true? You get the idea.

Another part of the job is to present all sides of a story, not just the side that everyone agrees to be Truth. We listen to the dissenting voices and present the evidence to our audience.

This Opinion piece from the NY Times, filmed here in the Bay Area, flies in the face of what we "know to be true" here at HHS. Watch it. Think about it. Leave a comment telling us your thoughts on the Advanced Placement culture. Is it worth it? Do the dissenting voices have a point? If so, what is it? What is your biggest take-away (the think you'll think about) from this story? Read the comments of your classmates as well. They will have something to say.