Great Class Activity Gone Wrong

It can be easy to get excited about trying out a new classroom technique only to have it bomb. It sucks, but not all ideas can be successful.

This article recently came across my facebook news feed. It caught my attention as this was the high school I attended:

‘Grammar exercise’ distributed to students in Mission school raises concerns

I can understand the outrage completely! As a feminist, I want to grab my pitchfork and rally the troops. As an educator, I want to understand how this happened and whether it was a poor choice of topic or technique.

Ignoring the topic, this was actually a really good technique. This is clearly a teacher that cares and adapts to class needs. Not only did this start as a creative assignment, but student work was used to launch into a grammar lesson. This is incredibly innovative and I applaud the teacher.

The content selected though is questionable. But it is also taken out of context. We don’t know if the students were given a debrief or whether there was discussion on the prominence of domestic violence in the middle ages. I would not say it is a mistake, but extra preparation and caution needs to be taken, not just with the students, but also the parents.

Without hearing from the teacher, we really cannot understand the intentions. This could have been selected to launch into further lessons on women’s issues or domestic violence. After all, the technique selected was very innovative and thoughtful.

My initial reaction is understandable, but over dramatic. This really is  an example of a great technique going awry.

Why is the Middle Ages still part of the curriculum anyways? Surely there’s more value in women’s history, gender studies or black history….




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