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Old 09-06-2016, 12:44 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toll_booth View Post
Alright, so the number of African-American students in the class was misreported. Noted.

But what of the activity itself? It did happen, right?
Yes, but the student wasn't "singled out." It just appears that the exercise may have shaken her a little bit, and with good reason. Kids deserve to know the harsh truth about slavery, and the Underground Railroad was one of the mildest aspects of the institution.

I applaud the teacher and from my perspective, it seems as though the grandmother may be overreacting just a tad. I mean we as Black people can't complain that school curricula glosses over slavery (looking at you, Texas) on the one hand and then when educators come up with innovative, interactive ways to teach it in a memorable way, we complain and get offended on the other hand.
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Old 09-06-2016, 01:27 PM
 
Location: Dunwoody,GA
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The key to something like this is communication. Communication first with the administration so that if things go awry, the teacher knows they will back her up. Communication with the parents is particularly important. If I were the teacher and wanted to do this, I would not only send out a detailed letter/email and require parental consent, but I would also consider inviting parents to come in for a shorter version of the activity for them to participate in themselves. If any parent denies consent, that child does not participate and is given an alternate activity to do. Having said all of that, I do think it's risky, but if handled correctly, could potentially be a tremendous learning opportunity for everyone involved.
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Old 09-06-2016, 02:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by CMMom View Post
The key to something like this is communication. Communication first with the administration so that if things go awry, the teacher knows they will back her up. Communication with the parents is particularly important. If I were the teacher and wanted to do this, I would not only send out a detailed letter/email and require parental consent, but I would also consider inviting parents to come in for a shorter version of the activity for them to participate in themselves. If any parent denies consent, that child does not participate and is given an alternate activity to do. Having said all of that, I do think it's risky, but if handled correctly, could potentially be a tremendous learning opportunity for everyone involved.
Yeah it's definitely a learning experience for the teacher. Err on the side of caution when dealing with sensitive subjects like these.
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Old 09-06-2016, 09:46 PM
 
Location: Georgia
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Originally Posted by Mutiny77 View Post
Yeah it's definitely a learning experience for the teacher. Err on the side of caution when dealing with sensitive subjects like these.
"Sensitive" topics? Dear goodness, with everyone's nerves seemingly fraying over almost any given topic, the teachers and administrators are going to be sending out a LOT of "Mother May I?" notes. Give me one good reason WHY students should not have a hands-on lesson about the Underground Railroad? It was a sanitized game that documented the structure of the Underground Railroad and how people traveled on it in an age-appropriate manner. Unfortunately, in this game, as in the actual time period, not everyone succeeded in escaping (i.e., not everyone got a "participation trophy").

Ironically, very similar games are listed as resources on the Georgia Department of Education as on-line adjuncts to teaching about slavery. This teacher used a paper version of a similar game. It would be interesting to know how many teachers have used a similar teaching module to enhance understanding of the Underground Railroad, with nary a whimper. I'm glad the administration is backing this teacher -- she sounds as if she cares about teaching a topic in a way that brings history to life. How many of us grew up thinking history was the dullest subject on the face of the earth, because it was just a series of facts, names and dates?
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Old 09-07-2016, 06:27 AM
 
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Originally Posted by dblackga View Post
"Sensitive" topics? Dear goodness, with everyone's nerves seemingly fraying over almost any given topic, the teachers and administrators are going to be sending out a LOT of "Mother May I?" notes. Give me one good reason WHY students should not have a hands-on lesson about the Underground Railroad? It was a sanitized game that documented the structure of the Underground Railroad and how people traveled on it in an age-appropriate manner. Unfortunately, in this game, as in the actual time period, not everyone succeeded in escaping (i.e., not everyone got a "participation trophy").

Ironically, very similar games are listed as resources on the Georgia Department of Education as on-line adjuncts to teaching about slavery. This teacher used a paper version of a similar game. It would be interesting to know how many teachers have used a similar teaching module to enhance understanding of the Underground Railroad, with nary a whimper. I'm glad the administration is backing this teacher -- she sounds as if she cares about teaching a topic in a way that brings history to life. How many of us grew up thinking history was the dullest subject on the face of the earth, because it was just a series of facts, names and dates?
Calm down; I essentially agree with you. But yes, slavery is very much a sensitive, sometimes even controversial subject. If it weren't, you wouldn't have entire school boards trying to downplay or sugarcoat it.
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Old 09-07-2016, 06:38 AM
bu2
 
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Originally Posted by Mutiny77 View Post
Calm down; I essentially agree with you. But yes, slavery is very much a sensitive, sometimes even controversial subject. If it weren't, you wouldn't have entire school boards trying to downplay or sugarcoat it.
Should we send out trigger warnings when we discuss anything about Native Americans? People are waaaaayyyy too sensitive about any number of things these days. You never know what it will be this week. This is a lesson, that if done well, could really help kids (of all ethnic groups) understand better the evils of slavery. These games can make impressions that you can never get "reading it in a book."
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Old 09-07-2016, 10:27 AM
 
Location: Georgia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutiny77 View Post
Calm down; I essentially agree with you. But yes, slavery is very much a sensitive, sometimes even controversial subject. If it weren't, you wouldn't have entire school boards trying to downplay or sugarcoat it.
I'm going to go out on a limb, here, because I'm truly confused. I'm not trying to be a smart-alek, or insensitive, or condescending, but I wish someone would explain to me WHY, 150 years later, slavery is still a "controversial" subject. What is controversial about it? I think everyone in America, if not most of the free world, would agree that slavery was a gross abrogation of basic human rights and A Bad Thing -- to the point that an entire war was fought that almost brought this country to its knees. What is controversial about slavery? It was a bad thing, and now it's over.

At what point does a 150 year old outdated social construct get a proper burial once and for all? I don't mean this dismissively. I just sometimes find myself bemused when "slavery" is brought up with so much passion so long after the fact, so much so that a highly sanitized, experiential game played in a 5th grade classroom which was designed to highlight the lengths that slaves would go in search of freedom would still arouse so much hostility and indignation.
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Old 09-07-2016, 11:18 AM
 
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Ok guys, stop jumping down MY throat because slavery is a sensitive subject; it's not my damn fault that White people feel guilty about it in 2016. Y'all need to chill on that and get off my back about it.
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Old 09-07-2016, 03:32 PM
 
Location: Georgia
4,941 posts, read 3,989,015 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bu2 View Post
Should we send out trigger warnings when we discuss anything about Native Americans? People are waaaaayyyy too sensitive about any number of things these days. You never know what it will be this week. This is a lesson, that if done well, could really help kids (of all ethnic groups) understand better the evils of slavery. These games can make impressions that you can never get "reading it in a book."
Yet when topics such as racial sensitivity come up in the classroom, the very same crowd that claims to hate trigger warnings proves that they need trigger warnings. And some much thicker skin.
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Old 09-07-2016, 03:46 PM
 
28,104 posts, read 24,632,008 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bu2 View Post
Should we send out trigger warnings when we discuss anything about Native Americans? People are waaaaayyyy too sensitive about any number of things these days. You never know what it will be this week. This is a lesson, that if done well, could really help kids (of all ethnic groups) understand better the evils of slavery. These games can make impressions that you can never get "reading it in a book."
I'm getting close to the point where I'm going to ask people to give me a trigger warning whenever they are about to say we need more trigger warnings.
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