Several days ago I heard on the local radio station a story about 7th grade students at Exploris Middle School in Raleigh, NC who were staging a “revolt”. According to the “News & Observer” article “When in the Course of 7th Grade…” teachers gave the students an assignment to “take over their school” as they were studying the American Revolution and the current revolutions happening in the Middle East.
As Exploris teacher Karen Rectanus states,
“It’s easy to have a revolution,… It’s harder to form a government.”
I couldn’t agree more with Ms. Rectanus which is why I question this “play at revolution” in an American public school at this time of current world unrest.
I found a more in-depth answer to this question at one of the current Exploris teachers’ posting under the article’s comments section:
From the posting written by “Peaklife”:
“As one of the 7th grade teachers responsible for putting this activity together, I would like to explain a bit about our rationale.
This assignment was designed as the introductory activity to a thematic unit that will focus on the movement of people and ideas. During this unit, we will take an in-depth look at the controversy surrounding the drafting of the Constitution, as well as the controversy that continues to unfold in the Middle East. Because both of these situations involve a great deal of debate among concerned individuals, we designed this activity to help our students understand that the formation of a government can be a tumultuous time, and the documents that still direct many of our country’s decisions today were not decided upon in an afternoon. This activity also incorporates several of the 21st century learning goals that are outlined by the state Board of Education including developing personal responsibility and community/world involvement among students and creating a culture that embraces change and promotes dynamic, continuous improvement. (http://www.ncptsc.org/boardrecsandgoals.pdf.)”
I followed Peaklife’s posted link, which led me to the “North Carolina Professional Teaching Standards Commission’s Website” and their posting of North Carolina’s State Board of Education’s mission, “Future-Ready Students: Goals for the 21st Century”. Under the heading “Leadership Will Guide Innovation in NC Public Schools” I read that,
“School professionals will collaborate with national and international partners to discover innovative transformational strategies that will facilitate change, remove barriers for 21st Century learning and understand global connections.”
Above emphasis mine. Unfortunately I believe I’m beginning to understand their lesson plan.