Thursday, April 05, 2007

my truths are your opinions?

in the post below, i talked about blake being taught about pesticides and environmental issues in class. i loved the comments because no one really got nasty and it became a good discussion in there where i could learn from your persepectives, opinions, etc. someone brought up a good point that maybe the pesticide topic came from a science discussion. and viola, my question as to "how was this topic even brought up" has potentially been logically answered. thank you.

i guess i just fear that kids are being given only one side of certain topics... whatever side the teacher's personal opinion happens to be. and that is where my problem lies. i believe that certain things that are not facts, should not be presented as such. i believe that if you want to teach about something, you should give both sides- even if you don't believe in one of them. i think that is what is fair to the kids. give them all sides, and then let them decide. you should teach them to question and not just blindly follow and believe whatever they see and hear. it seems to me that people don't have a problem with others believing what they hear on tv and such, as long as they agree with them.

i wonder where facts get blurred into opinions? when does an opinion end, and a fact begin? i think so many people are caught up in how they feel about a topic, that they fail to see that most of what they think and believe are just opinions, and not actual facts. and that's okay, but just admit it. share what you think and why, but also say something about the other side and what they think. ugh.. i don't know.

i guess the whole thing just caught me offguard because of the way blake said it.. "such and such is BAD." it was weird. so then i was like, "well why is it bad? why do you think it's bad?" and it was just such a bold statement that i knew didn't come from his own mind. i knew someone else put it there... and maybe my only problem with it, was that it didn't come from me??? because in essence, isn't that what we (as parents) do everyday? shape our kids opinions on things, by how we personally feel about them? but i'm not also in a classroom environment, teaching 20 kids, where i'm supposed to be impartial. hell, are teachers supposed to be impartial?

see, this is why i hate myself sometimes. i see too many shades of gray and too many situations and exceptions and what if's and maybe's and ARRRRRGh.

i think my brain just exploded.

10 comments:

Yorksdevil said...

At least you see shades of grey, some people just see black and white and they're the ones more likely to start wars and what have you. I do agree though that at some point you have to stop qualifying yourself, and actually say something.

TrojanGuy said...

When you get down to it, you can usually find at least 1 person in the world that will disagree with what everybody else considers to be a fact. So what is your standard for what a fact is? Do you define a fact as something that is accepted by 100% of the population? 100% of "experts" on the subject? 95% of "experts"? Where's your threshold where something changes from theory to fact?

It's good to see shades of grey, or see both sides of an argument. But some people like to play the "give equal time to all theories" card when the particular theory they believe in is the one that isn't generally accepted by experts.

Grim Reality Girl said...

All I see is gray.

I'm studying to be a teacher (2nd career teacher if that makes a difference). Your observation hits home with me because that is what I HATE about some of my teachers -- their ability to infuse their opinions and slant the facts to their side. Teach the friggen facts dammit. Teach varying perspectives when possible. Challenge students to think!

But don't tell my kids WHAT to think and don't undermine what I'm teaching them at home....

The responsibility of teaching is so huge. I am afraid to student teach this fall. To me the kids get shorted when they have a student teacher. I'm learning on them. YIKES. How the hell can this be? How does anyone survive the responsibility of being a student teacher? You are learning on real kids.... anything I fail to provide them hurts their futures. Any opinion I have can shape their young minds. Maybe it would be easier if I didn't have kids -- then I would not fear the consequences quite so much.....

Okay, my brain just exploded too.....

RWA said...

That's a very interesting point. When Blake is taught that something is "bad," it's one thing if he is taught why it is bad.

If the reason why is ever because "the teacher said so," then I would say there is significant reason for concern.

dana said...

I think it's true, too, that teachers tend to promote the side they most believe in. It was that way when I was in school. I guess I just think it's time for more neutral teaching methods.

alison said...

Yep, teachers are jerks.

Mom101 said...

You are touching on such a huge huge topic. As trojanguy says...there are people (mostly evangelicals with another agenda) who think that global warming is not fact. There are people who think that evolution is not fact. Do I need my kid getting another perspective on these things? No thank you.

But when the teacher says "the president is a great man and we all must respect him" well then yeah, I want another opinion.

So sue me, I want the world to think like me!

MyDuckies said...

What happens when people have very different voew on what IS the truth? I know the big debate between evolution and creationism has been in the new of late- and both sides think theirs is THE only explanation. No Grey, no compromise... in many cases Neither side is heard, so both won't have to-

Politically correct? MisInformantion?

JayMonster said...

The problem usually comes along with one of two things. One, people trying to push "values" AS facts, and then you have the skew of money.

For example, the Science Teachers Organization refused free copies of An Inconvenient Truth to show kids. Why? Because one of their largest benefactors is Exxon.

As it was stated (by Stephen Colbert), facts have a liberal bias.

Back to seriousness, it is virtually impossible to completely remove some "slant" from teaching.

When I attended (A Catholic) High School, the Science Teacher had to (by school orders) teach Creationism (yes, back then they hadn't renamed it yet) as "an equally valid alternative" to Evolution. But while he stated both sides with equal detail, it was clear to anybody in the room that by the tone in his voice, he didn't actually believe the Creationist Theory.

This is one where there is really no clear answer.

Virginia Belle said...

rwa stole my comment. :)