Media Madness

Power of Media
The videos John Author shares are powerful.  I feel like I have always embraced the idea that as social studies teachers we are preparing students to take action as citizens.  But these videos scare me.   I just received some guidance about a new law in Iowa that seems to target social studies teachers.  It has been in my head.  What will I have to do to make sure that I dod not create waves and get my students, myself, or my district in trouble.  Mr. Author is challenging teachers to go the opposite direction.  My students tend to lean very conservative with a small minority that are pretty liberal.  I am not even sure how to navigate these critical conversations in the classroom.  How are the rest of you reacting to this video?  Do any of you create content for public audiences that would not be very supportive?  What is that like?

Top Replies

  • This is the perfect example of how to engage our students in the conversation of current events in a meaningful way. To be honest, this would be extremely difficult for someone in my particular area to do something like this. Our district is fairly conservative as is our state legislature. In fact, the legislature is pushing for all lesson plans to be published from the beginning of the year so that they can ensure our curriculum has no "controversial" topics. Engaging students in the conversation of our current events is the only way they will learn how to be productive citizens, but I am not sure how I would navigate these in our current district and state political environments. I would love to hear from others who have done something similar. 

  • Hey Eric- I don't necessary create content but I do think I do pretty good job facilitating critical conversations in the classroom. I have tried to stay current with the student Facing History shares out. I know the attached PDF helped me establish a framework for myself and my class. I might be talking from a place of privilege- our school has more diversity in tribe/red or purple or blue/party affiliations. As much as it pains me sometimes to listen to kids rant about some fringe 'authority' I give them space. I don't think it's defeatist, it's more strategical. Give them a wide berth and challenge or extend their thinking. I think keeping civil discourse civil is easier with students than adults/karens/drunk uncles at Thanksgiving. Low bar, I know. The PDF and blog  helps.


  • Great stuff.  Thanks Mike.

  • Sounds like we teach in similar environments.