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Manhattan (NY) elementary school asks students to subtract and multiply slaves

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posted on Feb, 26 2013 @ 09:51 PM
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I simply cannot believe this is the 21st century and this was considered a good idea by a public educator. Especially, in a state that is currently trying to strip these same citizens of their 2nd Amendment rights.

Source: Offensive math homework at midtown Manhattan elementary school asks students to subtract and multiply slaves

Here are a few key snippets that take my breath away:


Public School 59 teacher Jane Youn, 32, sent the absurd questions home with her fourth-graders last month and is facing disciplinary action following the poor judgment



Another word problem used the example of a slave who “got whipped five times a day,” then asked students to calculate the number of whippings he received in a month.


Fortunately, smarter heads prevailed, and the offending (and I hate to use this term) "teacher" has been disciplined, and the entire staff is now being forced to participate in a sensitivity training class. This is all fine and good, however, the fact remains that this teacher actually thought this was acceptable from the start!




posted on Feb, 26 2013 @ 09:54 PM
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Happy Black History month!

I don't know if it's appalling. Children today just don't want to learn. Teachers have already been in trouble over the use of drugs in math questions.

I blame video games. If it's not blinking and has a controller kids don't give a damn.

In conclusion, this teacher should be rewarded for finding a creative way to inspire learning. Instead, every is acting all shocked. I suspect it's because they are feigning injury and can't answer the math question.



posted on Feb, 26 2013 @ 09:54 PM
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reply to post by Krakatoa
 


So I guess since she is getting disciplined it wasn't part of the official curriculum? If that's the case isn't the thread title misleading?



posted on Feb, 26 2013 @ 09:55 PM
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I can't understand how a teacher could be oblivious to the fact that this is just simply wrong.

There is no reason to use slavery in this context when any number of things could have been substituted. I'm glad to see the school jumped on this and hopefully this doesn't happen very often.

I can't tell you how shocked I would be if I were a parent and my child asked for help with their homework and I saw this as a question.



posted on Feb, 26 2013 @ 09:56 PM
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I see it as good intentions, badly misunderstood.


Education officials said that fourth-graders at the midtown school wrote the questions themselves after Youn told them to blend lessons they learned in social studies class with their math


So the students learnt in other lessons about slaves being whipped, and slaves dying on ships.

This new knowledge of the world was then, from the students own input, further added to their education in new ways.

Outrage!!!



posted on Feb, 26 2013 @ 09:57 PM
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reply to post by Hopechest
 


I know, right? Damn kid should know how to solve such easy questions. It's like they go to school and don't learn anything only to come home and have the parents do their homework.



posted on Feb, 26 2013 @ 09:58 PM
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----Deleted----
ETA: Doh I guess i skipped past this paragraph



Education officials said that fourth-graders at the midtown school wrote the questions themselves after Youn told them to blend lessons they learned in social studies class with their math assignments. Youn gave them to students as homework.

seems like he just didn't want them to feel shame on the work they produced. After learning about slaves earlier that day, erm oh the humanity.
edit on 26-2-2013 by Bixxi3 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 26 2013 @ 09:59 PM
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From the article:

Education officials said that fourth-graders at the midtown school wrote the questions themselves after Youn told them to blend lessons they learned in social studies class with their math assignments. Youn gave them to students as homework


So the kids wrote the questions after being asked to blend social studies into it. Kinda the expected unexpected.


I see it as good intentions, badly misunderstood.

You beat me to it Alfa

edit on 26-2-2013 by Lucid Lunacy because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 26 2013 @ 10:02 PM
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reply to post by alfa1
 


I admit that this time in American (and world) history is something that should be taught and understood. However, given the sensitivity and gravity of the horrendous acts upon the slaves, discussion of this topic in the class, where an adult can answer their questions and put it in context is essential. Sending these home as homework assignments, without a teacher-parent meeting first (to explain the meaning behind such an assignment) would have been more professional and prudent IMO.

These are 4th graders, kids 8-9 years old, naturally curious, yes, but also VERY impressionable and easily something like this could be misunderstood on so many levels. I am not a teacher, but, I think some preparatory discussions with the parents of the students first would have been a better plan....and prepared the parents on how to help their child understand their assignment as not just a math problem.



posted on Feb, 26 2013 @ 10:09 PM
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Originally posted by Lucid Lunacy
reply to post by Krakatoa
 


So I guess since she is getting disciplined it wasn't part of the official curriculum? If that's the case isn't the thread title misleading?


No, the title is accurate. She DID send them home with the assignment, AND it is a shortened version of the original title of the article itself. So, regardless of the outcome, it is still accurate....is it not? And, I posted the outcome in my OP as well.



posted on Feb, 26 2013 @ 10:11 PM
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reply to post by Krakatoa
 


Except the kids were the ones coming up with the blend?


Maybe who ever was teaching them about slavery should be punished instead? Obviously it traumatized them enough to that they had slavery on the mind.



posted on Feb, 26 2013 @ 10:24 PM
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Originally posted by GreenGlassDoor
reply to post by Krakatoa
 


Except the kids were the ones coming up with the blend?


Maybe who ever was teaching them about slavery should be punished instead? Obviously it traumatized them enough to that they had slavery on the mind.


I think you might be confused. The teacher was/is being "punished" here, not the kids. And, I wonder what the teacher is being paid for if she takes questions from 4th graders as her lesson plan for the day? Shouldn't that be under consideration too? I think the topic itself is a valid topic for discussion, however, with kids this young, it should NEVER be reduced to a math problem, with whipping of human beings as the "units". This type of objectification of human lives, at that age where their ideas of these things are being formed, is just irresponsible to me.



posted on Feb, 26 2013 @ 10:25 PM
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reply to post by alfa1
 


Ok think about this for a second a math lesson about how many Jews got sent to the gas chambers or the ratio of bullets to dead native Americans ,it seemed a way of trivializing an issue taken seriously by some communities..just saying!!



posted on Feb, 26 2013 @ 10:28 PM
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reply to post by Krakatoa
 


Did you even read your own article?

The math teacher didn't come up with the questions. The kids did. They wrote them themselves.



posted on Feb, 26 2013 @ 10:36 PM
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reply to post by Spider879
 


Perhaps the lesson plan next week is to calculate how many times can a homosexual be beaten without dieing in the process? Or how many matches doe sit take to fully engulf a homeless person in a fire?
Where does the line end?

Trivializing a horrific and complex topic/situation by reducing it to a math problem is simply not a very smart educational plan in my book.

Perhaps, something along the lines of, I dunno, TALKING TO THE PARENTS about the idea first would be prudent?
IF this type of thought process is considered standard or acceptable, I guess I am crazy.....sheesh. I simply cannot understand the defense and perceived acceptance here of this "new education" approach. I applaud the school administrator for the handling of this situation.



posted on Feb, 26 2013 @ 10:38 PM
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Originally posted by GreenGlassDoor
reply to post by Krakatoa
 


Did you even read your own article?

The math teacher didn't come up with the questions. The kids did. They wrote them themselves.


No need to be condescending here. Yes, I read the article, the entire article, before posting it here. And if the teacher is going to use an 8 year old childs question as a homework assignment, then perhaps her paycheck is a bit too large. So, spare me your snotty attitude, it's beneath us all here....and only exposes your not-so-hidden bigotry.



posted on Feb, 26 2013 @ 10:40 PM
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reply to post by Krakatoa
 


While I'm being condescending you should know the difference between racism and bigotry. Then again, it didn't say what race the slave was so, over-sensitive much?



posted on Feb, 26 2013 @ 10:47 PM
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reply to post by GreenGlassDoor
 


Which is why I did not use the term racism....because it was not appropriate. Bigotry is more apropos here, as it is "a person who constantly and stubbornly holds a particular point of view", and in your case, it is that this type of objectification of another humans suffering is somehow justified in teaching children.

Alternatively, I could also be described as a bigot in my unwavering and stubborn belief that I find trivializing the suffering/whipping of millions of humans into a numbers game.



posted on Feb, 26 2013 @ 10:59 PM
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reply to post by Krakatoa
 


It's not a numbers game. It's a homework assignment the kids came up with. You're reading way too much into this. Obviously their imagination was captured by the day's lesson on slavery and they wanted to get into it more. Rather than let them expand their fascination to the point of exhaustion you would rather curtail it.

Your objection reminds me of this.



posted on Feb, 26 2013 @ 11:30 PM
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Why is the other teacher being punished for not handing out the homework? I can see that the first one is in trouble since she should have known better, but the other one copied then decided against using it with her class.
Having them write their own questions could be helpful to see how the kids think, and could start a productive discussion if handled right. But to use it as official homework was rediculous. She had to know that wasn't gonna fly.



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