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Students Told to Take Viewpoint of the Nazis

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posted on Apr, 14 2013 @ 09:36 PM
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I don't see what's wrong with this.
We complain when our kids are being "indoctrinated", yet here is an assignment forcing them to think outside the box, and we have issues with that?

Let them figure out reality for themselves.




posted on Apr, 14 2013 @ 09:37 PM
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Originally posted by Semicollegiate

Instead, English instruction is about persuasion first and truth whenever.

One reason to suspect a hidden agenda.


Point well made, I wonder myself.
Since they are taking notes and tracking, perhaps this
will aide them in choosing candidates for the political realm,
and perhaps even those who show propensity towards other
promising aptitudes that will be needed in The Brave New World.


edit on 14-4-2013 by burntheships because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 14 2013 @ 09:51 PM
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reply to post by burntheships
 


The tracking does sound important. I think they have been tracking for a long time now. Since WW2 at least.

According to the book "The Bell Curve" by Charles Murray, since WW2 all of the smart people have been shunted into college. They have been watching the populace since then at least.

BTW Before WW2 an Einstien could have been born into any segment of society and adopted any profession. Since WW2 and the GI Bill and the "everybody to college" ideal, all out of the box thinkers are put into college where they are molded and monitored to some extent.



posted on Apr, 14 2013 @ 09:54 PM
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"Concerned Parents" - The bane of intellectual thought, progress, and personal freedom.



posted on Apr, 14 2013 @ 10:15 PM
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reply to post by Semicollegiate
 


The Bell Curve presents some interesting ideas,
some of it is quite thought provoking....

As for the social and academic tracking, well what could go
wrong? If, as you have mentioned they started it long ago,
which I happen to agree with to some degree they did.

Without a massive data base to keep track of it all,
hopefully it was ineffective, and most were able
to break out from it.

Grades in some subjects can be
very subjective, and are actually propped
up for some non academic classes....i.e. sports...
providing the opportunity for scholarships.



posted on Apr, 14 2013 @ 10:21 PM
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This story is ridiculous.

Any reasonable person can understand what it is the teacher was trying to do with this writing exercise.

Yes, Nazis were bad. We all know this. That doesn't mean the subject should be ignored or there aren't valuable lessons to be learned from them.

As i said in my other comment, "Concerned parents" are the bane of intellectual thought and progress.

Honestly, any idiot should be able to understand what this was and not have a knee jerk reaction to it.
Lessons can be learned from Hitler's rise to power and the way in which he held sway over the German people.
This exercise is rather brilliant. We need to understand how Hitler and his henchmen could convince so many of something so awful.
"The students were instructed to imagine that their teacher was a Nazi and to construct an argument that Jews were “the source of our problems” using historical propaganda"
this was - at least as the newspaper put it - the assignment.

note the part "...using historical propaganda."
In this way the teacher is able to show both what propaganda is and how propaganda was used by the Nazis to bring about one of, if not the worst, vilifications and massacres of human beings in history.
What the German People allowed to happen to themselves isn't an isolated incident nor is it something that couldn't - given the right conditions - happen again.
It's important to understand how a people can be led into a way of thinking and believing, and I applaud the teacher for using such a drastic tool in illustrating that point.

What this story boils down to is our insufferable need to be as perceptually inoffensive as possible.
ote that i said perceptually, as it matters more to people to not be PERCEIVED as offensive than it is to actually be inoffensive.

Remember - This stuff did happen. The Nazis in Germany did vilify the Jews (and others) through propaganda. And it wasn't limited to the Nazi party itself, or the soldiers... It was the people. The people allowed that to happen.

Was this teacher advocating antisemitism? Of course not. Was this teacher actually saying the jews were "the source of our problems"? Of course not. To think otherwise is ridiculous.

We've become so frightened of being perceived as racist or insensitive that it's made us intellectually dishonest as a nation.
I'm disgusted, not by the behavior of the teacher, but by the parent and the others screaming for this teachers head.
do we not see that, when we start censoring ourselves and being intellectually dishonest about our histroy we are only serving to set the table for worse things?

Again, i applaud this teacher for having the guts to try to teach these kids something worth knowing.
It's just a shame that so many people are that ignorant to reality.

Imagine a classroom debate which pits two groups of students against one another. One side anti-slavery, the other pro-slavery.
They can illustrate and understand that slavery, though obviously wrong, was not a black and white issue (pardon the unintentional pun). It, like many issues, are multifaceted. To truly understand something, one must examine it from all sides. Simply saying "It's bad, we aren't going to talk about it" serves only ignorance and does harm to all involved.
Ignoring a subject doesn't make it go away, and only learning about one aspect of an issue (like antisemitic views among the Nazis) leaves the student incredibly uninformed and renders the lesson , ultimately, pointless.

I wonder how those parents feel about their children learning about the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki only from an american point of view? What if they were told to argue the issue from the side of the Americans?
well, I'm sure -because of "american guilt" - they would take issue with that as well.

I'm just sick and tired of this garbage.
People need to learn to accept reality, understand history, and stop being dishonest.



posted on Apr, 14 2013 @ 10:26 PM
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reply to post by Zcustosmorum
 


"a bit much" lol
Hitler thought the Jews were a bit much.




posted on Apr, 14 2013 @ 10:37 PM
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Originally posted by ImNotACylon
This story is ridiculous.

Any reasonable person can understand what it is the teacher was trying to do with this writing exercise.

Yes, Nazis were bad. We all know this. That doesn't mean the subject should be ignored or there aren't valuable lessons to be learned from them.


No one is saying there are not lessons to be learned.




Remember - This stuff did happen. The Nazis in Germany did vilify the Jews (and others)


Yes, and this is one major problem, why did the teacher focus, and falsly so only
on the Jewish?




I'm just sick and tired of this garbage.
People need to learn to accept reality, understand history, and stop being dishonest.


Yes, me too. If history is to be taught, let it be the whole truth.
If it is an english assignment using history, let it be done with accurate techniques,
and compete historical perspective, not some dumbed down wikipedia version.



posted on Apr, 14 2013 @ 10:51 PM
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We did exercises like this since fifth grade where I lived in the boonies of NY. Also read "They Cage The Animals at Night" in fifth grade as well, among other contraversial books. Parents were notified, and if they wanted could opt their kid out from those stories, the few that were made fun of though, gotta love kids.
edit on Sun, 14 Apr 2013 22:52:37 -0500 by TKDRL because: been a while, a bit rusty lol



posted on Apr, 14 2013 @ 10:54 PM
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reply to post by burntheships
 


I listened to the Bell Curve as a rented book on tape back in the '90s. The part about Black Peoples' IQ was hard to focus on, caused alot of bad press for the book, and I missed Murray's thesis regarding that. At least half of the book is about society and education, which was quite interesting.

Murray made no accusation or allusion to any conspiracy, let alone a conspiracy to control the minds of the populace.

In a wider view of control however, the average person going through college provides a great opportunity to:
1) cause uniformity among thinking people, or at least some movement in that direction, incrementally increasing every generation.
2) get written records of thought from every individual
3) have a rough scale of comparision between individuals
4) access to the individuals desireable to the upper escelons of society

These points would be most useful in "harvesting" the natural talent available.

The newer, more fully applied and more precise monitoring could lead to actual "manufacturing" of desireable personalities. (Maybe already happening since the university system started at the same time as psychological science.)

In general, monitoring enables predicting an individual's behavior to a very high probablility. Getting to know them, in effect.






edit on 14-4-2013 by Semicollegiate because: grammar pretty much



posted on Apr, 14 2013 @ 11:19 PM
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First of all, anyone who wishes to criticize this post and my point of view is welcome to do so, but please read the entire post before you go about doing so. I very well may have already addressed your concern somewhere in this text. Whenever accepting a non-mainstream point of view, I think one should present a good argument, which I have attempted to comply with.

I did not have the usual knee-jerk reaction to this story, but I am disappointed in a way. To elaborate, I do not think that an assignment of this nature is somehow evil, although it may be taboo, but that says more about us than anything else. Understanding the thought processes of people and groups and regimes like that of the Nazis is imperative for us as people, else we will be more likely to make similar errors at some point. And it can teach the individual quite a bit about human cruelty, and all kinds of other important things. Seeing why the Nazis were wrong of course does not have to be done by attempting to argue their points of view, but here is another reason why I think it would be good for this generation of students to do just that:

There seems to be an emerging problem in determining what is real and what is make believe. Allowing students to represent a detestable point of view will force them to analyze their own viewpoints, and to fit them into the system of beliefs that are being analyzed. I think that if the assignment is made absolutely clear, then there is no fear of a student developing Nazi beliefs simply because they did an assignment on them. Kids nowadays are too wussified in the first place, and they need to be forced into uncomfortable situations, as it will build character. This is an event that happened over 60 years ago, and there are not very many people still living who were directly affected by this war. And no one should get offended over the debating of different political, moral, and social beliefs, because it is clear that this viewpoint is being argued simply to increase the understanding of those involved. It is make believe, not real.

With that said, I want to make it clear that I do disagree with the manner in which this assignment was carried out. So the idea itself is not bad in my opinion, but it must be carried out in such a way as to not appear like it is appearing to many in this thread at the moment. Also, I suppose a child should not be forced to adopt these views in a debate style fashion, but I do think that a student could be made to do a written assignment, or even an oral assignment, on the views of the Nazi party. Just because very few agree with those tenets does not mean that we cannot talk about them. There are bad people in the world, plain and simple. What is the use in ignoring this fact? But I suppose a student should not be forced to debate the issue, not because it is should not be done, but because with the sheer amount of wussified parents in this day and age, many are going to complain.

The parents need to understand that their children are not being forced to adopt these points of view, or believe them, simply argue them. In a debate class this is how it is done. One person takes the affirmative, the other the negative, and they debate the issue. It has absolutely NOTHING to do with personal belief. Everyone involved should know this. Even if the students are allowed to pick their own topics, choosing a certain point of view to argue does not mean that person endorses or subscribes to that point of view. There are various reasons for wanting to argue something you do not really believe in, and at the end of the day, if one can do that, their skills will be enhanced on an intellectual level. Usually I agree with most people about the wrongs that occur in public schools, but in this case I do disagree to an extent. I do not agree 100% simply because there are limits. Also, I did not read what grade of students we are talking about here. Obviously small children cannot be expected to be mature enough to handle something of this nature.



posted on Apr, 14 2013 @ 11:31 PM
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Originally posted by burntheships

Originally posted by ImNotACylon
This story is ridiculous.

Any reasonable person can understand what it is the teacher was trying to do with this writing exercise.

Yes, Nazis were bad. We all know this. That doesn't mean the subject should be ignored or there aren't valuable lessons to be learned from them.


No one is saying there are not lessons to be learned.




Remember - This stuff did happen. The Nazis in Germany did vilify the Jews (and others)


Yes, and this is one major problem, why did the teacher focus, and falsly so only
on the Jewish?




I'm just sick and tired of this garbage.
People need to learn to accept reality, understand history, and stop being dishonest.


Yes, me too. If history is to be taught, let it be the whole truth.
If it is an english assignment using history, let it be done with accurate techniques,
and compete historical perspective, not some dumbed down wikipedia version.


For the "No one is saying there aren't lessons to be learned". In a way they are, by making this an issue. We have, as a society, begun to go down a slippery slope of censorship and the white-washing of "offensive" (or so deemed) words and ideas.
Nothing here was antisemitic, nor advocating such.
There are things to be learned from this lesson.
Yes, there are other lessons to teach as well, but I feel this one is important, especially amidst the world in which we live. If anything we are, more and more each year, bombarded with propaganda (of a type).
this idea that the teacher can't have the students take that POV because it's Wrong is ludicrous.
simply understanding an idea isn't advocacy, nor is it teaching the children to see those of the jewish faith in an antisemitic light. It's is an exercise in thought, used to illustrate a point.

Do we give our teachers and students so little credit as to think they couldn't understand the difference between a lesson and reality?
People are acting as if this teacher were trying to convert these students to Nazims or, at the very least, an antisemitic point of view. They weren't. Students are more than capable of differentiating between what they are being taught and someone trying to make them believe something.
This teacher wasn't secretly thinking "Oh, if I can just get them to THINK like Nazis then they will become NAZIS!"
This isn't the rise of the fourth reich.
This is what I take issue with. This idea that there is some motive here. Hell, or that there is even bad judgment?
Notice it said A parent called?
To think this was anything other than a writing exercise designed to get the students to think about the issue from another perspective it asinine.



As to why the teacher focused on the Jews? because... they were the focus of the Nazis/ As i said, they weren't the ONLY ones, but for the sake of the discussion they were "Nazi Public enemy #1" and much of the Nazi propaganda was focused on them.
When people think of the horrors committed by the Nazis and the holocaust, they think of the Jews. Does the teachers focus mean the exclusion of all others effected? Of course not. that's just plain dumb.



posted on Apr, 14 2013 @ 11:33 PM
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reply to post by JiggyPotamus
 


I was responding to the news stories and the outrage from various "officials" and not the OP.

I thank the OP for sharing the story.

I felt the need to address the actual story itself, and to a degree some replies in this thread.



posted on Apr, 14 2013 @ 11:35 PM
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reply to post by ImNotACylon
 


Thanks for your comments, I acutally agree with much of what you said,
and in my OP, I do say its not really the teachers fault.


edit on 14-4-2013 by burntheships because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 14 2013 @ 11:40 PM
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reply to post by FraternitasSaturni
 


Good response. I think in a k-12 setting this is most likely an inappropriate assignment; however, the purpose of this assignment could be very beneficial to understanding the different paradigms in which we think. I sit here and think how I would write my paper to such an assignment, and I cannot think of any reason to justify the elimination of a race. If that was the purpose of the teacher, or researchers collecting data, they might be looking to see if culturally we are a more accepting society. This would be a fantastic assignment if placed at a university level.

Unfortunately, parents and emotionally driven individuals see assignments, studies, and educational assessment superficially. What if the instructor stopped the students halfway through the assignment and explained that these ideas seem so foreign and inappropriate to us because globalization has increased awareness of different cultures and the necessity for all to allow existence of these different cultures. Of course, the US receives plenty of hate, foreign and domestic; however, as education and awareness spreads, ideally the global community will be one more accepting.

Again, this is probably inappropriate for this level of education, but the assignment is not poorly designed.



posted on Apr, 15 2013 @ 02:05 AM
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Rememberance day was last Monday and all I remembered was that the nazi and zoinist conspisered to wipe out the hebrews.



posted on Apr, 15 2013 @ 07:54 AM
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It pains me to see the use of the acronym 'NAZI' as some symbol of murderous hatred when in actuality it is nothing more than a moniker for a National Socialist system of government. Socialism-tax the rich, feed the poor, till they are, poor no more.

The pseudo religious/Aryan master-race cult status given to this acronym is simply an incorrect interpretation in reference to the manifestation of the National Socialist creed put fourth in the Fuhrer's second volume of Mein Kampf.

I know that is dancing on the pinhead, squaring the circle contrive since the discussion is about a classroom assignment, however one would think, at ATS of all places, persons would be more prone to challenge the political correct-be it totally incorrect-versions of history put fourth by the media.



posted on Apr, 15 2013 @ 01:15 PM
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Originally posted by Semicollegiate
reply to post by burntheships
 


The newer, more fully applied and more precise monitoring could lead to actual "manufacturing" of desireable personalities. (Maybe already happening since the university system started at the same time as psychological science.)


Good points on the wider avenue of control through college.
I could not even begin to tell you all of the college stories,
suffice it to say that myself, and many colleagues have found
many college professors to be simply "lunatic" in their rabid
following of modern acadamia.

To be sure, the real time monitering, aside from its infringment upon a childs
right to privacy, will be applied no doubt to the future opportunities when it
comes to scholarships....they must ensure that the bastions of brainwashing
are not distrupted by those who will maintain original thought, critical thinking,
evaluation, as is a fundamental element in learning theory.

Thanks agian for your comments, very refreshing.



posted on Apr, 15 2013 @ 03:07 PM
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reply to post by burntheships
 



Think like a Nazi?

Yet, that is exactly what the assingment was, to make an "abhorrent argument", pledging
loyalty to to the Third Reich. Accordingly, as part of the exercise, the students were
encouraged to argue that Jews are evil, and use solid rationale from government propaganda.


Actually, I once did two persuasive essays..one for a topic, and one against the same topic, within the same school year. This teaches an INVALUABLE lesson about persuasion, and how it works, and I'd actually highly recommend it. Being able to succinctly argue a view that you don't actually ascribe to teaches you just how effective selective information packaged with a desired result can be. Now, I probably would have picked something that didn't include racism, but the underlying theory of the lesson is actually pretty sound...and people are way too sensitive and PC these days. It's just an assignment after all.



posted on Apr, 15 2013 @ 03:10 PM
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reply to post by Gazrok
 


Yes, I agree...hoping the smaller parts of my OP are not missed.
Thanks for your comments.



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