Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Is That The Old Map? Is China Purple?

I belong to that unlucky, skipped generation that never had a geography class in school. To this day, I have trouble locating many countries, especially the ones that all have the same suffix.

I've also taught lots of students who have even less of an idea about where places are than I have. Students are also full of misconceptions and assumptions about other cultures, but this isn't anything new. People have had misguided ideas about how other countries do things ever since. . . well, forever.

And, of course, many people in many cultures in many countries believe that it's not enough to have culture: everyone must have MY culture. Otherwise, they're an inferior and primitive culture.

Go ahead and laugh; you KNOW people who think that way! It's none of us, of course, but we know people!

I used to have my middle school students draw maps of the world, when we were studying the origins of the names of continents, countries, etc, and label them. I ended up with the usual assortment of stuff that would knock your socks off: a lot of maps pretty much like these, and worse. There would also be the occasional student who drew a map that Rand-McNally would be proud to call its own. I could usually recognize Florida, but maybe that was just the way my mind works. And I could assume the boot was Italy, even if there was often a little Eiffel Tower drawn on it.

One year, I learned from several students that Queen Elizabeth rained while bucking in the palace, and that the Star used to rule Russia. I musn't forget the leaning tower of pizza, either, which had a "noticeable slant" to it.

Back in the olden days, students were required to draw accurate maps. Any kid could tell you where any country was, and what countries bounded it. I say, bring it back.

Bring all the old stuff back: diagramming sentences and memorizing poems and doing mental arithmetic, etc. Bring the old stuff back, and throw the test prep nonsense out the back door and lock it.

Require our kids to actually learn things and prove it, and maybe they'll find out what REAL self esteem feels like.

Bonus points if you know the source of the title.

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 2:16 AM | |


I am Mamacita. Accept no substitutes! Hitting the fan like no one else can. . .
I'm Speaking at BlogHer 08 Archives Links

My Classical Blogroll

This is a Flickr badge showing public photos from Mamacita3855. Make your own badge here.

Credits Powered by Blogger

Designed by Swank Web Style
< <


Honors Blogrolling.com Hot 500


Lijit Search/a> < BlogHer.org Logo


Listed Subscribe with Bloglines

View My Public Stats on MyBlogLog.com

Personal Blogs - Blog Catalog Blog Directory

Listed on BlogShares


DIARIST.NET Registered!

Technorati Tags:

Technorati search

Free Hit Counter