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Discussion in 'Primary' started by smifffy22b, May 3, 2011.
So no-one's teaching this today?!
They might well be talking about the subject but you didn't exactly give people a chance to reply. Your first post was made during morning lessons when, I would hope, most teachers aren't on TES.
I will be having a discussion tomorrow as that is when we talk about the news.
Fair comment Milgod, Thanks for the reply - What angle will you be taking on this? i.e. how will you start the discussion?
I wont even mention it unless asked specifically - why do the children need to know? I teach Y5 will talk about the wedding but nit about this!
I did nit say I wud side step it! I said I would talk about it if anyone asked me but it would take more than a chat over the register to discuss the issues. He has not been operational for years, more of a symbolic head of the organisation. I think you have misinterpreted Wat I posted. Would you also discuss the way the international community are mistrustful of Pakistan and maybe that there is no body as it could be a political ploy by the us?
I'm not going to get into a debate about how much input he has had. Although every time he released a new video/recording it went a lot further than any actions taken by his understudies.
I would certainly discuss mistrust of Pakistan. I would discuss the 'political ploy' by the US as well. It would come under the crazy consipracy theory topic. Much like crazy people who think humans never landed on the moon.
So you would do all this in a small slot maye in the 10 mins prior to assembly or during the register?
So you would impress your own opinions on these children who are asking the questions?
If a child came to you and said "Did you see that Crazy Osama Bin Laden Terrorist has been Wiped out by the USA?, Thats good isn't it!" How would you go about this?
Would you discuss why it was not a good thing as two wrongs dont make a right? or would you agree saying that he had the chance to surrender and didn't - even though there is no concrete evidence of this.
Would you discuss the war in afghanistan and why we are still at war there and why it is worth the deaths of our soldiers even though Bin Laden was actually in Pakistan. "will we go to war there?" asks a child? Maybe - maybe not you could then discuss the way USA have conducted themselves in recent wars such as in Iraq and Abu Grave prison. Why side step this difficult issue? maybe show them pictures of prisoners in various stress positions in Quantanamo Bay.
You could have a discussion about whether or not Osama bin Laden deserved to die - he did have a hand in a vast number of deaths. So there is a debate about Capital punishment maybe you could bring in some other 'newsworthy' characters such as Myra Hindley or Ian Huntley.
The children could tell you their parents opinions on the above and you could have a really interesting debate.
I think not! I think I will stick to the wedding and the United v Arsenal game at the weekend!
Have I got it wrong Milgod maybe your discussion would go in a diiferent direction? But I would like to know how you would lead this discussion
How about comparing and contrasting Bin Laden and Mandela? Both ex-terrorists, one hero, one villain.
By the way, Al Qaeda is hardly what you can call an "organisation" anymore. It is more of an ideology. Bin Laden / "Al Qaeda" has not "ordered" any terrorist activity for years. it has no leaders, chain of command, cells, training camps, etc. It is now an umbrella name for Muslim extremists.
I've already said a few times that we have time every Wednesday morning for news discussion. Can take 40 minutes or so most weeks.
Why do you worry so much about leading the discussion in any way? The best debates are had when you let children and adults talk openly. You seem to have decided how our discussion would go before we have had it. There aren't many things that have to be avoided completely. Pretty much everything you mentioned could be talked about tomorrow.
Also, why is giving my opinion on an issue impressing my own views? The only 'out there' opinion I stated was about conspiracy theories. They are given far too much credence by far too many people when there is no evidence at all to back them up. We will discuss them but my class are pretty good at looking at the big picture.
The moon landing idea is crazy though and people who believe man didn't go to the moon need to be locked up.
So you are quite happy letting your 9 and 10 year olds discussing this? Why?
Why do they need to discuss these things? I do not believe that you would allow this discussion to continue - would you let anything in the news be discussed? Local teacher accused of being a paedophile? Mass child murderer? Poiltician found having sex with a man on clapham common? All newsworthy in my opinion but I feel my year 5's would not need to know about these things!
A couple of my yr 4's brought it up and we had a quick chat about it but they were far more interested in discussing the royal wedding and what they did over the holidays!
As ever mixed responses - Thanks for all the replies & opinions.
In answer to your question there is nothing wrong with this question....its was probably more the context in which the question was asked, to the child which the question was posed and during the topic in which we were discussing Nelson Mandela -
Again as I said, its horses for courses - you discuss as appropriate to the level of your students, what they understand and how they can articulate their ideas and own opinions - I try to use some people think this, some people think that, I think this....if appropriate.
I think you have to be very careful indeed when it comes to expressing your opinion about political issues; by doing so you could be breaking the law:
I tutor at a school with lots of children of Pakistani origin. Didn't hear all the chat but let's just say this lot knew all about him. In this context, I don't think it is appropriate for a discussion about Bin Laden and terrorism to take place - just seems like a hot potato discussing it with junior children. Their view might be very different from another view - would you discuss the role of America in the Middle East, the Pakistan- India debate (trust me - these Y6's hold some very interesting views on that). It is interesting discussing world affairs - but children and parents can have some very deep held views and I'm not sure where such a debate would lead.
Quite frankly, I would love to tell them about my opinion of God, religion and what I think of the Monarchy. But I don't. Would I have a debate with Y6's about the existence of God? Interesting.
Would I tell a child I don't believe in God? Maybe. Would I convince a child not to believe in God? No - because that's indoctrination. What if a child asked me why I don't believe in God? I'm not sure. Do I want parents complaining that I've told them God doesn't exist? Do I want the papers saying "teacher tells pupil not to believe in God?"No.
Very interesting, I didn't know about this. I am never comfortable with "right-on" colleagues espousing the virtues of their political heroes - in recent years, Mandela, Clegg and Obama.
An interesting link but nothing to do with what I am talking about. It doesn't say anywhere that you can't give an opinion. My opinion is also not political. The opinion I hold on conspiracy theories is based on weighing up facts and looking at the evidence. Should we not all be doing that anyway?
Another poster mentioned the god debate. My class know I don't believe in god. I haven't tried to push my views and in fact often take different sides in a discussion just to get the children thinking.
On the one hand you say this;
but then you also say this:
I'm not saying that you shouldnt discuss news items in class; all I'm saying is that you need to remember that you are teaching children who are, due to their young age, very impressionable, and by giving your own opinions, particularly on such political issues as the "mistrust of Pakistan", then you are leaving yourself open to the charge of giving a partisan view.
Much better, in such circumstances, to inform the children about the main viewpoints held by various groups, eg x group thinks this, y some other people think the other, etc, rather than giving your personal opinion.
After all, even if one child in your class copies your opinion simply because you have expressed it, then that is one too many.
I tend to agree.
My class (Y5) are quite a political bunch and regularly question lots of what's going on. We have regular in depth talks about religion, also. A simple explanation as to why I won't tell them my own viewpoint always satisfies them. Although they did blindside me yesterday and ask me my views on AV - I've since reasoned that giving my opinion won't matter too much in this regard!
I decided to wait and see if Bin Laden was mentioned. It was, and I was surprised by the extent to which the children wanted to talk about it. We watched a clip on CBBC and briefly summarised important events so the children had an accurate understanding of what happened. The conversation, mainly led by the children covered such things as whether celebrating death is acceptable and whether two wrongs make a right, but I never shared my own views.
The only viewpoints I was keen to press on them is that Al Qaeda's views and actions shouldn't be associated with Islam (not least because we have a number of Muslim children in the school), and that despite talks of retribution, they absolutely don't need to worry about attacks in the slightest. I think this is acceptable.
I said (in response to another poster's suggestion) that it might be discussed. How has talking about something turned into me telling the children what to think? I didn't even say on here that I mistrust Pakistan so don't try and put things on me thank you.
You talk about informing on the main viewpoints which is what we do. I have said before I take any side of a debate to get the children thinking and they know this. I think you are short changing the children though if you won't give your opinion on certain issues (although I often wait until the end of a discussion to see if the children have worked out what 'side' I am on) . You do need to do some work on what opinions are but it doesn't take long. If one child copies an opinion simply because I have stated it then I have failed to teach them the idea behind a debate.