Today we viewed the final CNN student news episode of the year. This program reviewed many of the major domestic & international news stories which we have studied in Social Studies.
In small groups, students reflected on and discussed the news stories that they thought were most important. The majority of our students felt that Isis and Ebola were the two most important current events.
Other students brought up the recent Sony Hacking incident. Many of our students thought that Sony should still release the film The Interview even with the recent threats which have been made by cyber hackers.
In the words of our students:
"Sony is giving in to North Korea. What will North Korea or some other group demand that we change next?"
"It's like they gave in to terrorists!"
Other students expressed a concern for the safety of people going to see the movie.
"Sony shouldn't put anyone in danger even if the hackers are probably lying."
"Sony should put the movie online so no one has the chance of getting hurt at a movie theater. If they do that, Sony can make money and the actors can get credit for what they did."
In addition, students reflected on the Isis threat. Working with partners, the class brainstormed a variety of ways to deal with Isis. Students then reflected on the positives and negatives of each approach for dealing with Isis.
Student responses ranged and included:
- Send in spies
- Send in soldiers
- Wait and see
- Evacuate the civilians
- Do nothing
- Targeted strikes
- Nuke them
- Make a coalition
- Use tricks
A range of opinions were expressed and heard. Students were encouraged to look at the issue from a variety of perspectives.
It is my hope, as a teacher, that students took a step in understanding that with every choice that is made, something is gained and something is lost.
It is my great hope that the lessons we learn from history and the critical thinking skills that we build on, will help our students become productive, deep-thinking members of society and our democracy. It is a great privilege to work with your children everyday.
Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.