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Gerardo Mena's Blog

Critical Thinking Prompt #1

High school has been in session for almost two months now and I have never been happier to be a teacher.  The classes I had last year really drained me.  This year I was assigned the school's Theater Program, the Creative Writing class, the Yearbook class, and Freshman English.  At first I was slightly overwhelmed at teaching four new courses, but the students I have this year have been amazing and some are motivating/teaching me!  

I thought I'd do something different with this blog for a bit.  I'll post what I use in my high school classes as prompts to get my students thinking and writing and we'll just see what happens.

Yesterday, I asked all of my classes whether they valued their education and why.  My "college-bound" students said yes, and that it's important to be able to have a career and do something important.  The majority of my students responded with a "no" because it's been forced upon them since they were little.  

Fair enough.  Then I played the video below.  Then we talked about how easy it is to manipulate the uneducated, and how Hitler did it and gathered power, and why the Taliban want everyone to be uneducated,  and my own experiences in Iraq inside of blown up buildings that used to be schools.  Then I re-asked if they valued their education.  

The no's still said no.  We wrapped up our discussion with a few students verbalizing that they don't really care about an issue until it's happening in their own backyard/city, and that it may not be right, but it's how the teenage mind works these days.  

At least they were honest:

You need Flash Player in order to view this.
Malala Yousafzai interview on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart - 8th October, 2013 (Television Aired)
Malala Yousafzai Jon Stewart Interview 2013 on the daily show







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