When I listen to kids and parents talk about things that go on, there are times when I find myself feeling   a bit cranky about what I am told.

Here’s one story told me lately that increased my cranky meter.

A kid in high school kid told me about an assignment he was resisting completing.  As he explained, the assignment had to do with The Crucible, which just happened to be one of my favorite plays.  What made me cranky was not his resistance,  which I understood, it was the fact that there was no reading of the play in English class.  From what he described there was no dissecting of the script and little class discussion.  No, the class spent probably about a week watching the movie, followed by the drawing a picture about it.  It doesn’t seem very meaty to me.

The same child had just spent a week or so in a history class watching a movie, “The Patriot,” on the Revolutionary War.  Again, no reading –  just watch the movie and answer a few questions about it.  So, if you add it up, the class movie watching activities probably represented about two weeks of class time.

Is that teaching?  

I get multimedia, but It strikes me as missed opportunity for real analysis and thought provoking discussion, not to mention a missed opportunity for giving the  kids the experience of reading, something they don’t do very often on their own.

As schools limp to the finish line in middle June , I understand watching movies in class (sort of), but in October not even done the first quarter, it seems a bit premature for this type of thing, no?

What’s your view?