ERIC Number: EJ961747
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Reference Count: N/A
Invisible Wars: Iraq, Afghanistan, and Teaching Insurgencies in Public Schools
Doyle, Christopher L.
American Educator, v35 n4 p19-21 Win 2011-2012
This author contends that contemporary issues classes no longer have currency, as standardized test results are the litmus test for education. In many schools, students are isolated from firsthand accounts and formal study of events that textbooks will one day proclaim as defining experiences of their generation. According to Doyle, schools tend not to teach many, perhaps most, headline-making problems: climate change, debt crises, the national and international polarization of wealth, revolutions in the Middle East, and oil dependence. Students can graduate from many, perhaps most, high schools today and remain tragically naive about the public history of their own times. Convinced that it is important for schools to reflect the history-making events of modern times, Doyle, feeling a bit like an "insurgent," slips these lessons into his classes "covertly," so as not to raise accusations about deviating from the official curricular script. He states his belief that it would be a mistake to reduce education merely to test success, job training, or the pursuit of high-status college admission. Schools must connect with life beyond the classroom, and public education properly done has to prepare students for citizenship in a democratic society. But with the national fixation on standards and test scores, massive teacher layoffs, and a growing preference for merit pay based on test results, the author contends that teaching about current events, specifically today's wars, demands furtiveness.
Descriptors: Merit Pay, Test Results, Citizenship, Democracy, Citizenship Education, Foreign Countries, College Admission, Job Layoff, Public Education, Current Events, High Schools, Academic Standards, Scores, Standardized Tests, War, Course Content, History Instruction, Federal Legislation
American Federation of Teachers. 555 New Jersey Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001. Tel: 202-879-4400; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.aft.org/newspubs/periodicals/ae
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: High Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Afghanistan; Iraq
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001