Final Reflection

Hi folks,

Here are some ideas and crosscurrents that struck me as I was moving through my unit that dealt with my students’ families histories and some of the Core Democratic Values

  • I approached unit unsure about how to teach CDVs — are they to be explained (defined) and memorized, are they to be debated, or what?
  • As time went on I learned it was better to let kids struggle with the meanings — sure, we could follow the definitions from the state, but I was looking to make them meaningful. Also, adults struggle with these ideas, so naturally young students will too.
  • My focus student made it clear that these are ideas to live by, but not everybody does all of the time. They are more of a guide for our lives and society.

    --There are no clear answers to questions like "What is justice?" because the CDVs are ideals, so as a teacher it became necessary to look for ways these values play out in the actions of our society’s citizens.

  • So as a teacher it is best to pick an era or individual (or governmental action) and discuss how it plays out ----- like the topic my focus student kept bringing up with her family, "justice and war." Her family’s situation shows the different perspectives on justice. Her grandfathers were fighting for justice, but it was not always "just" to remove these men from their families.
  • The CDVs are at once obvious (simple) yet complex:

    --They have become banal, totally meaningless in everyday conversation, yet when we reflect specifically on one and situations in our own lives, we see the complexities of how the CDVs are manifested in daily living.

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Creation Date: 2/21/2000
Last Updated: 6/8/2000