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  • latchford
  • Waygookin

    • 11

    • January 25, 2010, 09:16:54 am
    • icheon
Teaching Political Issues
« on: May 04, 2011, 09:07:57 am »

"Are you saying to your students that humans are causing global warming, and that the warming and cooling of the earth is not a natural occurrence?"

no, of course not.
I'm simply teaching them that the burning of fossil fuels is contributing to the greenhouse effect. And I am introducing the english words to a concept I'm sure they already learned in science class. I.e. climate change, fossil fuels, solar energy, etc.


  • Fraulion
  • Veteran

    • 111

    • April 11, 2011, 09:07:42 am
    • Korea
Re: "What is global warming?"
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2011, 09:25:45 am »
Whether global warming is a man made event, or not, is completely irrelevant. You shouldn't be teaching highly politicized issues to kids. I'm happy to cram my wacky ideas down the throat of anyone who will listen but not to kids.

I agree with you on that. It doesn't help that their homeroom teachers, and native English speakers are doing this.

If I was askd to do a lesson on "global warming", then I'd present BOTH sides of the issue, and have the students come to their own conclusion(s)>


  • Ectofuego
  • Featured Contributor

    • 920

    • November 02, 2010, 09:21:10 am
    • Mars
Re: Teaching Political Issues
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2011, 10:43:55 am »
In the long run probably not.  Correct me if I am wrong though, but I think there are lessons in the GEPIK and EPIK books that talk about global warming.  In situations like that you are practically forces to talk about the subject.  This lesson would be good for the purpose of a high level conversation class though definately.

The problem with discussing these topics on a lesson plan thread is that these discussions quickly become flame-wars against people, not logical and mature discussions.  Feel free to argue the situation here.  I have no qualms about that what-so-ever, as long as no one makes an offensive attack on someone.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2011, 10:47:48 am by Ectofuego »
I'm Jason and I approve this message!


  • elzoog
  • Expert Waygook

    • 594

    • July 15, 2009, 08:22:23 am
    • South Korea
Re: Teaching Political Issues
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2011, 11:27:19 am »
In the long run probably not.  Correct me if I am wrong though, but I think there are lessons in the GEPIK and EPIK books that talk about global warming.  In situations like that you are practically forces to talk about the subject.  This lesson would be good for the purpose of a high level conversation class though definately.

Whenever I've come across stuff like that I just do it (I can't think of a concrete example) as it is in the book then say "Hmmmm, what do you think?" My students are 12 years old. They don't think anything. Which makes telling them what to think even worse. They get enough of that from their Korean "ethics" teacher.

As I have tried to explain to you before, it's not an issue of whether libertarian or communist policies are best.   It is a SCIENTIFIC issue that happens to have plenty of evidence to support it.

As to questioning the status quo in science, I even gave you an example of a scientist that questions gravity.   The difference between that scientist, and your typical global warming denier, is the scientist I mention actually has intelligent grounds for questioning gravity.   Whereas the typical global warming denier has pretty much NO science on his side, only seemingly clever sound bites that get demolished when scrutinized.

I studied mathematics in college.   Mathematics is a science.   I know for a fact that IF I were to for example, come up with a more efficient algorithm for factoring integers (a really HOT topic in mathematics right now) I would get plenty of fame in the mathematics community.   However,

1)  It wouldn't be enough for me to convince someone famous like Rush Limbaugh, or even Paul Erdos, that my algorithm is efficient.

2)  Having a news reporter like John Stossel do a 30 minute segment on how my algorithm is efficient, also wouldn't wash with mathematicians.

3)  Not even having a PBS special on it would work.

The only thing that WOULD work is if I PROVE, using very rigorous tests, that my algorithm is efficient.   My proof would have to be published and scrutinized by mathematicians.   If there is even the smallest error in my proof, I would have to correct it.

The same goes with global warming (which is rather a misnomer).  It has been analyzed by scientists, including scientists who were initially skeptical of the evidence, and found to be accurate.

If you want, I can show you a few places that discuss the evidence.   That is, if you are willing to look at it from a scientific point of view and not on what you personally would like to be true.



  • elzoog
  • Expert Waygook

    • 594

    • July 15, 2009, 08:22:23 am
    • South Korea
Re: "What is global warming?"
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2011, 11:30:12 am »
Whether global warming is a man made event, or not, is completely irrelevant. You shouldn't be teaching highly politicized issues to kids. I'm happy to cram my wacky ideas down the throat of anyone who will listen but not to kids.

Yeah, a highly "politicized" issue that pretty much the majority of climate scientists agree with.  You know, sort of like the theory of evolution, and the theory of gravity.

Since the following scientist doesn't believe in gravity
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/13/science/13gravity.html

Maybe gravity is also something we shouldn't teach children.

The thing is, there is reasonable certainty that global climate change is happening and that humans are mostly responsible for it.   I can point you to the scientific evidence for this if you want.  The main political question is not whether it is occurring, but what we should do about it.

Scientists are modern day priests. In the past you would never question the teachings of a priest. Today, you never question the teachings of a scientist. If you go against their teachings (even if you are a scientist), then you will be "banished" (not given appropriate funding).

Kind of funny given the fact that about 4 or so paragraphs above that statement, you will see that I give an example of a scientist that does question scientific teaching (i.e. on gravity).

Anyway, if you want to continue that, there is another thread that opened for it.


  • monsoon257
  • Adventurer

    • 45

    • March 16, 2010, 11:48:51 am
    • Yeoju county
Re: Teaching Political Issues
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2011, 12:06:22 pm »
I feel like not teaching politicized topics doesn't help either. I don't think enough credit is given to the kids as far as making up their own mind on issues. Granted, we are all shaped by the opinions and information around us. Whether from our parents, our teachers, the media, etc. If we toe the line and don't teach anything of a contentious nature, we're really doing a disservice to our students. We need to talk about these things, but we need to present both sides of the argument and let the students decide for themselves if they want to decide at all.


  • monsoon257
  • Adventurer

    • 45

    • March 16, 2010, 11:48:51 am
    • Yeoju county
Re: Teaching Political Issues
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2011, 12:30:47 pm »
I really doubt that anyone is using this as a scare-tactic. Nothing in the powerpoints in question was even remotely geared toward fear-mongering. Student's are hard enough to motivate as it is (in middle and high schools, I'm not sure about elementary) that they need something different to grab their attention. Also, just because it's a contentious subject does not mean that the language skills being taught are irrelevant. This would be a perfect opportunity to institute a debate in further classes (at higher levels) and allow the students to argue a point. Contentious subjects are great for focusing language skills.

* I agree that this stuff is a bit steep for elementary kids, but for higher levels it's a great tool.


Re: Teaching Political Issues
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2011, 12:40:12 pm »
I have the same text book with this chapter about global warming in it and as someone who does not believe that global warming is contributed by man I thought about the same point that you brought up many times. In fact when I leave Korea in a month I plan to write an e-mail to the creators of this text book. I don't think that any political matter should take place in my classroom.


  • monsoon257
  • Adventurer

    • 45

    • March 16, 2010, 11:48:51 am
    • Yeoju county
Re: Teaching Political Issues
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2011, 12:53:57 pm »
"Dr. Kim said that many icebergs were melting because of global warming." - p 89 Middle School English (grade 2) J.L. Haas

This stuff is already in some of our books. You just want to not even explain what it supposedly is?