Monday, February 7, 2011

Egypt: Are We Learning and Using This As An Educational Tool

One by one, the lines of communication that connected Egypt to the 21st century shut down. Twitter, Facebook, and eventually all Internet access were cut off; text messaging became impossible, and then millions of mobile phones went silent across the country. But the protests and riots continued, as they had for most of the week,.........

The opening paragraph from a Newsweek article titled, "Rage Against the Regime", sounds like the beginning of a YA dystopian novel or a terrible nightmare. But it is reality. It is going on right now. People are fighting for freedom.

I know it is all over the news. I know most people probably know that something is going on in Egypt. But, do we understand why? Do we take the time to learn from this? Are we using it as a teaching tool in school? Why not? Why is this not the center of a social studies lesson? I know there are standards and benchmarks that have to be covered and tests to be administered, but why not use this as a platform to compare the protests and uprising of whatever time period you are currently studying. Kids need to know that this is a pivotal time in history. Yet, the only talk will be about Budweiser commercials and the game last night. We Americans tend to forget so easily things that are going on. BP Oil Spill ring a bell. How quickly we dropped that whole topic and yet I bet there are still animals and plants being killed everyday.

We teach ancient civilizations in our district. Why not bridge the gap between the pharaohs of Egypt to the leader of Egypt today? His net worth is in the billions with homes and palaces all over the world while the rest of his country is nowhere close to that. Talk about the political ties that American has with Egypt. We have only supplied 600 billion dollars in aid since he has been in office. Will we get involved? How and to what degree?

History is being created right now and my fear is that this next generation has no idea what is going on. The very tools they use to talk about gossip, rumors, sports, who is dating who, was used to help overturn a strong government leader. That right there is your hook to bring them in.

Is anyone out there teaching about the events? If so, I would love to hear from you.

Here is a great link for protests from the past.

"New post "The Best Sites For Learning About Protests In History"
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