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Author Topic: teaching population control in elementary school social studies  (Read 2339 times) Average Rating: 0
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kmm
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« on: August 24, 2008, 02:35:22 AM »

I'm curious to know what people think about the following:

Our grade 6 social studies text, which I will be using to teach from to some extent (I haven't taught from a textbook in the past, but I will be using a text for this grade to some extent) has an entire chapter on popuation control. It is very very very pro population control, including presenting the encouragement of population control as the obviously correct position to take.

As a Canadian, we only have a birth rate anyway of about 1.5 children per woman (if that, it actually may be 1.2), whereas I believe the birth rate amongst Americans is about 2.1. This may affect people's positions on the matter too, I dunno.

As Orthodox Christians, who are supposed find the arrival of any number of children a blessing, what do you think of this?
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« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2008, 02:46:06 AM »

There is a great podcast on Ancient Faith Radio called "Babies and the biospere." The issue isn't the number of children you have but how you consume resources that matters. There are families with 10 kids that leave less of a carbon footprint than those with 1 child. By cloth diapering, having one car, making foods from scratch, recycling, composting, buying items used/re-using things, a family of 12 can easily be less invasive than a family of 3 that uses disposable diapers, has two working parents driving to and from work long distances, picking up fast food meals because they are too busy/tired to cook....the list goes on and on of "convenience" items that parents can use that are wasteful and useless.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2008, 02:51:15 AM by Quinault » Logged
PeterTheAleut
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« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2008, 03:05:57 AM »

I'm curious to know what people think about the following:

Our grade 6 social studies text, which I will be using to teach from to some extent (I haven't taught from a textbook in the past, but I will be using a text for this grade to some extent) has an entire chapter on popuation control. It is very very very pro population control, including presenting the encouragement of population control as the obviously correct position to take.

As a Canadian, we only have a birth rate anyway of about 1.5 children per woman (if that, it actually may be 1.2), whereas I believe the birth rate amongst Americans is about 2.1. This may affect people's positions on the matter too, I dunno.

As Orthodox Christians, who are supposed find the arrival of any number of children a blessing, what do you think of this?
Personally, this strikes me as secular social engineering through propaganda that has no business in the classroom without a contrasting point of view--no intent to disparage what you're trying to do as a teacher.
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kmm
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« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2008, 09:51:49 AM »

I would agree with you, despite the fact that I personally have mixed feelings about the whole issue. Now, as an international baccalaureate teacher, it would be best if I did present the opposing view, although it would also be best if it was less me presenting it and more the students "discovering" it. Which is one reason why I don't much use text books. Better for learning, and better for me so that I'm not accused of bringing my religion into my teaching. Even though it's not an official rule, I'm really supposed to keep my religion under wraps because as an authority figure I might influence the children in this way, and this is a big no no. If the kids ask me though, I do tell them I'm an Orthodox Christian, but I don't get into details unless they want to learn more (and then I try to present it as a learning moment, rather than as an attempt to get them to convert). And while I haven't been wearing a cross for awhile (babies have a tendency to yank them off my neck), before babies I certainly did, and didn' t try to hide it (or flaunt it either).

At a regular school, however, I'm not so sure this would happen -about presenting the opposing view, that is. Actually, even at an international baccalaureate school, I think there is a good chance the opposing view would not be presented because many teachers are very much for pop. control and against any religious reasoning for the opposing view. At least in Canada.
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kmm
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« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2008, 09:58:05 AM »

There is a great podcast on Ancient Faith Radio called "Babies and the biospere." The issue isn't the number of children you have but how you consume resources that matters. There are families with 10 kids that leave less of a carbon footprint than those with 1 child. By cloth diapering, having one car, making foods from scratch, recycling, composting, buying items used/re-using things, a family of 12 can easily be less invasive than a family of 3 that uses disposable diapers, has two working parents driving to and from work long distances, picking up fast food meals because they are too busy/tired to cook....the list goes on and on of "convenience" items that parents can use that are wasteful and useless.


Although I certainly couldn't present an Orthodox religious presentation for this argument, I'm sure I could find secular versions of this. Great idea Quinault. It's not just an environmental issue though, but also one of poverty in the developing world. 

Now, I must be off to make the kids breakfast, but I'm looking forward to coming back later...


modified to use a better word
« Last Edit: August 24, 2008, 10:03:22 AM by kmm » Logged
Myrrh23
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« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2008, 10:01:47 AM »

There is a great podcast on Ancient Faith Radio called "Babies and the biospere." The issue isn't the number of children you have but how you consume resources that matters. There are families with 10 kids that leave less of a carbon footprint than those with 1 child. By cloth diapering, having one car, making foods from scratch, recycling, composting, buying items used/re-using things, a family of 12 can easily be less invasive than a family of 3 that uses disposable diapers, has two working parents driving to and from work long distances, picking up fast food meals because they are too busy/tired to cook....the list goes on and on of "convenience" items that parents can use that are wasteful and useless.

Don't forget hunting for your food!
Personally, if I can help it, I'm considering not buying anything that has to do with styrofoam. I'd bring my own container...
« Last Edit: August 24, 2008, 10:02:16 AM by Myrrh23 » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2008, 04:22:05 PM »

Poverty in developing nations often has more to do with social hierarchy. In India for example one doesn't help those in need because you would ruin their karma. If they need to suffer in order to move up in their next life, then to help someone suffering is actually to EXTEND their suffering.
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« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2008, 04:30:27 PM »

http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/hearts_and_minds/babies_in_the_biosphere_1/

http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/hearts_and_minds/babies_in_the_biosphere_2/

http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/hearts_and_minds/babies_in_the_biosphere_3/
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« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2008, 05:18:25 PM »

I'm curious to know what people think about the following:

Our grade 6 social studies text, which I will be using to teach from to some extent (I haven't taught from a textbook in the past, but I will be using a text for this grade to some extent) has an entire chapter on popuation control. It is very very very pro population control, including presenting the encouragement of population control as the obviously correct position to take.
Then you as an educator are obligated to balance an obviously biased source and to encourage the children to make up their own mind. As a middle school teacher myself (which includes 6th grade in my district), I do not believe children at this age are too young to learn critical thinking and evaluation of source material, and I specifically teach this concept in my classes.
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« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2008, 05:32:00 PM »

Personally, this strikes me as secular social engineering through propaganda that has no business in the classroom without a contrasting point of view--no intent to disparage what you're trying to do as a teacher.

This is preciesly what this is--social engineering and political indoctrination.  The problem is not with how many kids we have but the lack of universral infrastructure to allow for access to the world's resources (and i"m not backing communism here; I'm a capitalist throug and through) which is hampered by power hungry third world dictators and such (many of whom the pro-population crowd love).

Then you as an educator are obligated to balance an obviously biased source and to encourage the children to make up their own mind. As a middle school teacher myself (which includes 6th grade in my district), I do not believe children at this age are too young to learn critical thinking and evaluation of source material, and I specifically teach this concept in my classes.
I'm a teacher as well (though at the high school level) and you cannot simply give your opinion, but at least try to give both sides.  In fact, why not encourage your kids to research both sides or the many sides of the issue.  I'm with Y; it is NEVER too early to teach kids to think critically instead of just absorb and regurgitate material from a text.  Too many of them (and their parents) think that is what education is.  NO!  Get them to see both sides and let them make their own minds.   However, I wouldn't try this approach when it comes to sex ed. You don't have to teach that, do you?  Smiley
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kmm
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« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2008, 07:31:04 PM »

Oh yes, I'm definitely all about the critical thinking challenges (very international baccalaureate, by the way) - hence the reason I've never used a textbook before - I've always used primary sources as well as secondary sources in the form of a bazillion books on the topic from the local public library (the amount of late fees I rack up when I have pregnancy brain is brutal). I'm actually kind of surprised our school has this particular text (likely used in the public schools for the most part, although I'm sure most of the public school teachers do critical thinking challenges too).

I just found the whole thing kind of offensive (and again, I've mixed feelings on the subject, but I really can't stand the attempt to ram the whole thing down kids' throat). But I was definitely curious to see the reaction here. Also, I think it's a good conversation point.

And fortunately I do not have to teach sex ed - that's up to someone else. We actually bring in a guest speaker, although frankly she is quite opinionated. I've also managed to avoid a whole gr. 2  unit on presenting all kinds of families (same sex, etc.) as a normal and good thing.

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« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2008, 09:21:52 PM »

^ Can you just avoid it or do the Canadians test Middle School students on population control theories?
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kmm
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« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2008, 10:30:36 PM »

^ Can you just avoid it or do the Canadians test Middle School students on population control theories?

Yep, I can probably avoid it. I actually only have cover 80% of the required curriculum, and I'm at this present moment sitting here at my laptop creating units of inquiry that don't really touch on the topic anyway (I have the tricky task of combining both local requirements and IB requirements where the subject matter needs to be viewed through different "lenses".) I know the teacher last year did it, but she was very new at teaching and I think stuck fairly closely to the text in order to survive (as we do work extremely long hours). But it is a government sanctioned text, the design/content of which was created by teachers, which I find irksome. Actually, another resource that teachers in my school have used at this grade for socials is an American one. I've just been looking at it and it again is  very pro population control. It's about global issues and I'd say over half the lessons, experiments and activities touch on this subject, and based on my quick skim through them, they are very one-sided. With one exception - there is a brief activity that requires students to look at Malthus's ideas verses Julian Simon's (and this doesn't come across as biased).

Government testing we have though at the early middle years level looks more at reading/writing and maths abilities, rather than at specific topics.
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« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2008, 11:35:14 PM »

Government testing we have though at the early middle years level looks more at reading/writing and maths abilities, rather than at specific topics.

Or specific geopolitical agendas.   Wink

Does school start on Monday in your part of Canada?  If so, don't lose anymore sleep over the population control given that you have it under control.   Smiley
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PeterTheAleut
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« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2008, 02:52:19 PM »

Just a note to remind you that this is a thread about the teaching/indoctrination of a particular political agenda in the public schools--this agenda just happens to be population control.  If you want to discuss the merits of population control as a theory unto itself, then I recommend you find a place in FFA - Non-Religious Topics or Politics for this.  In the meantime, please keep this discussion focused on the propriety of using public school social studies as a means for advancing a political agenda.  Thank you.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2008, 02:56:48 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
PeterTheAleut
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« Reply #15 on: August 25, 2008, 09:37:34 PM »

In keeping with the above moderatorial statement, I have split off GiC's argument of the merits of population control and the tangent discussing his thesis and merged it into his thread on the FFA-Religious Topics board: GIC on judgment, faith, mathematics, and various other topics.  Again, please limit your discussion on this [Faith Issues] thread to the formulation of an Orthodox response to the issue of public social studies classes being used as a means to indoctrinate our young in a possibly un-Orthodox point of view.  If you want to comment on the merits of population control as a theory unto itself, then either start a separate thread for that or post on GiC's thread.  Thank you.


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« Last Edit: August 25, 2008, 09:50:38 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
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