Show 192: Fund Drive Show: “Our Children; Our Future”

Fund Drive Show: “Our Children; Our Future”

As the Culture Wars persist in America, what affect are they having on our children? How are parents steering their children in or around the battles between Right and Left and between Fundamentalist Religion and Secularization? And how are our notions of human nature and childrearing itself framing what and how our children learn – in school and in summer camp?

These are the questions we will be asking our very special guests on the next Equal Time for Freethought – our Fund Drive Special – Our Children, Our Future, as we look to understand where we may be going wrong, and how we might move in a more progressive way to secure our children’s futures, and indeed the future of humanity?

Our guests will be Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing, directors of the Oscar Nominated documentary, Jesus Camp; noted education specialist and author of numerous books on human nature, education and parenting, Alfie Kohn; and High School Senior Matthew LaClair.

From Wilipedia: “Jesus Camp is a documentary about the “Kids On Fire” summer camp, located just outside Devils Lake, North Dakota and run by Becky Fischer and her ministry, Kinds in Ministry International. The film focuses on three children who attended the camp in the summer of 2005 – Levi, Rachael, and Victoria (Tory). All three children, despite their youth, are very devout charismatic CHristains. At the camp, Fischer stresses the need for children to purify themselves in order to be used by God. She strongly believes that children need to be in the forefront of turning America toward conservative Christian values. In one scene shot at Christ Triumphant Church, Lou Engle, the chief “prophet” … preaches a message urging children to join the fight to end abortion. He prays for George W. Bush to have the strength to appoint “righteous judges” who will overturn Roe v. Wade.”

From Wikipedia: “Alfie Kohn is an American lecturer and author in the fields of education, psychology and parenting, residing in Belmont, Massachusetts. He is an outspoken critic of American work place management, public education and parenting techniques. Kohn having been an educator himself has written many books on education. Probably the most comprehensive being The Schools our Children Deserve. However he has reserved the most attention from his stance on the trend toward pervasive standardized testing and excessive homework. He has written several books attacking “common sense” notions about competition, rewards, and parenting.

“On the home front, Kohn has challenged parents in Beyond Discipline: from Compliance to Community and Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason to give up the “because I’m the Mom” mode of parenting and switch to a cooperative, loving, guiding form of parenting which places children on more equal footing with parents. His latest book is called The Homework Myth. Kohn argues that: 1) There is no evidence that homework provides benefits in elementary school, 2) In high school, any correlation effects are small, or disappear when compensating for other effects, 3) Analysis of 50 countries shows no positive relationship with homework, and 4) No studies support claims of developing good work habits or other personal traits.”

Alfie Kohn’s critique of the role of competition in our society is a really impressive piece of work. Challenging and thoughtful, it reaches to the heart of many problems of our social life and the ideology that constrains and distorts it. — Noam Chomsky

From Wilipedia: “David Paszkiewicz, a History teacher at Kearny High generated heated controversy when it was revealed that the teacher preached Christian religious gospel to his students during an American history class. When confronted by Matthew LaClair in a meeting with Paskiewicz and the administration, Paszkiewicz denied ever preaching Christianity in class. After this, LaClair produced recorded tapes demonstrating without a doubt that Paszkiewicz had preached in class. In reference to God, Paszkiewicz was recorded saying in class: “He did everything in his power to make sure that you could go to heaven, so much so that he took your sins on his own body, suffered your pains for you, and he’s saying, ‘Please, accept me, believe.’ If you reject that, you belong in hell.” This controversy has raised interesting questions over the legal right of students to record what teachers tell them during class. With some believing it is important in order to keep teacher’s accountable, while others argue it infringes on the teacher’s personal liberty.”


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