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    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7...367384,00.html

    A high school English teacher could face disciplinary action for giving a writing assignment that asked students to make a persuasive argument blaming Jews for the problems of Nazi Germany, Albany school district officials said Friday.
    They were supposed to make their case after researching Nazi propaganda.
    My thoughts are that while this is a slightly inappropriate assignment for an English class, it is a perfectly acceptable one for a history class. It is important to understand what people thought as much as what they did. For example, when we were learning about the Morant Bay massacre in one of my undergraduate classes, it was important for us to understand the debate in Britain following the massacre, in which some of the great minds of the age argued whether black people were inherently inferior, or whether they were simply at a lower level of civilisation currently but could eventually reach that of white people. What did we do? We were assigned sides for an in-class debate in which we had to accurately portray the ideas of the time. This was an excellent way to understand the relevant ideas current in mid-19th century Britain, which are essential to any understanding of the empire. Likewise, understanding Nazi views of Jews are essential to understanding the history of the Third Reich, and also the ideological reaction against it which has done as much as anything to shape the ideas of our own age.

    Your thoughts?
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    This seems like a teacher trying to make marking the assignments more interesting. Maybe next they could try "Write an Assignment Blaming Gorillas for the rise in teenage pregnancy since the 1970s"
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    (Original post by AdvanceAndVanquish)

    Your thoughts?
    If she had asked them to give a balanced view showing both sides would it have still been an issue

    I do not see a problem ... it is easy to dismiss people as evil but we need to try and see where the evil comes from if we are to prevent a repeat
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    excellent idea. the children might actually learn something about that period of history -- at the moment the narrative seems to be that hitler wanted jews out of Gremany because a jewish professor overlooked him for art school.
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    Slightly odd that it's English rather than History, but I actually think that's an excellent assignment. We can only understand history by understanding - not necessarily sympathising of course - with the perspectives of people at the time.

    Even if you take the history out of it, it is often good to consider arguments from the perspective of people you disagree with. Debating societies do it all the time: I've argued for some things I think are completely immoral in my time. But promoting moral virtue was not the point of what I was doing.
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    It's a little distasteful, and wouldn't want children to be forced to do it, but as an optional assignment it would be very good. You don't have to hold a particular belief in order to argue for it, and it would encourage the students to stretch their minds in arguing for something that is (hopefully) obviously false to them. It would also show them how insane the propaganda is, by encouraging them to investigate it properly.

    I do not think it should cause outrage.
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    I would not condone it for tenth grade (year 11) but for year 13 history it might be a good idea.
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    (Original post by L i b)
    Slightly odd that it's English rather than History, but I actually think that's an excellent assignment. We can only understand history by understanding - not necessarily sympathising of course - with the perspectives of people at the time.

    Even if you take the history out of it, it is often good to consider arguments from the perspective of people you disagree with. Debating societies do it all the time: I've argued for some things I think are completely immoral in my time. But promoting moral virtue was not the point of what I was doing.
    Some would consider it an offensive maneuver in light of history, yet the same people would like to encourage critical and open mindedness. It's a sad and funny world we live in at times.
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    I think it's perfectly valid as an English assignment, it's good to show that you can write persuasively from any perspective, especially one that's unpleasant and straight out wrong (see most prominent conspiracy theorists). It is in fact a very good thing to be teaching these 15/16 year olds.

    Admittedly this specific assignment could very easily be seen as inappropriate, especially as the article suggests there were Jewish students in the class, and maybe a different assignment along the same lines might have been better...
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    The nanny brigade are out in force again i see... so what if it might come across as slightly distasteful? If anything it would be an excellent piece to provoke some interesting arguements not solely jew bashing...
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    That's awful, (s)he should get sacked.
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    So? We were asked to write political leaning tabloids at college, why is it such an issue that they were assigned to write something aimed at promoting Nazism?
 
 
 
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