Last week, I heard a news station report that local schools had decided not to show footage of tomorrow's inauguration because they didn't want to take children away from important "learning activities".
Hmmm.... I'd really like know how the school system defines learning activities. Do learning activities have to come from cookie cutter lesson plans handed down from the district? Do learning activities have to include worksheets and quizzes? Is it only a learning activity if it contributes to performance on standardized tests? Can our school system's poor performance be attributed to its narrow definition of learning activities?
Watching any presidential inauguration presents abundant opportunities for learning. Even more so when a country with a history like ours is inaugurating its first African-American president.
In a country as politically divided as ours, I could respect a decision to let parents decide whether or not they want their children to watch the inauguration. However, I'd still like the schools to rethink their definition of learning activities.
The world is a wonderful classroom, and current events are great teaching tools. There are many learning activities that don't come from the pages of a textbook. That's another reason we home school.