Recently I wrote a blog post about a math assignment that had gone viral on social media. Yesterday I came across yet another homework assignment that is getting shared all over Facebook. This one is a social studies assignment that asks students to fill in a Venn Diagram comparing and contrasting Hitler and Bush. People are f-r-e-a-k-i-n-g out!
I guess at first glance, it is kind of shocking to see Hitler's name next to an American president's name. However, the assignment is to fill out a Venn Diagram. A Venn Diagram is a graphic organizer used to compare and contrast. There are certainly a few areas in where two leaders would overlap, but then there is also areas where they don't… that's the contrast past, right? Why is it so bad for students to think critically about these two leaders? Just memorizing names and dates is not what social studies should be about. Being able to have these types of conversations are exactly what we should be encouraging in our schools.
The biggest issue I have with these "viral homework assignments" is that they are taken out of context and used to stir up contempt and anger towards teachers. I can't understand the growing trend of blaming teachers for everything wrong in education. In my experience, teachers are trying their best to overcome the obstacles in education.
If parents are upset about current conditions in schools and over-testing (they should be), they should take their concerns to the politicians that are implementing these policies. Please, stop attacking the people that care for your children, want them to succeed, and do their best to create experiences for them to learn. I hope I stop seeing viral homework assignments in my newsfeed soon, but the only way to make this happen is for people to stop "liking," commenting on, and "sharing" these sensationalized stories*.
*this is why I intentionally did not provide a link to this story.