As teachers, we try to bridge the content areas as often as we can, knowing it can help make instruction more meaningful for students. We also know that bringing literacy into the content areas is a shift we must make given the Common Core State Standards. However, one New York City teacher took that idea a bit too far.
Jane Youn, a teacher at PS 59 in Manhattan, attempted to bring history content pertaining to slavery into math. She had students create questions, and then distributed some of them to her 9-year-old fourth-grade students for homework, including examples such as:
- One slave got whipped five times a day. How many times did we get whipped in a month?
- In a slave ship, there can be 3,799 slaves. One day, the slaves took over the ship. 1,897 are dead. How many slaves are alive?
The same worksheet was reportedly given to Jacqueline Vitucci's class. However, her student teacher, Aziza Harding, refused to distribute it, and this is how the issue was uncovered.
The DOE has reported that disciplinary action has been taken. The Chancellor has spoken with the principal, who was "appalled," who then met with the teacher and arranged for sensitivity training.
Teachers, what are your thoughts????
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