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Javier E

A Teacher Made a Hitler Joke in the Classroom. It Tore the School Apart. - The New York... - 3 views

  • The concepts of “safe spaces” and “trigger warnings,” hotly debated on college campuses for years, are now reaching high schools too
  • the question of what high school students should be exposed to, and protected from, feels murkier in 2018. Today’s high school students are more precocious, more politically engaged, more tuned in to their gender identities and nascent sexuality. They are already flooded with uncensored, unedited information, 24 hours a day: What would a safe space even look like for a 16-year-old with an iPhone?
  • At exclusive private schools like Friends, the question is further complicated by the involvement of wealthy parents. As these schools have grown more expensive — Friends costs nearly $50,000 a year — administrators have found themselves trying to balance their own institutional values with the demands of parents who are in a sense high-paying customers. Teachers are increasingly caught between the two.

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  • The job of high school teachers is to impart knowledge and deliver measurable results, which requires finding a way to reach, and ideally even inspire, their students.
  • “How would you keep the attention of 15 teenagers and bond with them?” one Friends teacher texted me, insisting on anonymity because of a school policy that discourages teachers from speaking to the media without permission. “You MUST joke and be yourself and connect with them on their terms. It’s the only way to be good at this.”
  • Any teacher who spends three decades in the classroom, speaking extemporaneously for hours on end to a roomful of teenagers, is going to have awkward moments. Frisch might have had more of them, and they may have been a bit more awkward. But that was how he connected, and it was perhaps a way of connecting that is no longer possible. “Everybody knew this guy was off — weird behavior, quirky,” said one parent who, fearing retribution against her child, insisted on anonymity. “Maybe in the ’70s that would have been O.K., but not when you’re paying $45,000 a year in tuition.”
  • There aren’t enough seats in the historically more desirable uptown institutions — Spence, Dalton, Trinity — to meet demand; and for families who live in neighborhoods like the Village, TriBeCa or Battery Park, Friends is a much more convenient option. Friends now sees itself as a competitor to these schools, and in some respects, it has become indistinguishable from them.
  • Even before Frisch’s termination, there was a feeling among some in the Friends community — parents, teachers and especially alumni — that in its race to keep pace with a changing city, the school was losing touch with the Quaker ethos that had long distinguished it.
  • The school’s Quaker identity calls for it to be faithful to its progressive tradition, but in the new age of identity politics, it is not always easy to know what the right stance on a particular issue should be. Just a few months before the Frisch incident, some 20 parents had raised questions about the scheduled speaking engagement of a visiting scholar, Dave Zirin, a sportswriter for the Nation magazine and a Friends alumnus who had been critical of Israel in his writings. In 2012, there were heated objections to a musical performance in the meetinghouse by Gilad Atzmon, an Israel-born saxophonist and self-described “proud, self-hating Jew” who has written that Palestinians were “brutally ethnically cleansed” and suggested that if Israel starts a nuclear war with Iran, “some may be bold enough to argue that Hitler might have been right after all.” The Harvard Law School professor emeritus and noted gadfly Alan Dershowitz publicly criticized Friends — and Lauder personally — for refusing to cancel the appearance.
  • Lauder did not consider the “Heil Hitler” episode a close call. “Personally, I was appalled,” he told me. “I couldn’t imagine, even as a joke — and I grew up watching ‘Hogan’s Heroes’ — that in a class that had nothing to do with history or World War II or Nazism or teaching German language that an incident like that could happen.” I asked Lauder why he felt he needed to go so far as to fire Frisch. “One of our pledges is to make all of our students feel safe,” he replied. “And that is something that I take very, very seriously.”
  • That no one has accused Frisch of being an anti-Semite was beside the point: His invocation of the Nazi salute in a classroom full of high school students, regardless of his intentions, was enough to end his career. On today’s campus, words and symbols can be seen as a form of violence; to many people, engaging in a public debate about the nuances of their power is to tolerate their use.
  • Frisch, who first learned about the claims after his termination, denied ever having told a student to kill himself and said that he had no memory of the inappropriate touching that had been described.
  • we spoke at length about the “Heil Hitler.” Frisch said he was embarrassed, both by the fact that he had made the gesture in the first place and by his subsequent failure to recognize the seriousness of such a lapse in judgment. But he was also surprised by the school’s reaction to it. “I trusted while I was at Friends that because of my long-term commitment to the school, that as I need to change to meet the changing dynamics of the classroom, the school would help me learn and provide the support I needed to make those changes,” he told me.
  • The dynamics of the classroom are changing. These changes are partly specific to the hothouse environment of the campus in 2018. But they also connect to something much bigger. High schools have become genuinely unsafe: The “Heil Hitler” salute happened on the very same day as the Parkland massacre. And beyond the confines of the campus, a crude, violent bigotry that had long seemed part of the distant past has suddenly resurfaced, with neo-Nazis literally marching in the streets. The question now is what do we want our response to this new world to be
  • During the 12 days that he spent in limbo between his suspension and termination, Frisch, in the spirit of the Quaker commitment to reconciliation, drafted a letter of apology to his students that he was never allowed to send. Among other things, he planned to say that he was worried about the rise of anti-Semitism and that he was still learning lessons from his mistake. “You think about things like Charlottesville,” he told me. “Now, we don’t make jokes like this.”
Eric Beckman

Saudi Aramco World : An Elephant for Charlemagne - 1 views

    Story of the Abbasid Caliph Harun al-Rashid giving an elephant to Charlemagne through diplomats sent from the Frankish Kingdom to the Abbasid capital in Baghdad
Eric Beckman

University of Al-Karaouine - Fez, Morocco - Atlas Obscura - 0 views

    Oldest, continuously operating, degree-granting university in the world. Founded by a female scholar in North Africa
Eric Beckman

Taytu Betel: The Woman Who Saved Ethiopia - Museum Hack - 0 views

    Recent article on Empress Taytu Betel, leader of Ethiopian army that defeated an Italy army, 1896. Taytu Betel's husband was Menelik II, and this article credits her with providing the critical leadership in the conflict with Italy.
Eric Beckman

Modern Latin America - 3 views

    Many primary and secondary source texts
Javier E

Opinion | How the Far Right Conquered Sweden - The New York Times - 0 views

  • For decades, Sweden, once a racially and culturally homogeneous country with an expansive social welfare system, insisted that it could absorb large numbers of non-European migrants without considering how those migrants should be integrated into Swedish society.
  • As they did in cities across Western Europe, migrants tended to cluster in low-income neighborhoods; facing poor job prospects and rampant employment discrimination, they naturally turned inward. More young women have started wearing the hijab recently, Mr. Abdirahman tells me, and more young men “internalize the otherness” — rejected by their new society, they embrace the stereotypes imposed upon them. This can lead to a point where they reject gay rights or liberalism as “white, Western ideas,” and even attack firefighters because they represent the state.
  • As we walk around, Mr. Abdirahman, who is single and childless, confesses: “When I came here in 1998, to me this place was paradise. Today, I wouldn’t want my children to grow up here.”
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  • Not all immigrants get the same push at home, he says; some parents discouraged their youngsters from going to the city center to mix. Sweden, he is afraid, has entered a vicious circle of immigration, segregation and growing mutual hostility.
  • The situation grew worse with the latest mass influx of refugees, in 2015, after which a number of suburbs became almost exclusively migrant. Considered “no go” areas by some Swedes, these neighborhoods are known to outsiders only from horrific headlines. What people don’t get to see, Mr. Abdirahman worries, is the bus driver or the cleaning lady working themselves ragged to get their children into a university.
  • the government, dominated by the traditionally strong Social Democrats and the centrist Moderate Party, did far too little. That left an opening for the Sweden Democrats, until recently a group relegated to the racist fringe of Swedish politics. In the past few years, the party has recast itself; just like the populist Alternative für Deutschland party in Germany and the Five Star Movement in Italy, it has repositioned itself as anti-establishment and anti-immigrant.
  • The Sweden Democrats accuses all other political actors and the media of “destroying” Sweden, calls for a suspension of the right to asylum and promotes an exit of Sweden from the European Union.
  • Sweden always imagined itself as something different, a society bound by its unique brand of togetherness. But that self-satisfaction justified a myopic approach to the very complex problem of how to integrate vast numbers of foreigners. If you believe in giving everyone a state-of-the-art apartment, social welfare and child benefits, then it’s unlikely you will tackle the hurdles of the highly regulated Swedish labor market.
  • Sweden Democrats profit from the fact that they were often the first to point to the downsides of immigration. Yet as much as they despise wishful thinking, they replace it with simplistic thinking. No matter what problems there might be in Sweden — housing shortages, school closings, an overburdened health care system — in the view of the Sweden Democrats, it is always one group’s fault: migrants.
  • Even if the Sweden Democrats win big on Sunday, the election might be a force for good. The Moderate Party, which is likely to take second place, might split over the question of whether to rule with them. And the Social Democrats, already under pressure to move to the left, might likewise fall apart. Sweden’s party landscape, in other words, might be blown to pieces.

    If the country is lucky, some parts from this explosion will bind together as a new force — one that takes seriously the need for realism on immigration and integration, without falling for the siren song of right-wing populism.

Lisa Rosa

Geiss, Rüsenkritik, Narrativismuskritik - 0 views

    • Lisa Rosa
      Sinn-Verständnis: zu platt und Verwechslung von gesellschaftlicher Bedeutung und persönlichem Sinn; zugleich die Vorstellung, gesellschaftlicher Sinn sei allgemein und lebenspraktisch, (Rüsen spricht von lebensdienlich!)
    • Lisa Rosa
      Es sind genau genommen erkenntnistheoretische Fragen von Gesellschaftswissenschaften, ja Wissenschaft überhaupt. Nur als solche behandelt - nicht fachwissenschaftlich verengt - sind sie nützlich bearbeitbar. Es ist die Arbeit mit dem Paradigma, dass jede Erkenntnis/Wissenschaft perspektivisch ist. Das erkennende Subjekt kann sich noch nicht einmal aus den Natur-Gegenständen seines Erkennens "herausrechenen" - wie viel weniger aus den Kultur-Gegenständen. Die Frage ist nicht, ob, sondern WIE mit diesem als Tatsache aufzufassenden Umstand umgegangen werden kann/muss/sollte. Das ist keine in erster Linie fachspezifische Frage. Sie muss auf einer allgemeinen Ebene geklärt werden und in der Fachwissenschaft konkretisiert. D.h. meine apriori - und es gibt, wie wir wissen immer welche - liegen gar nicht in der fachwissenschaftlichen Problematik, sondern davor.
    • Lisa Rosa
      Die Aufteilung in einen "normativ kontaminierten" Bereich (Wahl des Forschungsgegenstands) und einen davon freien, "reinen" Forschungsbereich ist epistemologischer crap.
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  • Sinnstiftung
    • Lisa Rosa
      Sinnstiftung? Auch Sinn im Rüsenschen Sinne ist nicht gestiftet, sondern vom psychischen System/gesellschaftlichen System gebildet (konstruiert), kann also nicht - wie Stiftung nahelegt - von außen in das System hineingelegt werden.
    • Lisa Rosa
      Nipperdeys Kritik war Kritik gesellschaftlich relevanten Fragen an die Geschichte. Eine Auswahl des Gegenstands, ausgehend von Fragen, ist immer. Auch Nipperdey wählt. Und er wählt andere - für ihn sinnmachende! - Gegenstände, mglw, um sich in die "objektive" Geschichte vor den politischen Konflikten der Gegenwart zu retten. (Das ist die Figur des "Archivbegeisterten", der womöglich sein ganzes Leben der Deutung einer einzigen lateinischen Quelle aus dem MA widmet. Das ist persönlicher Sinn! Und er schafft Orientierung, indem er von den für die Gegenwart belangvollen Gegenständen und Fragen wegführt.
    • Lisa Rosa
      Die Verkürzung der Apriori - die ja gar nichts mit Normativität zu tun haben müssen! - aufs Normative - und das platte "lebensweltliche" als Verständnis der Frage- und Orientierungsnotwendigkeit aus der Gegenwart - die ja auch nicht auf das sog. "Lebensweltliche", d.h. den Alltag reduziert werden dürfen" - zeigt die Züge einer Strohmann-Argumentation
  • Stiftung von Sinn
    • Lisa Rosa
    • Lisa Rosa
      Wenn Geschichtsschreibung keine gesellschaftliche Funktion hat - was ist sie dann? "Reine Erkenntnis"? Och nö, so ein Rückfall. Rüsen hat zuRecht den Nipperdey überdauert. Ausgraben von Mumien ist nicht Geschichtswissenschaft, eher Archäologie ...
  • So man denn
    unbedingt will, mag man auch hier von Erzählung sprechen,
    • Lisa Rosa
      und das tut man heute auch - "Erzählung" ist die Konkretisierung von Vorstellungen unter dem herrschenden (oder nicht herrschenden) Paradigma. Alle Wissenschaft, die Zeit, also historische Prozesse zum Gegenstand hat, muss Ereignisse entlang der Zeit anordnen (unter mindestens 1 Ordnungskriterium)
    • Lisa Rosa
      Theorien sind eben nicht die Erzählung selbst - sondern die dahinter liegende theoretische Vorstellung, die den "Inhalt" der Erzählung organisiert.
  • Wenn Marc Blochs These zutrifft, dass im Grunde alle empirischen Wis
    senschaften historisch sind, weil sie immer nur Vergangenes analysieren können,
    dann mag es angehen, auch die Naturwissenschaften in ihren Erkenntnisweisen
    als ›narrativ‹ zu bezeichnen.
    Aber was leistet dies dann für die Beantwortung der
    Frage, was historische Erkenntnis in Wissenschaft und Schule genuin ausmacht
    oder ausmachen sollte?
    • Lisa Rosa
      Soll etwa die "Leistungfähigkeit für die Schule" begründen, ob Bloch zuzustimmen ist?
    • Lisa Rosa
      Schade, zu schnell verworfen! Denn Dantos weiter Erzählbegriff könnte tatsächlich dazu führen, dass endlich verstanden wird, dass alle Wissenschaften eine historische Dimension enthalten/brauchen. Historisches Denken ist nicht bloß ein Denken in dem Fach Geschichte der Menschheit. Es ist die permanente historische Einbettung aller Gegenstände von Wissenschaft.
    • Lisa Rosa
      Hier wird offenbar dem Narrativismus-Prinzip Subjektivismus unterstellt. Strohmann
  • Vielmehr wird ein solcher Unterricht narrative Sinnentwürfe
    der Vergangenheit
    und Gegenwart konsequent zu seinem Objekt machen.
    • Lisa Rosa
      Das ist eine gute Idee!
  • kritische Analyse von in Gesellschaft
    und Öffentlichkeit vorliegenden »Sinnstiftungsofferten« im historischen Lernen
    eine ungleich größere Rolle spielen muss als die Generierung von Sinn auf direk
    ter Quellenbasis.
  • Dabei spielt der Gedanke eines »Konzept
    wechsels« eine wesentliche Rolle:
    • Lisa Rosa
  • Der damit
    verbundene Erkenntnisfortschritt vollzieht sich recht analog zum naturwissen
    schaftlichen Lernen, wo es auf das fachlich angemessenere Verständnis eines vor
    wissenschaftlichen Konzepts ankommt.
Cindy Marston

History Ebooks - Explaining History Ebooks: The 20th Century In 100 Short Chapters - 18 views

    Check out our new Explaining History video channel on YouTube, featuring advice, study skills, theory and further exploration of 20th Century themes. Click here for more Welcome to Explaining History:20th Century history ebooks for Kindle and iBooks, Kobo and more From the very origins of the communism, in the radicalised European working class movements of the late 19th Century, a vast an complex ideological movement that would eventually dominate much of humanity a century later emerged.
David Korfhage

Ancient China, from The British Museum - 0 views

    Including a tour of a Zhou-era tomb
Eric Beckman

Puerto Rico: 101 Years Later | National Council for the Social Studies - 0 views

    Links to resources
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