Queen’s Birthday holiday unwind

Today is the Queen’s Birthday public holiday here in New South Wales. We’re a weird country – half our public holidays are observed on a state-by-state basis and can occur on different days of the year even when multiple states have the same named holiday.

Anyway, it was good for my wife to have the day off after we both laboured at the market all day Saturday and Sunday. We took Scully out on a long walk around lunchtime, when the day had warmed up a bit and the early grey cloud had parted to let the sun through.

Before that, I had another online ethics class in the morning. It was a repeat of last Friday’s one on advertising, with three new kids. This time it was very interesting, because there were some rather fundamental disagreements among them, which made for a lively discussion. One student was of the opinion that advertising was just annoying and should be banned altogether, or at the very least that any false advertising or exaggeration in advertising should be banned. Another student said that yes it was annoying sometimes, but advertising was important because otherwise people would have no idea what products were available, and companies would go out of business and people would lose jobs and so on. He also said that while outright lying was bad, it was okay if advertisers exaggerated, because everybody knew that ads didn’t really tell the whole truth anyway, so they should expect it. The third student was somewhere in the middle.

It was good because it stayed civil, and it was definitely more interesting than lessons where all the kids just agree with one another on everything.

This afternoon I worked on Darths & Droids writing and comic construction.

And this evening I tried an experiment and put some pomegranate arils onto pizza that I’d made for dinner (after it came out of the oven). It worked pretty well, and my wife put more on her subsequent slices.

New content today:

3 thoughts on “Queen’s Birthday holiday unwind”

  1. For some reason I enjoy the posts about your classes the most 🙂

    I’m curious, how do you usually wrap up a “lively discussion”? Do the kids ask you to tell them, as the teacher, who was Right and who was Wrong in the end? Do they accept the idea of there not being an easy and definitive answer?
    Or maybe you already cover that concept before they even ask. Or maybe you tell them “Well, the current system we have goes like this… and that… but it’s always being improved”.

    1. Good question – I might have explained once before, and just assumed everyone would remember/have read that. I never tell the kids what’s “right” or “wrong”. At the start of each lesson where there’s a new student who hasn’t had one of my classes before, I explain that many of the questions I ask are difficult, and have no real right or wrong answers, and that people may disagree. But the important thing is that they think about why they give the answers they do, and to explain their reasoning. (And if disagreeing with someone, to do it respectfully. An important part of this course is teaching the kids how to disagree with someone without raising voices or making it a fight.)
      Sometimes there is a “this is the way the world works now” which I can explain, but I leave it up to them to decide if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. I won’t say that it’s being improved.
      To wrap up a discussion, I basically say something like: “Thank you for all of your interesting thoughts. As you can see, people sometimes disagree on this topic. If you have any more ideas or questions about it, you might like to discuss it with your parents before our next lesson.”

      1. I like your approach.

        I don’t remember any class like that from when I was little, or maybe they couldn’t get through to me. I used to feel that “school stuff” was all about being correct or incorrect, not about opinions, views, and thinking for yourself. Open-ended questions with no right answer would stress me.

        I’m sure a class like yours can help children manage these feelings.

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