September 29, 2009 at 4:04 am #68047
Haven’t been on the forums for a long time, but I need advice. I found alot of comfort from these forums years ago when I lost my loved one, but I’ve been at peace and living a happy life and it’s been quite a while since I’ve been around. Here is the issue I am dealing with: My child’s science teacher has decided to do a lesson on “cold reading” techniques and is spending class time analyizing John Edward readings and teaching the children that he is a fraud. He is quoting James Randi and that “Shermer” guy. I am really upset over this, as is my child, and I don’t know what to do. I know JE always says you can never change the mind of a skeptic, so I don’t know if I should just let this go or if I should take action by calling the school. What should I do?
TrishSeptember 29, 2009 at 4:45 am #123363
I’m curious, what grade/age is this “lesson” being taught?
StephSeptember 29, 2009 at 11:49 am #123364
It’s 7th grade, the kids are 12 and 13September 29, 2009 at 7:25 pm #123366
My only comment: I fail to see what that has to do with science.September 30, 2009 at 1:18 pm #123367
Trish: as a skeptic, my first thought when seeing this thread was “way to go, teacher!” then I thought “how would I feel if my child’s teacher was giving lessons on John Edward’s “psychic powers” being real?”
Here is what I think I would do if that happened. maybe you would consider doing much the same. I would:
1. Explain to my child that yes, even teachers can be wrong.
2. carefully explain to my child why I believe as I do on the subject.
3. contact the school’s principal and calmly explain that I do not appreciate a teacher presenting their own opinion as fact.
3a. stress to my child that he/she needs to make up his/her own mind on the subject, and not t simply believe something because I or the teacher said it was so.
4, In your case, I would calmly explain to the principal that I do not appreciate a teacher criticizing my religious beliefs to my child. This may be your strongest argument from their standpoint.
Please keep us updated n the situation.
RSLSeptember 30, 2009 at 11:30 pm #123372Stephanie;140897 wrote:My only comment: I fail to see what that has to do with science.
Well, if the teacher is correct, it has a lot to do with psychology, and the way our minds can be fooled. A valid subject/lesson fr a science class.September 30, 2009 at 11:47 pm #123373CarolynBModeratorQuote:Well, if the teacher is correct, it has a lot to do with psychology, and the way our minds can be fooled. A valid subject/lesson fr a science class.
Maybe, except that the NJ Science Curriculum through grade 7 does not include psychology.October 1, 2009 at 2:19 am #123374
Thank you for your replies. The one good thing that has come of this is that my child and I did have a very good conversation about the topic of life after death and after death communications. The teacher said the lesson is about teaching the children “critical thinking” which on the one hand I think is a good idea, but the way he is presenting the lesson to the class, he makes it clear where his bias lies and he is not being objective. In one breath he is telling the children it is o.k. to come to whatever conclusion they believe, but this teacher also has a “wall of shame” (as he calls it ) in his classroom with pictures of the people who have had John Edward on their television programs. I’m mainly upset because I feel he is not really letting the children make their own decision. I felt very angry about this whole thing at first, but I sat down and wrote a letter to the teacher and found that helped me, I’m not sure if I’m going to mail it or not… but thank you for allowing me to vent in this forum:cuss:October 1, 2009 at 6:28 am #123376
I know every state is different, however I’m quite young and distinctly remember my 7th grade science class. (It was my favorite class and my favorite teacher at the time.) We learned how to disect an earthworm, grasshopper, starfish, frog, and pig. We studied hard on the phases of myosis and mitosis. We learned about DNA and all the different parts of a cell. We raised baby chicks and butterflies. We even learned how ecosystems worked, the food chain, lake effect weather, and weather in general past and present. The different ages were also taught too; Ice, Prehistoric…that kind of thing. 7th Grade Science in my neck of the woods is all Biology and the Earth. We didn’t touch Energy and such until high school. Critical thinking was part of Science, don’t get me wrong. But we applied it using the Scientific Method and approving/disapproving a theory. Religion/spirituality wasn’t touched upon in school and if it was brought up, the Science teacher always listened, but gently moved the conversation away from the subject. Giving it merit, but also not being biased. As a teacher, you have to remain neutral. Psychology is not taught at least until 12th grade, and even then in very limited schools around here (Private and Advanced Placement programs in Public schools).
I guess what I’m trying to say is that these minds are impressionable, and this in my opinion should not be taught as fact either for/against the subject matter. I’m glad that something good did come out of this, where Trish got to sit down with her child and talk it out.October 1, 2009 at 2:08 pm #123382
You are correct about the 7th grade science curriculum. It is supposed to be “Life Science” which is the study of cells and such as you describe and they will be working on that next. I agree wholeheartedly that this subject is inappropriate for the classroom.
What he is doing is a statistical type lesson where they slow down the tape and analyze the percentage of correct “hits” vs. “misses” by JE. It is the teacher’s overall tone and bias that bothers me the most, because he does refer to JE in a mocking type way and is not remaining objective. I am upset because the children are at a very impressionable age and this subject matter relates too closely to questioning our faith and religion and also touches on grief and healing which do not have a place in the public schools especially when the teacher is not being objective and open. He is also showing them magicians tricks, horoscopes, spoonbending tricks etc. and there is nothing wrong with a healthy skepticism, but I think a teacher needs to teach based on facts.
JE has given my family alot of hope and comfort in dealing with our grief and I personally choose to believe there is more than just this physical life we live here on Earth and that our loved ones never leave us. So I am uncertain whether my strong beliefs are causing me to not be objective as well. I feel everything is o.k. now with my child. So do I take it to the next level and contact the school or do I just let it go because then I will be imposing my personal religious views upon the school and at this point I’m not sure what can really be done.(Except for JE showing up at the school and proving this teacher wrong, one can dream can’t they ;-) So I think I am leaning towards just letting this go for now and see how the rest of the school year plays out.
Thanks for your response.
TrishOctober 2, 2009 at 12:39 pm #123391CarolynB;140905 wrote:Maybe, except that the NJ Science Curriculum through grade 7 does not include psychology.
Perhaps it should.November 19, 2009 at 4:18 am #123502BeckieParticipant
What kind of Science teacher is this?! Sounds like this teacher is teaching his own opinions a little too much here, esp. in regards to John Edward. I would go straight to the principal and complain about this guy. Kids are very impressional at this age, and these kind of opinions and examples are not healthy for young minds. He can stick to the magic tricks,etc.,but talking about John Edward, and putting pics of “shame” people that were at John Edward’s show? This teacher needs to stick with teaching science like Stepahnie was describing in her post.
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