OSG's AP Government & Politics
This is an online 12th grade AP comparative government and politics class blog run by Mike Gwaltney. The students in this program are from around the globe. They post reflection pieces on a rotating basis and they also post to the blog for project assignments. The post that I read was by Courtney Ann on October 3rd. It was about the recent political debate. In her opinion, she feels that Romney won the debate. She said that Obama was not as motivated or as inspirational as usual. Also, his body language revealed that he was not on top of his game. She says that both of the candidates put up a good fight, but Romney pulled ahead. She hopes that Obama is more prepared in the next debate. The post was very well written and her views were very clear.
Leti is a student from Dionisio Aguado Secondary School, in Fuenlabrada. Leti is in the process of learning how to speak English. His class uses their class blog to complete activities and interact with people from around the world. Leti's latest post was pretty confusing. He was asked to describe a celebrity. He did a very good job explaining these celebrates using the English language. The confusing part was that he was describing celebrities from Spain. I had no clue who he was talking about. The correct answer was a group of puppets named Trancas, Barrancas and Petancas. I looked it up, but couldn't understand it because it was in Spanish. It looks like a pretty funny show, though.
Austin is a student in 7th grade English. His latest post was a summary of the character, Dally, from the book The Outsiders. He describes Dallys' thoughts, actions, and emotions. Austin did a very good job describing Dally. He used several quotes from the book and referenced the page numbers. He had a little bit of a problem with punctuation and grammar, though. A lot of his sentences had unnecessary words and were a bit confusing. I got his point though. I could see what he was trying to say and read it that way. I told him that he was doing a great job and to keep blogging.
In her post on October 31, 2012, Santoli talks about the keynote speaker at the conference in Ireland. The speaker was Dr. Patricia Mannix-McNamara. She is the Co-director of the Research Centre for Education and Professional Practice at the University of Limerick. On the final day of the conference, Dr. Mannix-McNamara gave a speech entitled So What is all this Education For? Santoli says that Dr. Mannix-McNamara is worried that there is a huge disconnection from what's happening in schools and what's happening in society. Schools are focuses more on high test scores and less on the child's mental and emotional development. Schools are no longer teaching about values and self-esteem. Dr. Mannix-McNamara says that the suicide rate in Ireland is at a extreme high. She directly correlates this to the lack of moral attention in the schools.
I hate that schools are moving in this direction. Schools are lacking in creativity and the students are beginning to resent it. High test scores can be a very good thing, but as educators we need to make sure that we squeeze in some time to teach our students about self respect and other emotional and mental values. This way we develop the whole student.