Troops Out of our Schools! Thursday 30th August

August 30, 2007

TONIGHT in Glasgow! – A really interesting event that all teachers should support!  For my views on the subject please see my previous post.

School Students Against War Public Meeting
7.30pm Langside Halls, 1 Langside Avenue, Shawlands, Glasgow
 
Speakers Include:
Rose Gentle (Military Families Against War), Sam Fairbairn (School Students Against War), Lorna McKinnon (Student, Bellahouston Academy)
 
Bush and Blair’s war on terror has left Iraq in ruins.  655,000+ have died at their hands.  The occupying forces are failing to provide basic public services while they rob Iraq of its oil wealth. Hundreds of British soldiers are dead as a consequence of the war.  Troop morale is at an all-time low: senior military figures and ordinary soldiers are increasingly speaking out against the war.  Others are voting with their feet by leaving the army in record numbers. Faced with troop shortages, the military are conducting a recruitment drive among the most vulnerable young people in our society.  Now, school students and teachers are speaking out against military recruitment in schools.
 
Troops out of Iraq, Troops out of our Schools!

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Teaching to Kill? Army School Ban

August 24, 2007

I was really happy when I saw this article on the BBC

“Scotland’s biggest teaching union has voted by a clear majority to call for a ban on the armed forces targeting recruitment campaigns at schools.Teachers vote for army school ban

Schools should educate about peace and non-violence, not propagandize children for the military industry. I use the word propagandize because they don’t seem to tell the whole story

Supporters of the ban claimed the military targeted teenagers with t-shirts, pictures of helicopters and even Christmas cards from the recruiting officers.

I hate it when they make war so trivial ignoring the horrific reality of what you’ll be involved in. All the TV adverts have exciting images, theres never footage of dead or injured soldiers, its all “cool” helicopters, tanks and sporting events.  Like the Simpsons video says mocking this PR “the Army – its everything you love” implying its nothing you’d hate too. They should hand out their postcards then the school should make the children watch a documentary like Baghdad ER.

The UK also has a poor record in regard to child soldiers which no school should play a part in.

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Games in Education

July 2, 2007

Games in Education video created by Mark Wagner and Michael Guerena of the Orange County (CA) Department of Education’s Educational Technology group. They have given permission to post. A really interesting video on games in education.  I completly agree that games can play a major role in education, when I got my hands on the Nintendo DS title “Brain Training” my first thought was “wow – I wish I’d had this as a kid!”  I think it could be an excellent tool.  I do think we have to be careful however.  I’ve recently finish a book discussing violence in western culture and its effects on creating a violent society.  I believe theres a strong argument against the use of violent games (I’ll explain my position on this in future posts).  To think that children could learn much about WWII by playing a war management game I think is stretching things, the important lessons remain the human experience for evacuated children and their bombed homes, to reverse this and have children selecting to bomb cities is a gross perversion. I think our schools should try to create a progressive education focused on the values of peace, human rights and non-violence.  In my opinion theres no justification for normalising violence to children.  Education establishments also bear a large responsibility, if we do allow any violent games into the education system, they could be played by every child in the country.  Even if the game has a very small effect of enabling violent attitudes this will be amplified over the entire nation. Read the rest of this entry »