Saturday, January 23, 2010

Take that, Pat

This week in A.P. history has provided some of the best discussions we've had so far. Luckily we happened to start talking about Haiti right after we'd begun reading a great text, Robert Marks's The Origins of the Modern World, and talking about inequality. So there were a lot of tie-ins. We also watched Jonathan Demme's documentary The Agronomist which gave the students a glimpse of "Papa Doc" and "Baby Doc" Duvalier and the CIA's involvement in Haiti's political dishevelment.

Most thought-provoking line in that movie: a recently re-installed President Aristide, speaking about inequality and the problems of foreign aid, says "We must go to the big house and take all the arms." Having talked about the Haitian Revolution earlier in the week, the students were eventually able to get the slavery reference. Then we talked about the figurative meaning: What did Aristide mean by the "big house?" What is he calling for?

Ultimately we achieved my goals for the week: For the students to have some background information to connect with what they hear on the news. More specifically, to understand the importance of the Haitian Revolution and subsequent U.S. intervention, and to have some more complicated images of real Haitians other than the ones that other teacher gave them (i.e., the smiling faces of black children so happy to see an American that she apparently encountered when she visited Haiti).

Grrr. This is Angry Education.


Brandon said...

Angry Education indeed!


台灣 said...


teacher said...

it was really a great pleasure of that time.

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