Thursday, July 03, 2014

New York Times' Determinist Learning Questions

At the NYTimes' "The Learning Network" section, they have a unit on 6 Q’s About the News: 

Composed by Michael Gonchar, he bases himself on “Tension Mounts After Apparent Revenge Killing in Jerusalem” by Isabel Kershner and Jodi Rudoren report on the escalating tension in Israel and the West Bank after three Israeli teenagers and one Palestinian youth were abducted and killed.

Gonchar had ten years as a school coach, instructional coach and teacher mentor in over two dozen New York City public middle and high schools experience before joining the NYTimes staff.  He started teaching in 1996 as a humanities teacher at East Side Community High School, a small public school in Manhattan.  He earned an M.A. in social studies education from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Here's his stimulus for learning format:

WHAT was found in a Jerusalem forest early Wednesday?
WHAT motive are the police investigating for the killing?
HOW did the Israeli minister of internal security respond to rising tension between Israelis and Palestinians?
WHEN was the Arab youth, Muhammad Hussein Abu Khdeir, abducted?
HOW did President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority respond to the killing?
HOW did Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel respond?
WHO was kidnapped while hitching a ride home from their West Bank yeshiva schools on June 12?
WHERE were their bodies later found?
WHAT is the so-called Price Tag movement?
WHAT happened before Pope Francis’ visit in May to the Holy Land?
HOW does Amir Peretz, the Israeli environment minister, want the Israeli government to deal with the situation?

For Higher-Order Thinking
HOW should Israeli and Palestinians authorities deal with the escalating tension? 

You are not going to believe this, okay, of course you will, but when I went to check the section's archives, nothing was written on the abduction - and subsequent murder - of three Israeli/Jewish teenagers.  The episode is only buried (sorry for that) in questions 7 & 8.

And as to his questions:

a) not what but who was found.  Let's not dehumanize people, whoever they are.

b) not motive in the singular but motives in the plural.  But, if only one motive, then ask if that is proper police procedure?

c)  if you are going to mention the Arab youth's name, do so for the Israeli boys.  And, after all, one was American.

d)  and why not mention the teen-age girl, Umayma Muhammad Abdul-Rahim Jaradat, 15, who was stabbed in the neck and chest in Sair on Tuesday and died?  Because she was killed by a fellow Arab?

e)  what has the 'price-tag movement' have to do with anything in this?

f) before Pope Francis' visit -- how far back?  You mean a few daubings or just the murdering of Jews?

g)  Amir Peretz?  Amir Peretz?  What about other Ministers much more important?

h)  and as for Higher-Order Thinking, there's a typo:  Palestinians authorities.

Is this just sloppy educational work or something more devious?

P.S.  Six questions?  I count more.


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