Now this (3/4 down, Today Show video)) is how you respond to a wingnut attack…and Michelle is reduced to making fun of Jay Bennish’s hair. A few highlights (see how I admit they’re highlights rather than claiming completeness, Michelle?)
The process of cognitive dissonance is one way to activate their minds and to get them to think about these various things…
Not only is that sound teaching theory, but maybe it’ll raise a generation of kids for whom cognitive dissonance doesn’t just shut down their minds. I’m talking to you, wingnuts.
[Matt Lauer states that the student in question - and his family - shopped the story around to conservative outlets until one bit. Bennish states that the student asked leading questions about the State of the Union.]
…my job as a social studies is to argue alternative viewpoints; encourage critical thought so that students are aware that there are those viewpoints in the world.
Awareness of differing viewpoints - the last thing in the world wingnuts are looking for.
The people who come off looking the worst in this are the student and his family. The student seems to have come into this planning specifically to get Bennish to say something “incriminating” and asked question after question for that purpose. And I apparently owe an apology to Bennish for calling him a “bad lecturer”: I wasn’t totally clear that Bennish’s fairly stream-of-consciousness affair was part of an unplanned discussion section of the class.
Bennish essentially shut this story down today. Let’s see if the wingnuts realize it. I’m not holding my breath.