a presentation too sad to do?

Like so many others, I can hardly bear to think of the latest school shooting in the United States.  The first of the 20 children (all under 7 years old) and 6 teachers is to be buried today.   The issues it raises about the role of guns in American culture are stark.  So, would this be a good topic for presentation on politics and ethics?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  Myself, I don’t think I could cope with this topic in my own classroom at the moment.  Too sad, too soon.  I’m passing on to you, though, a link to an upcoming discussion series of essays that will deal with aspects of the issue of guns and gun control. There will come a time when it’s easier to talk about the topic:  “In the wake of the school massacre in Newtown, Conn., and the resulting renewed debate on gun control in the United States, The Stone will publish a series of essays this week that examine the ethical, social and humanitarian implications on the use, possession and regulation of weapons.”  Being engaged with the world in TOK can involve facing controversy, to the benefit of students’ capacity to follow perspectives and come to understand the assumptions and values that they hold together.  But it can also involve facing the violence of the world, and there are moments when, personally, I would prefer to stand in silence.

Eileen Dombrowski


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