How to say no to Cultural Education?
October 18, 2012 4:22 AM   Subscribe

Help me make arguments against cultural education programs in Korean schools.

My 6th grade students are gearing up for a debate competition. One of the possible resolutions is "Schools should teach cultural education programs in schools." We may be either Pro or Con on this or one of a few other resolutions. For the other resolutions, we're fine, and the kiddos have come up with many many Pro arguments, but we are all falling flat on compelling cons.

The class has:

"Is this really the best way to spend our education money?"
"America needs cultural education, but Korea with 0.7% foreign students doesn't."
"Our Moms don't want us taking time away from core studies."
"We could learn this better if it was part of classes we already take, like History or Social Studies."

Also - I've never been a debate teacher before this year, and I'm not sure what my appropriate level of involvement is in their argument building process, ethically.
posted by nile_red to Writing & Language (4 answers total)
1) Rules about coach/teacher involvement in case prep vary from competition to competition. You should check with the organizers.

2) Arguments against cultural education programs can be:
a) cultural education is really just a way to promote one particular view of culture, so it defeats its own purpose.
b) having separate cultural education implies that culture doesn't influence ALL curriculum choices. So (and here it sort of merges with the last argument you've stated), it's better to teach awareness of culture as an influence in all the other subject classes.

Good luck!
posted by bardophile at 4:39 AM on October 18, 2012

Our official instruction sheet doesn't have rules for coach involvement... speech competitions run by the same academy franchise either don't care or completely allow teachers to write speeches given by the students.

I've been nudging them towards ideas, and then helping in finding evidence, and in re-wording, but I'm having trouble balancing how much I want these kids to experience a win with how much I want them to achieve this on their own.
posted by nile_red at 4:44 AM on October 18, 2012

This essay seems to have quite a few cons:

- Postive multicultural education is often heavily dependent on the teaching methods of the teacher.
- Students can be resistant to multicultural education since it often contains unpleasant material (eg, slavery, massacres, injustice, etc.)
- Teachers can be biased towards multicultural education, and can focus on superficial topics or negative stereotypes.
posted by nikkorizz at 5:25 AM on October 18, 2012

argument against: In today's world, we have plenty of opportunities to learn about foreign cultures. What we need to do is make sure we fully appreciate our own Korean heritage, and therefore we should teach Korean Heritage classes instead.
posted by saraindc at 6:49 AM on October 18, 2012

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