Last week on Battle of the Jaywalk All-stars an education major and aspiring teacher gave a fun performance. You can watch edited versions here
In a quiz show format, Jessica (who looks over 20):
- Could not identify a picture of John McCain. "Lenti?" "Polenti?" She (and the other two) had never heard
the name John McCain.
- Thought "the Italian City famous for its canals" is Paris. Given the clue "Venetian Blind" changed to "Venezuela"
- Could not guess any war that the Invasion of Normandy might have been in. (This for probably the single most significant military event in US experience).
- Thought that Normandy might have been a made up place. Couldn't remotely guess where it was.
- Thought a portrait of Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice was of Amerosa, of The Apprentice Fame.
- Knew that a picture of Al Gore was somebody who "talked about the environment". Thought it was Bush.
- Couldn't guess who a picture of Nancy Pelosi was, even given a first name. (Came up with Nancy Drew, but dismissed it.)
- No clue, even given the hint "bell", who invented the telephone.
- Thought Newton discovered relativity.
- Obviously, didn't know who lost at Waterloo.
- Thought Michelangelo's David was either Eve or Michelangelo's boyfriend.
- Who lives in Vatican City? "The Vaticans" No, he wears a big hat. "Abraham Lincoln?"
The good news is, the education major won this battle of brains.
Some questions that I have:
* Do you think this woman is ready to be a teacher?
* Does it matter what grade she will teach? Is Kindergarten OK? 3rd? 6th? 9th?
* John McCain has pretty much been in the news every day for six months. Yet she has never heard of him. Is that a problem?
* A "European city famous for canals" is a pretty graphic and memorable image. And Venezuela is neither a city nor near Europe. Would you feel she is informed enough to teach your 2nd grader? 5th?
* Having survived a rather tough science degree, I can appreciate what it is to forget things you knew. But then, I was being trained for a specialized field. Should ordinary knowledge be more important to a teacher?
* Assuming she has "learned how to learn", is it OK if she teaches your gifted child this fall?
* Does one need curiosity to learn facts after graduation?
* Can you be a proper citizen of the US, ready to vote, if you don't know about Normandy?
What do you all think? Is this just a entertainment trick; an exploitation of a normal student and an unfair jab at education?