Opinion
Teaching Opinion

Alternative Methods—High School

By Frank W. O'Linn — November 10, 2006 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

English teacher
St. Edward High School
Lakewood, Ohio

It takes a village to raise a child—or, in our Catholic high school, it takes a community. St. Edward High practices a holistic approach to instruction, educating the minds and hearts of students. We also recognize that teachers educate in partnership with parents.

Moral development need not be limited to religion class or character education initiatives. Inevitably, my English classes’ reading traverses controversial themes. “Family homework” is an attempt to explore such topics thoughtfully while involving families in the content and moral reasoning involved. Among the objectives are educating students on current issues and inviting them to wrestle with moral dilemmas—something researchers consider beneficial to development—with their parents’ help.

See Also

For example, when reading H.G. Wells’ The Island of Dr. Moreau, students extend the theme of man’s interference with nature’s designs. Typical family homework activities begin with background on an issue—in this case, stem cell research, cloning, or the medical use of human-animal chimeras. The position of the Catholic Church, if there is one, is included with the factual presentation. Students are then asked to evaluate a moral dilemma, such as: Do the potential benefits of embryonic stem cell research outweigh the human cost?

Following the background lessons, a handout covering the overarching issue, along with questions for family discussions, is assigned. The homework is complete when an adult’s signature indicates that the discussion has taken place.

On the due date, students are invited, not required, to volunteer their own or their families’ opinions in class discussion. I am careful not to tell them what to think. I believe students must think critically to independently reach conclusions that are nonetheless informed by their families and faith communities.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the December 01, 2006 edition of Teacher as Alternative Methods

Events

Jobs Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Reading & Literacy Webinar
Science of Reading: Emphasis on Language Comprehension
Dive into language comprehension through a breakdown of the Science of Reading with an interactive demonstration.
Content provided by Be GLAD
English-Language Learners Webinar English Learners and the Science of Reading: What Works in the Classroom
ELs & emergent bilinguals deserve the best reading instruction! The Reading League & NCEL join forces on best practices. Learn more in our webinar with both organizations.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Teaching Opinion Do I Really Have to Go to Summer School? How to Get Students to Change Their Minds
Students often view summer school as a punishment. Schools can take steps to shift that perception.
9 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
iStock/Getty
Teaching Video VIDEO: An Educator Answers FAQs on Teaching Black History
A Black educator answers educators' frequently asked questions around teaching Black history.
Dawnavyn M. James, Jaclyn Borowski & Elizabeth Rich
1 min read
Teaching Opinion How to Expand Teens' Vocabulary
Students are unlikely to expand their vocabulary by copying definitions of words. There are other, better ways.
8 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
iStock/Getty
Teaching Opinion Should Cellphones Be Permitted in Classrooms? Teachers Offer These Strategies
Teachers can play a role in helping students figure out appropriate times for using their phones.
10 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
iStock/Getty