Thursday, November 10, 2005

Whose Wars?

This is not an endorsement; I haven't seen the materials. But I've been impressed with other articles and projects of Rethinking Schools, a Milwaukee organization originally formed to battle vouchers in their city. More recently, they've put together a 72-page teaching guide to the Iraq War called "Whose Wars?"

I've struggled -- as I think most socials studies teachers have -- with teaching about the Iraq War. I present the geography of the country, the history, the geopolitics involved. But most importantly, I want the students to think deeply about the issues and make up their minds about its justification.

But it's hard to get around the facts: there were no weapons of mass destruction and there was little (if any) link between Saddam and Al Qaeda. And now we have 2,000 dead and 15,000 wounded veterans. It's hard to skirt around those facts and still maintain any sort of honesty with students.

And yet, like every American, I want to hold out hope that maybe -- somehow -- Iraq will work out. I know, I know, it's probably not going to happen. Iraq will probably degenerate into a civil war and we'll have to get out of there: Mission most definitely not Accomplished. But how do you explain that to a 12-year old?

I'm interested to see how the people at Rethinking Schools go about doing that. You can read the introduction here.


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