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View Full Version : I just showed my history class 'Resolute'


HEAT Viper
05-18-2010, 12:49 PM
I'm a history teacher, and one of the classes I teach is Advanced Placement World History (WHAP for short), mostly to high school sophomores. In the final chapter of the textbook, which deals with Globalization, there's a section that uses Barbie as example of Western influence in other parts of the world, and how other parts of the world react to Barbie (the Middle East, Japan, etc.).

I devote an entire day to this topic--it's called Barbie Day (I've done this every year for the past 3 years)--and I show them content from the Barbie website, etc., and we discuss the impact of Barbie on the world and on our own culture.

And then . . .

I shift the focus over to G.I. Joe. I give them the history of the line and how it essentially was a "Barbie for boys." This year I showed the '63 Toy Fair film, the timeline on the Hasbro website, and really emphasized the significnace of the ARAH line and how it foreshadowed geo-political developments. I also showed them Scarlett's file card--compare that to Barbie . . ., the opening sequence to the '87 film and the trailer to the live-action film.

Needless to say, they weren't expecting any of this--every other day it's a really serious, heavy class that demands a lot out of them. And they loved it. I always get great discussion out of it and they look at toys in a whole new way (global corporations, enterainment, reflections of social and cultural expectations, how things change and stay the same, etc.).

Anyway, all of this happened a few weeks ago.

On the day before the A.P. exam (all A.P. classes have a standardized exam that can result in students earning college credit--they last about 3 hours and one of the goals of the class is to prepare students for the test) I went over with my students all the things they needed to remember. They were pumped. To lighten things up a bit, I told them that in order to be fully prepared, they should know what to do in case any number of situations devleoped--like their house catching on fire or getting a nosebleed, or finding a power line in the road on thier way to school so it wouldn't keep them from the exam the next day.

Yeah, I showed them a bunch of the PSA's. They left the class still pumped. My final words: "now you know". You can fill in their response.

Now the exam is over and we have less than 2 weeks of school left and we're taking it easy. We've watched episodes of the Sunbow cartoon and used them to discuss things like energy policy, use of natural resources, and portrayals of the past ("Cobra Stops the World", "Haul Down the Heavens", and "The Phantom Brigrade").

And then today I showed them 'Resolute,' which, based on their silence, their gasps, and their applause, I think they enjoyed.

Trooper618
05-18-2010, 12:52 PM
Where were you when I was in school ?

kjl2381
05-18-2010, 12:57 PM
This is how you teach! Peak their interest, you my friend are a teacher! I actually have learned more about history through the History Channel than I did in school, believe that.

Sgt. Kayfabe
05-18-2010, 12:59 PM
I wish you were my teacher in high school.

Skull
05-18-2010, 01:04 PM
I might have passed my Ap test had yo been my Teacher LOL

Gunzlingr
05-18-2010, 01:09 PM
That is so bad ass!

The closest I came to a class like that was my Physics class, and the teacher was just too lazy to teach anything so we watched Monty Python most days.

Needless to say I still dont know shit about physics except E=MC squared.

SH0CKWAVE
05-18-2010, 01:44 PM
that's awesome! i wish Resolute were around when I was teaching high school students Film & Video Production. that gig was so much fun, so i can see how you're enjoying the experience.

i was known as the 'coolest' teacher on campus, so i bet you are too!

Dealer Destro
05-18-2010, 01:47 PM
Where were you when I was in school ?

This^

GrimReaper723
05-18-2010, 01:53 PM
That is immense, biggest problem in schools these days is the whole no child left behind. Passing for the sake of passing. Teachers, like you, who teach and who look for new and exciting alternatives to get through to kids unfortunately are few and far between. Awesome

JohnnyAngel77
05-18-2010, 01:53 PM
Man, that is awesome. That would have kept my interest for sure. Way to go teach!

cobralalalala!
05-18-2010, 01:53 PM
That is awesome! I sometimes use the Sunbow series to teach my girlfriend's 12 year old son about 80's political and social consciousness vs. today's.

Jmacq1
05-18-2010, 02:07 PM
From what I've heard from my friends that are teachers, you're lucky to work in a school district that allows you to do this without signing some kind of waiver for the "war cartoons" you're "indoctrinating" these kids with. Or doing it without some angry parent showing up at school complaining about said "war cartoons."

Ohio Duke
05-18-2010, 02:09 PM
I'm 8 classes away from my Bachelor's degree and my plan is to teach. It's stories like this that still stir the feeling that teachers can still reach children and shake them into realizing how important their education is and that they can still do anything they put their minds to. Using GIJOE to spark learning is just super cool.

cmderinchief
05-18-2010, 02:58 PM
This is second to only playing in a Super Tecmo Bowl Tournament for a final grade I had in college. Nice work!

Sailor_Joe
05-18-2010, 03:35 PM
From what I've heard from my friends that are teachers, you're lucky to work in a school district that allows you to do this without signing some kind of waiver for the "war cartoons" you're "indoctrinating" these kids with. Or doing it without some angry parent showing up at school complaining about said "war cartoons."

I agree. I used to teach Jr. High English and I couldn't deal with all the bureaucracy. I'm a creative type and applaud your integration of creative means. This is truly a great example of teaching. Feel fortunate that you have such freedom (especially in AP classes, wow!).

*Thumbs Up*

HEAT Viper
05-18-2010, 03:57 PM
From what I've heard from my friends that are teachers, you're lucky to work in a school district that allows you to do this without signing some kind of waiver for the "war cartoons" you're "indoctrinating" these kids with. Or doing it without some angry parent showing up at school complaining about said "war cartoons."

First of all, thanks for all the compliments. I wanted to share all of this because I figured you guys would appreciate it most of all.

I teach at a small "independent" (private) school, which affords me a tremendous amount of academic freedom. I don't have federal, state or district regulations or tests to deal with. I'm accountable to the school's administration, and, most important to me, my students. And, so far, my WHAP students have been way ahead of the curve when it comes to their passing rates on the exam, and I expect this year's class will be no different, so I must be doing somthing right.

That said, I know there may be a lot of preconceived notions about private schools and the types of kids who attend them, and my school is not that kind of place. I really couldn't ask for a better job, and it's days like today that I find it hard to believe I actually get paid for this (granted, not very much, but you don't teach for the money--at least not here).

Finally, those of you who posted and are going into teaching yourself, take it from a young veteran (I'm not that old, but I've been doing this for 10 years): you are doing this because 1.) what you teach matters to you and 2.) the students matter to you. There are good schools out there and not so good, but you have a tremendous amount of power to make your teaching your own. When things get hard, frustrating, exhausting, and you feel like you're burning out--and you will--remember that.

Now you know.

SNAKE EYES
05-18-2010, 04:12 PM
Very cool, now give them the Tanks info, so we can get some new blood in here :D

xhairs
05-18-2010, 04:16 PM
man thats awsome and we needed you in my school lol.

SH0CKWAVE
05-18-2010, 04:19 PM
First of all, thanks for all the compliments. I wanted to share all of this because I figured you guys would appreciate it most of all.

I teach at a small "independent" (private) school, which affords me a tremendous amount of academic freedom. I don't have federal, state or district regulations or tests to deal with. I'm accountable to the school's administration, and, most important to me, my students. And, so far, my WHAP students have been way ahead of the curve when it comes to their passing rates on the exam, and I expect this year's class will be no different, so I must be doing somthing right.

That said, I know there may be a lot of preconceived notions about private schools and the types of kids who attend them, and my school is not that kind of place. I really couldn't ask for a better job, and it's days like today that I find it hard to believe I actually get paid for this (granted, not very much, but you don't teach for the money--at least not here).

Finally, those of you who posted and are going into teaching yourself, take it from a young veteran (I'm not that old, but I've been doing this for 10 years): you are doing this because 1.) what you teach matters to you and 2.) the students matter to you. There are good schools out there and not so good, but you have a tremendous amount of power to make your teaching your own. When things get hard, frustrating, exhausting, and you feel like you're burning out--and you will--remember that.

Now you know.

Amen, teach. I work in the Entertainment Biz out here in Hollywood and the 1 year I spent teaching was by far the most rewarding job experience of my life. I still mentor many of my former students to this day.

Helping mold the young minds of our society is by far the most crucial responsibility of any adult.

I used to show my kids foreign films, exposing them to the likes of Fellini, Godard, Bergman, etc. We'd even break down Disney movies and discuss the "hero's journey," delving into the teachings of Joseph Campbell and the archetypes of Star Wars.

the kids loved every minute and soaked it all up.

keep up the good work and good luck on your own hero's journey!

Lifeline 71
05-19-2010, 02:07 AM
HEAT Viper, thanks for posting this. A friend of mine, Whitefield1970, is a teacher as well, and he'd love to hear about this. You should PM him, and I'll also tell him about this. Now I know and "knowing is half the battle! Yo Joe!!"

Tankster
05-19-2010, 02:14 AM
you rock brother i like the details you threw in with it to show real world interactions!!

arashikage tat
05-19-2010, 02:21 AM
Where were you when I was in school ?


I had this^^^ same response to Debra Lafave

arashikage tat
05-19-2010, 02:22 AM
oh btw it really sounds like an amazing class and you sound like one hell of a teacher...keep up the great work bro

Quartermaine
05-19-2010, 02:30 AM
I am going to be quite serious here: if teachers taught with the knowledge of the real world, pop culture, and an awareness of their customers (the students) they would energize kids to learn, and continuously learn for years after high school. You are the real deal, brudda. A Teacher. A true professional. Bringing a piece of you into the classroom thrills kids. Most teachers don't get that or are too afraid.

I am in Southern California, and the quality of learning here is dreadful. appalling. and being a training director for private industry, i deal with the results every day. I wish there was a way to honor what you have done, but i think the kids' response is really the only reward that is appropriate.

Yo Joe.

Monkeywrench
05-19-2010, 03:14 AM
Where were you when I was in school ?

no kidding

HueyCobra AH-1
05-19-2010, 04:03 AM
this kinda terrifies me.
but just wait...when one of your students is on "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?" and are asked who put nukes in Cuba in 1962...
and they answer, "Cobra Commander?"
call your superintendent and demand a raise, lol.

don't feel too bad. I saw a "recent" UCLA graduate miss "Who was president at the end of WWII?" on that show. Bet her parents wanted a tuition refund, lol.

seriously, though, i admire the break you give them from dates and places and the out of the box thinking you use. Not to mention trying to get the students to see how even little things impact the world.

HEAT Viper
05-19-2010, 11:58 AM
this kinda terrifies me.
but just wait...when one of your students is on "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?" and are asked who put nukes in Cuba in 1962...
and they answer, "Cobra Commander?"
call your superintendent and demand a raise, lol.

don't feel too bad. I saw a "recent" UCLA graduate miss "Who was president at the end of WWII?" on that show. Bet her parents wanted a tuition refund, lol.

seriously, though, i admire the break you give them from dates and places and the out of the box thinking you use. Not to mention trying to get the students to see how even little things impact the world.


Nah. My students are too smart to end up on a show like that, and even if they did, they all know that if they missed a history question like that I'd find out about it and hunt them to the end of the earth.

Seriously, though, they're really good about pointing out all the whacky stuff in the cartoon, etc. Given that they didn't grow up with this stuff, they have a much easier time being objective about and criticizing elements of it that do, indeed, deserve to be criticized. While I often end up playing Devil's advocate, in part to fuel debate (but also, honestly, because I am biased in favor of G.I. Joe), I'm secretly happy when they do this, because that means they're paying attention, thinking for themselves, and questioning things--a trait of every good historian (and citizen).

And for those of you wondering where I was when you were in school, most likely I was sitting on your side of the teacher's desk right along with you.

KingStalin
05-19-2010, 12:33 PM
That';s wonderful to use entertainment to peak interest in political and historic discussions. BRAVO! I wonder how many of those kids went looking to see if they had any old joe toys and who randomly bought a figure at wal-mart.

Robowang
05-19-2010, 01:11 PM
A previous poster is right about the No Child Left Behind act. I teach middle school English, and even at a private school, we still have to adhere to the state standards, of which there are so many that there is very, very little time to add in any real-world additions.

I manage to get ONE unit in that utilizes these techniques, and that's my persuasion unit in which I teach them all about advertising and how they become walking billboards when they put on clothing with logos, etc. They LOVE this unit, but it only hits a few of the standards, so according to the state, it's basically a waste of time.

Basics like grammar and punctuation, etc, I can't do any of that specialized learning with, but there are so many missed opportunities because of that idiotic program. I would LOVE to be a "good" teacher again if they would just let me.

On a side note, I do get GIJoe and Transformers into the classroom - I hold a silent charity auction one week every year. I auction off toys I donate plus all sorts of stuff donated by the kids. We usually make about $1000 each year. It's happening this week and they are having a ton of fun! One last break before final exams next week :)

Sailor_Joe
05-19-2010, 01:12 PM
I am going to be quite serious here: if teachers taught with the knowledge of the real world, pop culture, and an awareness of their customers (the students) they would energize kids to learn, and continuously learn for years after high school. You are the real deal, brudda. A Teacher. A true professional. Bringing a piece of you into the classroom thrills kids. Most teachers don't get that or are too afraid.

I am in Southern California, and the quality of learning here is dreadful. appalling. and being a training director for private industry, i deal with the results every day. I wish there was a way to honor what you have done, but i think the kids' response is really the only reward that is appropriate.

Yo Joe.

Here, here!!!

The problem is that the system is too constricting. Curriculum is written by administrators who haven't set foot inside a real classroom in decades. Then there's this whole pressure to teach to test standards. Meaning, that students aren't learning what's valuable to them in the real world, but what the answer of multiple choice test at the end of the year is.

This is why public and charter schools are becoming so popular. These school have a bit more freedom in direction but are still sadly under the same standards as public schools (thanks to "No Child Left Behind").


Basics like grammar and punctuation, etc, I can't do any of that specialized learning with, but there are so many missed opportunities because of that idiotic program. I would LOVE to be a "good" teacher again if they would just let me.


That pretty much sums it up. I'm a former Jr. High School English teacher, too. The public school system broke me. I could never go back. I'm way to much of a creative spirit and slight non-conformist.

evopete
05-19-2010, 04:23 PM
where were you when i was in high school

PitViper
05-19-2010, 04:30 PM
Huge round of applause for you sir!! 1st absolutely awesome on how you captured their interest.

2nd, as a fan I'm just glad that you introduced our Joe stuff to the younger generation--AND they are actually getting something real and educational out of it based on your class.

You're a breathe of fresh air, every single woman I know is a teacher. They tell me the same thing on every date I go on "well I love being around children".

By the 2nd or 3rd date they're bad mouthing the kids and I'm finding out they took the job for summers off at the Jersey Shore.

Again--huge applause and thanks to you!!!

HEAT Viper
05-20-2010, 10:37 AM
Huge round of applause for you sir!! 1st absolutely awesome on how you captured their interest.

2nd, as a fan I'm just glad that you introduced our Joe stuff to the younger generation--AND they are actually getting something real and educational out of it based on your class.

You're a breathe of fresh air, every single woman I know is a teacher. They tell me the same thing on every date I go on "well I love being around children".

By the 2nd or 3rd date they're bad mouthing the kids and I'm finding out they took the job for summers off at the Jersey Shore.

Again--huge applause and thanks to you!!!


Thank you PitViper, and another round of thank you's to those of you who have posted with your compliments.

And I will admit, while the primary goal is to use G.I. Joe as an educational tool, I won't deny that part of it is introducing the world of G.I. Joe to the next generation. Every year I've done this, the class begins to identify in some way with G.I. Joe. "Knowing is half the battle" becomes a class catch phrase and they'll joke about some of the PSA's. I have a student that, years later, still talks about the one where the kid hides in the old refridgerator and how it still cracks her up. This same student, who is in college now, along with another of her classmates, emailed me over the summer to tell me they'd seen ROC twice and how they couldn't wait for the sequel. I had one class get so into it that when they all graduated two years later, I gave them each a "Special Missions" issue as a graduation present.

Like I said, I don't do this to make Joe converts out of them--I let that happen on its own, and it's really fun to see it happen. And, for the ones who don't buy in totally, at least they're a little more culturally and historically literate.

And finally, yeah, anyone who goes into teaching for the "time off" is @#$%-ed in the head. If you do this job right, it means you're putting in just as much time--if not more--from late August until early June as everyone else is who works year round. And if you're really doing it right, you're spending your summer gearing up for the next year.

Unfortunatley, based on y'all's posts, there are a lot of teachers out there who aren't doing it right. That's another post for another time.

Mr.Kane
05-20-2010, 11:04 AM
Now that's some history I can get behind. I like how you did that great job.

BEACHHEAD
05-20-2010, 11:17 AM
Next time show 'em this :D

Mindbender - The Mockumentary

YouTube - Mindbender Trailer: GI Joe, 9/11 and The War on Terror in GI JOE (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wC39ZjAMmtM)

or the second Part:

YouTube - Mindbender Trailer #2: The Fed, The NWO, and Cobra Commander Offer You a Financial Bailout (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XNxsEPS1TIM&feature=related)

Gideon75
05-20-2010, 11:36 AM
First of all, thanks for all the compliments. I wanted to share all of this because I figured you guys would appreciate it most of all.

I teach at a small "independent" (private) school, which affords me a tremendous amount of academic freedom. I don't have federal, state or district regulations or tests to deal with. I'm accountable to the school's administration, and, most important to me, my students. And, so far, my WHAP students have been way ahead of the curve when it comes to their passing rates on the exam, and I expect this year's class will be no different, so I must be doing somthing right.

That said, I know there may be a lot of preconceived notions about private schools and the types of kids who attend them, and my school is not that kind of place. I really couldn't ask for a better job, and it's days like today that I find it hard to believe I actually get paid for this (granted, not very much, but you don't teach for the money--at least not here).

Finally, those of you who posted and are going into teaching yourself, take it from a young veteran (I'm not that old, but I've been doing this for 10 years): you are doing this because 1.) what you teach matters to you and 2.) the students matter to you. There are good schools out there and not so good, but you have a tremendous amount of power to make your teaching your own. When things get hard, frustrating, exhausting, and you feel like you're burning out--and you will--remember that.

Now you know.

I'm a trained history teacher too, but not currently teaching. Using film to emphasize history and as historical artifacts are a great way for modern students to learn. Because society today is so visual, students tend to remember subjects a little better if it is not just black and white words on a page, but pair those words with a movie or video, and students remember.

Do you use film a lot for most of your topics?

For instance, when teaching about World War II and how it has influenced our culture use the Star Wars Trilogy. The Millenium Falcon is a WWII bomber, just watch the scene from Ep 4 where Luke and Han strap into the cannon bays and fire at Tie Fighters. Emperor Palpatine is a cross between Julius Caesar and Hitler. The Empire's colors are Red, White, and Black. The same as the Nazi Flag. Tie Fighters make a similar sound to a German Stuka Diver Bomber siren that sounded when it dove to drop its bombs.

Darth_Risar
05-20-2010, 11:50 AM
I did something similar when I did my corporate profile presentation on Hasbro for International Marketing. I showed a few PSAs and the 87 intro. Brought in some Hasbro merchandise that included a few Joes, my professor was a Vietnam vet and retired military, he was actually impressed when I pulled out and was explaining the Vietnam Memorial Joe

Lifeline 71
05-20-2010, 01:18 PM
There are good teachers out there. My dad taught Spanish at the same high school for over 35 years, minus the time he did for Uncle Sam during Vietnam. I've met many of his students, and they all seemed to enjoy his classes. I never had him as a teacher, but I think he was tough but fair. In the end, he got tired of the bureaucracy. Same for my mom, only she's a high school librarian. She hasn't been working as long as my dad, but she's retiring this year because she's tired of all the BS she has to put up with from admin. They both loved what they did, and it wasn't for the summers off or things like that.

HEAT Viper
05-20-2010, 02:45 PM
Gideon75: Great stuff man! I do like using films, though given the amount of stuff I have to cover and the time I have to do it in, I don't show as much as I'd like. We're covering WW II in one of my other classes right now, so today I showed them the first and last parts of Saving Private Ryan, after having already gone over D-Day, etc. with them beforehand. Most had never it seen it and after talking with them afterwards, were impacted significantly, but more so, I think, because they already had some background.

Speaking of Star Wars, seeing that tomorrow is the 30th anniversary to the day of the release of ESB, I think I'll be showing that to my A.P. students. It's amazing to me how many kids today haven't seen the original films (or the original versions of them, which is more understandable).

Lifeline 71: Yes, there are a lot a great teachers out there. I work in a school full of them, and looking back at my time as a student, I had way, way, way more good teachers than bad, and I went to several different schools, private and public. I guess what I was getting at was the notion of people thinking that teaching is easy because of the time off or going into teaching for the wrong reasons. Those teachers tend not to stay teachers for long, but I feel bad for the students who have them while their "in." Seeing that your parents worked in education as long as they did demonstrates their dedication. You, along with several other posts here, hit on the bigger issue of bureaucracy and adminstrative interfence, etc. and the impact that it's having on education and teachers trying to provide it. A few decades from now, I hope I can look back on my on career with the same satisfaction that I hope your dad has. Thanks.

700block
05-20-2010, 02:59 PM
very cool man.

arashikage_ninj
05-21-2010, 07:01 PM
Achivement unlocked: Helped ROC 2 made some money

If only you where around in the 90's...

SH0CKWAVE
05-22-2010, 04:55 PM
if GI Joe were a high school course, we'd have less Emos

arvydas
05-25-2010, 01:10 AM
What an interesting idea. Did you connect Resolute to your History lesson at all, or was it just leisurely viewing?

What did the girls in your class say?

BlondeCoverGirl
05-26-2010, 12:25 PM
Awesome job man! The best teachers engage their students in fun ways that help them learn and remember. Now none of mine ever used G.I. Joe, but the best followed similar principles.

HEAT Viper
05-26-2010, 05:46 PM
What an interesting idea. Did you connect Resolute to your History lesson at all, or was it just leisurely viewing?

What did the girls in your class say?

It was half and half. The A.P. exam was done at that point, so it was part reward for making it that far. At the same time, once it was over, we discussed some of the course topics and themes that showed up in Resolute (terrorism, our dependence on global communications, aftermath of the Cold War, etc.) I explained to them the significance of Springfield, and the idea behind it, which they got a kick out of. I also told them how Ellis initially wanted to blow up Beijing instead of Moscow in the story, and Hasbro told him he couldn't do that, which they also found interesting.

As for the girls--past and present--they get just as, if not more into it ,than the guys. Which I also find really interesting. The first class I did this with a couple of years ago was actually all female. At the end of the year, they gave me the 12' French Foreign Legion G.I. Joe that they went together and bought off of eBay. It was meant as a token of their appreciation for the class and all I'd done for them (we had adopted the Legion's motto "march or die" as our motto for the year). That was a really, really cool moment. It's also the only 12' Joe I have and one of the most valuable (to me) parts of my collection.

Imperial_Ozma
05-26-2010, 06:31 PM
Sounds like a fun way to spark interest (I still hate resolute though).

DrKain
05-29-2010, 03:40 AM
Dude, that is awesome. I'm going for my Masters in teaching elementary school, but what you described slightly makes me wish I chose HS just for the maturity of being able to do that.

Novacaine
05-29-2010, 04:19 AM
Hey your not my AP History Teacher from 2004 Grant Conway are you?

KALASH69
05-29-2010, 05:15 AM
Can you come teach at my college. Please?

Redredly
05-29-2010, 04:45 PM
great story....I admire teachers that think outside the box to spark interest

elanmars
06-03-2010, 04:34 AM
It was half and half. The A.P. exam was done at that point, so it was part reward for making it that far. At the same time, once it was over, we discussed some of the course topics and themes that showed up in Resolute (terrorism, our dependence on global communications, aftermath of the Cold War, etc.) I explained to them the significance of Springfield, and the idea behind it, which they got a kick out of. I also told them how Ellis initially wanted to blow up Beijing instead of Moscow in the story, and Hasbro told him he couldn't do that, which they also found interesting.

As for the girls--past and present--they get just as, if not more into it ,than the guys. Which I also find really interesting. The first class I did this with a couple of years ago was actually all female. At the end of the year, they gave me the 12' French Foreign Legion G.I. Joe that they went together and bought off of eBay. It was meant as a token of their appreciation for the class and all I'd done for them (we had adopted the Legion's motto "march or die" as our motto for the year). That was a really, really cool moment. It's also the only 12' Joe I have and one of the most valuable (to me) parts of my collection.

man, I'm totally down to read any of your opinions/teachings/views regarding gijoe, how you connect to pop culture/current events/history with it be it comics, resolute, the movie or the cartoon. for example, what's the significance of springfield?

and with the episodes you chose to show, what were the lessons behind those?

Drill
06-03-2010, 01:14 PM
That is cool as hell. I'm studying to be an English teacher and I've always wanted to do something like this to a good class. The closest thing I ever had in school (Excluding music classes where we would watch Frank Zappa or Eric Clapton for days) was a physics class that showed that History Channel special Star Wars tech on the day he happened to have his teacher evaluation, and thus a substantial portion of our final was to discuss "The Physics of Star Wars".

I'm damn sure that was the only reason why I got an A in that class.

chuck x goren
06-05-2010, 03:21 AM
This story sorta' reminds me of the urban legend about Gene Simmons (KISS) working as a substitute teacher and getting kids to pay attention and actually read thanks to comic books. Both used non-conventional pop culture teaching aids; and both subjects were thought of as "kids' stuff" until applied in the classroom.

But whereas Gene was supposedly working with inner city kids who had trouble even showing up for class...you're working with Advanced Placement kids. Good job.

Whenever you're compared to Gene Simmons...you're doing something cool.

HEAT Viper
06-08-2010, 03:26 PM
man, I'm totally down to read any of your opinions/teachings/views regarding gijoe, how you connect to pop culture/current events/history with it be it comics, resolute, the movie or the cartoon. for example, what's the significance of springfield?

and with the episodes you chose to show, what were the lessons behind those?

Springfield--which before seeing Resolute my student's associated with the Simpsons (I was sure to point out that G.I. Joe had Springfield long before the Simpsons did)--exemplifies the idea of the terrorists "being next door" and having been there for a while; real world examples being , of course, the 9/11 terrorists and the more recent Times Square bomber.

As for the episodes I showed:

Cobra Stops the World:
Global dependence on oil; Cobra's exploitation of a South American native tribe for access to their diamond resources (i.e. 19th century European imperialism); oil wells exploding and on fire (I showed them that episode about 2 weeks or so after the BP mess in the Gulf began).

Haul Down the Heavens:
What would happen if the polar ice caps melted. Seemed far fetched in the mid-80's, not so much now . . . Also the U.N.

The Phantom Brigade:
Use of historical figures: a Roman Centurion; Mongol Warrior--though female and not particularly "mongolian looking", though she did use a bow; and American WWI pilot--who makes a reference to the Kaiser. What other "kids" show makes reference to the Kaiser? Man I love this stuff. Anyway . . . some good Cold War stuff and spiritual/religious aspects too.

All together these episodes dealt with topics we discussed in the class, from ancient times all the way up to the present. Also, it wasn't just the topics themselves, but the way in which they were presented. One of the lessons I try to teach my kids is that history isn't just a set of facts, but something that has been constructed over time by other people. Therefore, one should always question how history is being used/presented and why it's being done that way. Again, leads to good discussions about things above and beyond G.I. Joe itself.

What I'm finding too, as I go back an rewatch a lot of the old stuff, is just how much of this sort of thing shows up in the cartoon. There's the episode where the Joes meet Osiris and the one where they go back to Ancient Greece . . . The Serpentor stuff brings in all the great ancient military commanders coupled with genetic engineering, and "Money to Burn" has some eerie similarities to the recent economic crisis and peoples' response to it. I'm already looking forward to next year's group of students and what I'll have in store for them . . . after I enjoy my summer break. Which begins today.

Let me wish all of you guys a great summer too, and thanks again for all the feedback, comments, and support.

Yo Joe.

Stygian
04-12-2011, 06:35 PM
Your teaching topic is an excellent way to couch the seemingly benign and perhaps to some even banal (toys/action figures) in topics of interest in a very relatable way. After all unless you grew up under the proverbial rock every kid can relate to toys on some level. On the surface they seem so harmless and cuddly, but the way they are marketed and the forces at work behind the closed doors of Mattel, Hasbro, etc. are pretty interesting and at times scary.

Good for you, teach!

MyJoeCollection
04-12-2011, 07:00 PM
Where were you when I was in school ?

No kidding! I'd have passed every class if my teachers were like this!

PROVOST
04-12-2011, 07:05 PM
Where were you when I was in school ?

This

sgcaper
04-12-2011, 08:59 PM
I'd love to do something like that. I currently teach science, perhaps a course around the wacky science in Joes??? Hmmmm...


Sounds like an awesome time man. Glad you're a fellow teacher.

corporal_kadmon
04-12-2011, 09:03 PM
Did you discuss the HAARP weapon that was seen in the episode and how it really exists?

07GT500 COBRA
04-12-2011, 09:50 PM
Where were you when I was in school ?

No doubt.

It'd be a tough choice between you and the hot blonde teacher inviting students over to her house after school.

GlasgowSmiles
04-13-2011, 01:16 AM
As for the girls--past and present--they get just as, if not more into it ,than the guys. Which I also find really interesting.

That doesn't surprise me.

... Not that I'm the model of femininity or anything, but I think most of the girls I was on good terms with in high school would have been into it.

(I had an AP English teacher who probably would've showed it if there was any conceivable way of tying it into the curriculum. Which, for that class, there wasn't, but, to best describe that class/teacher, I want you to imagine learning about Shakespeare from Beachhead.)

manic mailman
04-13-2011, 01:34 AM
i took ap us history and ap modern euro history and they were boring as sh**!!!!!!!!!!

Steelgrave
04-13-2011, 01:57 AM
i took ap us history and ap modern euro history and they were boring as sh**!!!!!!!!!!


And I bet they really helped you land a great job too. Hell, history is such a useful subject it probably made you a billionaire huh? It's almost as useful as biology & Earth science. Dissecting a fucking frog reeeeeeally helped me out in life. And how bout those cumulus clouds? And sedimentary rock? I don't know what I ever would have done without all that useless information.

And can't forget about multiplication & division of fractions. I don't think I ever multiplied or divided a friggin fraction since I got out of school. What a huge waste of time! Setting us up for failure since day 1.