moderndirections.com

 

 

Students complain that education is dull, bland and not relevant to their lives. Some adults seem to want to keep it that way.

" Controversy is only dreaded by the advocates of error. "

-Benjamin Rush, signer of the Declaration of Independence

Stepping In It

There have been at least five times at the CyberCollege / InternetCampus sites when we've stepped into controversy to the point of getting significant negative reactions, or, as they say in government circles, blowback.

During my time in the classroom I tried to get students engaged in issues by introducing controversial issues for debate. This was is also the rationale behind this site's Forum.

But sometimes this resulted in criticism.

We'll give four examples.

1. Starting at the beginning, we stepped in it when we reproduced Dr. Cherry Lee's book that covered issues of concern to young people: relationships, dating, associated dangers, etc.

In the more than 70 chapters were mentions of birth control and the prevention of sexual disease -- the latter being the number one problem among young people at that time.

Someone was able to get the entire site banned by "net nanny" type filters that many schools and libraries use.

To keep the Mass Media and TV Production courses available for schools that were using them we had to remove all of her information.

When we finally got through to the company involved in censoring the site and challenged their action, they simply said it had been a mistake.

2. For some time we had an article on news bias that included some easily verified facts about Fox News.

Some readers saw it as an attack on their conservative values.

Although the article is still here, we've since published a more up-to-date rewrite.

Plus, we've  added some recent Pew research on the subject, which will probably also ruffle some feathers.

3. The article on Deadly Ignorance attacked those who are against the vaccination to stave off cervical cancer.

We said that ...

" The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] reports that the low vaccination rate in the United States means that 50,000 girls alive today will eventually develop fatal cervical cancer, deaths that could have been prevented if the country’s rate had been at 80 percent. "

The statement in the article that stated, In the minds of many parents the possibility of unapproved sex is a greater threat than cervical cancer, upset some readers because they said that the shots, themselves, are a threat to health.

Keep in mind that also a genuine threat to health are polio, rubella, mumps, hepatitis A and B, diphtheria, rabies, smallpox, shingles, etc., all of which are mostly "history" thanks to vaccinations.

However, some of these diseases are reemerging in the United States because some ill-informed parents are refusing to get their children immunized. Even the crippling disease of polio, which had almost been eradicated, is re-emerging.

As we've noted before, it would be very hard to explain to a child that a debilitating disease that they contracted could have easily been avoided.

4. Strangely, the last example of criticism (that we'll mention in this section) came from those who attacked the discussion of defense mechanisms -- psychological approaches people use to block out, discard, and quickly forget ideas they don't agree with.

These are known to perpetuate prejudices while allowing people to hold onto ideas that have clearly been disproved.

Again, no contradictory facts were presented by the people who wrote in, but it seemed clear that the article made some people uncomfortable.

Other objections ranged all the way from our not mentioning minor theories about color theory to references to some religious facts.

-Ron Whittaker


We were recently reminded of two more articles that upset a few people: Turning Social Logic Upside Down and Christianity and the Murder Rate.

To Index Page ~ 2016, All Rights Reserved

moderndirections