In education we have what we call “teachable moments.” Normally these teachable moments happen spontaneously in a classroom when something unexpected occurs during a lesson. It is totally unpredictable, totally unforeseen, but so very magnificent in the lesson that it carries.
What we have here with this Coronavirus, is an extremely global teachable moment.
So how does this apply to us and an Extra Credit opportunity in our History class?
Well, we have just finished studying the stock market crash of 1929, the Great Depression, and most significantly, the New Deal.
In light of everything that’s going on globally, nationally, locally, and personally, and as a historian, I am forced to ask if history repeating itself at this moment? If we parallel the coronavirus to the 1929 stock market crash, and the pending “Stimulus Plan” to the New Deal, are we looking at a repeat of nearly 100 years ago? We have a sitting Republican in the White House, as we did with Hoover at the time of the 1929 crash, and have a challenging Democrat hopeful to run in this year’s election, each with a promise, or a plan of how to relieve this plight we find ourselves in.
As an educator, I could not let this opportunity pass without incorporating it into a lesson plan or at minimum offering this is an extra credit opportunity.
Think of the Great Depression that you have just studied, and the New Deal. In your view, and with what you have learned thus far and with what you are witnessing today in the current events, draw a parallel between the two eras, and provide a comment on what you see are similarities, differences, and where you think this is heading in terms of politics, economics, and global well-being.
Since this is not as lighthearted an opportunity as I normally offer for Extra Credit, I will allow upgrades to two (2) grade items, be it quiz or discussion. Please remember you do not need to write a thesis, or an essay, just a couple of statements on your thoughts, not about the virus itself, or the isolation, or the lack of toilet paper in the stores, but answer the questions I put to you in the above paragraph. I want this to be a specific comparison. Let’s see if history truly does repeat itself!
“You cannot teach a man anything, you can only help him find it within himself.”
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