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Would you be upset if your 13/14 year old dc were doing a project about knife crime?

(49 Posts)
itchyandscratchy Sun 31-May-09 20:03:23

I've got to teach a unit in English about an issue the stduents can campaign about - the ones already taught are a bit <yawn> imho so I was looking for something more engaging.

Do you think I'm opening a can of worms if we look into knife crime amongst teenagers: causes, media coverage, hype vs reality, existing campaigns against it, etc. ?

poopscoop Sun 31-May-09 20:04:25

it wouldn't bother me at all.

notnowbernard Sun 31-May-09 20:04:57

NOt at all, very important to explore these issues in depth, at their level, IMO

MaureenMLove Sun 31-May-09 20:07:18

I believe it's one of the Citizenship lessons for Yr9's at our school. I wouldn't have a problem with it with my 13yr old either.

itchyandscratchy Sun 31-May-09 20:12:35

I figured they would do it in Citizenship but like Maureen said, it would just be for a couple of lessons. This would be for 5 weeks so they'd get the chance to do a fair bit of research and presenting their own ideas.

Just wondered if anyone thought it might be a bit provocative?

nancy75 Sun 31-May-09 20:15:45

i dont have a teenager, but if i did i would welcome them doing this kind of project. i really believe that the problems we have with knife crime are because kids see carrying a weapon as a status symbol and have never thought about what really happens if you use the weapon.

hatwoman Sun 31-May-09 20:16:09

tbh I'd have no problem with them learning/researching it - as long as hype vs reality was prominent - but if the brief is an issue they can campaign about I would think it a slightly wasted opportunity. I'd rather see them learning about access to clean water in India, access to education for girls in Africa, homelessness in the UK, child carers in the UK, lack of youth clubs/sports facilities/decent libraries in deprived areas in the UK, poverty in the US, child soldiers, child labour, the chocolate industry...

itchyandscratchy Sun 31-May-09 20:36:42

well, I'm just looking for an issue they can relate to that will allow them to develop their skills in research, persuasion and analysis. thanks for your ideas though

bruffin Mon 01-Jun-09 08:28:37

As a mother of a 13yr old DS who has been mugged I have no problem with it. Knife crime is just as relevent and worthy a subject as any mentioned by hatwomen.
I assume it won't be romanticized etc

sobanoodle Mon 01-Jun-09 18:42:28

What hatwoman said. A bigger issue. Though not against it being discussed at all for that age group (2 of my dcs are teens). I just think 5 wks is too long to devote to it.

zanzibarmum Mon 01-Jun-09 19:50:25

A unit in English? Why not a campaign on more Shakespeare in school or a campaign for the apostrophe.

My objection is that the time could be better spent - I am sure they read about knife crime in the papers

skramble Mon 01-Jun-09 20:37:09

I think it is a great subject to do for English or whatever, there is a lot more to English than Shakespeare, and s looking at how knife crime is reported and comparing it to real statistics would be good.

chosenone Mon 01-Jun-09 20:43:29

I do one in year 9 in Drama and it really engages the kids and looks into the reality and emotion attached to being in gangs and carrying weapons. I think its our duty and we need to use what is relevant to some if not all of the young people we teach, good luck.

cornsilk Mon 01-Jun-09 20:45:56

I would be pleased if it was well handled.

Heated Mon 01-Jun-09 20:53:29

It's done in my school. Given that knife crime is a pertinent issue for young people, particularly young males, I think it is very important for them to be informed and to discuss it. Is the scheme already written or do you need links/materials? The Red Cross do good lesson plan and there are govt educ video called itsnotagame, if you're interested.

pointydog Mon 01-Jun-09 21:02:13

no, would be fine

itchyandscratchy Mon 01-Jun-09 21:08:10

Sounds like a good unit of work, chosenone.

That sounds great too, Heated. I've got the framework and outcomes for it already, a task in each of the 3 attainment targets for English (compiling a radio programme exploring the issues; analysing a persuasive speech and writing a persuasive letter). I just need research materials, websites and facts/opinions). Will look at the the Red Cross stuff.

I love the advice from the budding Chris Whiteheads too. I'd never thought about teaching apostrophes - on second thoughts, I think I'll do that for 5 weeks, 3 times a week instead.

zanzibarmum Mon 01-Jun-09 21:11:47

Relevance? What's that got to do with education. If relevance is the new watchword no wonder history, Latin, Chemistry is not taught in many schools to GCSE.

The idea thata 13 or 14 year olds don't know that knives are dangerous is nonsense. The reason knives are used is that we (families and schools) have ceased to raise expectations of our children - school should raise sights for the future not wallow in the relevance of here and now.

itchyandscratchy Mon 01-Jun-09 21:14:53

Gosh I was only joking before - I didn't realise you were really a MN lurker, Mr Woodhead.

(and not whitehead like I said before! - DERgrin)

zanzibarmum Mon 01-Jun-09 21:19:30

Itchyandscratcy - if you are going to throw a clever educational slur do try to get it right. I think you mean Chris Woodhead.

I am not a fan of that former teacher - but you asked for reaction to your English project and I gave it: I think you are woefully underselling your students. I just hope your children go to a school with similar teaching priorities and don't usher them off to the private sector. At least then you will be consistent.

madwomanintheattic Mon 01-Jun-09 21:28:06

our yr 9s did that last year. i assumed it was part of the curriculum choices. they had to design leaflets etc.
my only advice would be, think carefully how you intend to approach this one if you have any statemented kids in your classes - i had some fairly tricksy responses from a few kids on the autistic spectrum, and it was quite difficult to support them in a class where there was a fine line between enthusiastic drama/ role play, and exploring conclusions... not trying to discourage you, but i don't think in our case that there had been enough thought as to how some of the lesson plans would work in a differentiated group.

i remember doing a report as part of a drugs project at 12, way back in the day. i had to go to the head as apparently they needed to make sure it was all academic research based, rather than, y'know, practical. boringly, it was all found in the library, but it taught me a lot about research and presenting different viewpoints, and was obviously credible enough to alarm the staff, so i'm all for exploring this type of stuff.
hope it goes well.

itchyandscratchy Mon 01-Jun-09 21:35:34

zanzibarmum - what are you on about with your comments about the private sector? What's that got to do with anything? and how on earth would you know whether I'm underselling my students or not?! Genuinely puzzled by your comments.

When I asked for opinions I wasn't asking about my application of the curriculum and skills teaching; was merely interested in parental input about the subject matter. I'm pefectly confident that I'm delivering the skills and knowledge necessary to get the best out of my students, thanks and all that.

madwoman - good point about autistic students. I don't have any in the class I'd be doing this with, but do have some quite immature boys who would need careful handling so that they see both sides. But they are perhaps ideal for this project if it's done correctly.

Heated Mon 01-Jun-09 21:40:24

Shame the Poet Laureate's 'Education for Leisure' has been censored removed from the Anthology. There could be a very useful thematic link to the other Duffy/Armitage poems set for GCSE study such as Hitcher, Laboratory, My Last Duchess etc (the last two worthies would make any educational traditionalist nod approvingly).

itchyandscratchy Mon 01-Jun-09 21:52:09

Think I'd be very tempted to use Ed for Leisure anyway, as a stimulus. It was only censored from the Anthology; it would be fine to still teach to to Year 9. Would also be useful in setting up those links you mentioned to the KS4 curriculum next year.

I've done a quick search and I get where zanzibarmum is coming from. She's got very clear opinions on what we're doing wrong in the state sector, so I'll leave it at that!

TheFallenMadonna Mon 01-Jun-09 22:00:33

Chemistry is taught at GCSE level in every school.

Knife crime as a topic wouldn't bother me. We cover it in PSHE in year 9.

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