Table of Contents

    Issue Theme
  • Free The Big One

    Teaching about climate change

    By Bill Bigelow

    The environmental crisis requires a profound social and curricular rethinking.

  • Cover Story
  • Free A Pedagogy for Ecology

    By Ann Pelo

    Helping students build an ecological identity and a conscious connection to place opens them to a broader bond with the earth.

  • The Wonder of Nature

    By Bob Peterson

    A review of The Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder, The Sense of Wonder, and A Sand County Almanac.

  • Rethinking Lunchtime

    Making lunch an integral part of education

    By Michael Stone

    Lunch is too important to be thought of as the ritual pit stop between classroom and playground.

  • Educating Heather

    First-person narratives bring climate change closer to home

    By Lauren G. McClanahan

    First-person narratives about climate change bridge the gap for students between theory and reality.

  • Teachable Moments Not Just for Kids

    By Susan Naimark

    When parents avoid connecting, they model for children how not to talk about race and racism.

  • Beat It! Defeat It! Racist Cookies

    Promoting activism in teacher education

    By Bree Picower

    How racist cookies spurred a teacher and her education students to take action.

  • "Bait and Switch"

    New report pushes voucher fans to fast-talk around problems

    By Barbara Miner

    Voucher advocates are fast-talking their way around a new report that cast doubts on the value of the program.

  • America's Army Invades Our Classrooms

    The military’s stealth recruitment of children

    The Army's new high-tech strategy for winning recruits.

  • Teaching for Joy and Justice

    By Linda Christensen

    An excerpt from Christensen's new book, Teaching for Joy and Justice: Re-imagining the Language Arts Classroom.

  • Boycott!

    Los Angeles Teachers Say NO to More Testing

    By Sarah Knopp

    Los Angeles teachers take on LAUSD's mandated tests.

  • Free Connected to the Community

    An effective model for preparing and retaining teachers

    By Marianne Smith, Jan Osborn

    A look inside I-Teach, an effective model for preparing and retaining teachers.

  • Izzit Capitalist Propaganda?

    By Julie Knutson

    DVDs from follow a familiar free-market script.

  • "It Was So Much Fun! I Died of Massive Blood Loss!"

    The problem with Civil War reenactments for children

    By Karen Park Koenig

    A mock battle highlights the line between role-playing and re-enactment.

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America's Army Invades Our Classrooms

The military’s stealth recruitment of children
America's Army Invades Our Classrooms

Teachers across the country know only too well that the No Child Left Behind Act requires public schools receiving federal funding to allow military recruiters access to campuses and to private student data. Now this link between the military and our public schools has gone one step further. In fall 2008, the Ohio Department of Education announced a new partnership with the U.S. Army and Project Lead the Way to "promote student interest in the engineering and technical fields" by using the military-developed videogame America's Army in middle school and high school classrooms statewide.

According to an Army press release, students will be able to use the America's Army gaming platform to, among other things, "explore kinematics in a ballistics project," "test the accuracy of their calculations" in virtual environments, and "?drive' a vehicle around a virtual obstacle course as well as perform a virtual helicopter drop," all in order to "increase student mastery, especially in technical studies." Following this year's pilot in Ohio schools, Project Lead the Way, a nonprofit with close ties to the distance learning and educational outcomes assessment market, will incorporate its America's Army learning modules into teacher training systems for pre-engineering classes nationwide. Further applications are being considered for modules in biomedical sciences, digital electronics, and robotics.

While one might expect educators to be wary about such blatant military intrusion into their classrooms, Susan Tave Zelman, Ohio State Superintendent of Public Instruction, has no such qualms. The Army press release quotes Zelman as saying, "When we were approached by the U.S. Army late last year [2007], we realized the great opportunity this project represented for engaging students in a learning environment that excites them. . . . This marks a real shift in the education paradigm to utilizing a technology platform that students are familiar with and enjoy!" No mention of the content of the "technology platform"?America's Army?is made.

Initially developed by the Army as a recruiting tool, America's Army is a free online game in which players (as soldiers) proceed through four basic training modules before moving on to more advanced training or to virtual missions. Hugely popular since its 2002 release, America's Army currently boasts over 10 million registered users.

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