Friday, March 22, 2013

A Pinch of Salt

The British Empire wasn't built in a day, nor did it fall in a day.  Gandhi (and many others) kept provoking and provoking.

I had planned on being finished with Gandhi by today, but I keep discussing the movie instead of watching it straight through.  I apologized for that today, and was encouraged by the number of students who appreciated the pauses.  I don't want to watch it for the sake of watching it; I want the students to understand what they are seeing.

It's true, Gandhi has taken a while.  We've been studying the Indian independence movement for more than a school week now.  And I just want to be finished with it.  You know what that reminds me of?  Gandhi.

Patel, Nehru, Jinnah, and other Indian leaders pushed for independence.  They seemed impatient for it.  (This is of course, from the movie - and the actual events are no doubt more complicated.)  Gandhi wanted independence.  He fought for it his whole life.  But he didn't want it at the cost of violence.  And he didn't want it before India was ready for it.  He wanted a peaceful transition of power - and he knew that would take time.  More time than others would have been willing to give, had they been in the lead.

So, taking a page from Gandhi's campaign notebook, we're taking our time.  There may come a time when I feel pressured to rush through lessons, but I haven't reached that point yet.

If you're reading this post for extra credit, thanks.  Way to take some initiative.  You still have to discuss it with an adult.  Here are some things you could bring up:
  • Gandhi said the role of a civil resister was to provoke.  What did he mean?
  • How did Gandhi provoke the British?
  • What might have happened if Gandhi's followers resorted to violence?
  • Would you have been brave enough to march on the salt factory?
  • Explain what happened in the salt factory march.
When you're done, find a scrap piece of paper and write two sentences about your discussion.  Have the adult you discussed it with sign the paper.

Have a great weekend!  Spring break starts next Friday.  :)

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