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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Those damned dates

What's Mallard raving about today?

Teachers, History.

Mallard believes Mathematics is best taught by doing the work for students. And he believes that understanding history is just about memorizing dates and locations.

It's becoming clear why Mallard hates teachers and Education so much...they were trying to force him to learn something, and that is one thing Mallard will not stand for.


confused said...

Oh! This opens the window for a Mallard switcheroo!

Soon, we will be entertained with a comic that says “Rather than get into the boring detail, I’m simply going to have you memorize dates, places and names.” “Translation: I don’t know why things happened or in what context”

I know Mallard won’t let me down!

Robert said...

These last few strips really present a conflict with the fact that Tinsley's god is the "forget your elitist empirical evidence, I make decisions with my gut" President who was re-elected because he was the candidate Mallard's readers would rather have a beer with.

rewinn said...

Confused: don't spoil the surprise LOL!

But seriously: names and dates are the easiest things for a lazy teacher to make into a lesson plan, and nearly the least useful for educating citizens. For example, it is easy to teach that the Boston Tea Party happened in 1773, but it is both harder and more important to citizenship to teach why the protesters threw chests of reduced-tax tea into the bay (the East India Company had gotten a tax cut from the Crown: one of the first multinationals to use the all-powerful executive to overwhelm local businesses.)

Robert: doesn't your theory presuppose some sort of consistency on the part of Tinsley and his fans? The ability to believe in contradictions (e.g. "Bush is like me because he was born rich") is key to their world-view.

exanonymous said...

The dull dry dates and places come naturally once you understand the events that took place.

Besides, in scientific fields, it isn't as important to know facts as it is to know how to use them.

Michael said...

I thought there was a universal opposition to learning by rote memorization. Once again, Mallard's stupidity manages to surpise me.

Kaitlyn said...

The dates mean more if they have meaning, not just "X happened".

The same with anything - like driving rules. Why do you have to park like that on a hill? Why?

My mom answers all my why driving questions, and I remember them much better than I if I just read the rule itself.

Mallard has it mixed up, like rewinn said. Regurgitating the dates and locations indicates a lack of in depth knowledge.

Sometimes, I could tell you all about this even in history or my own life, but the time? Err... before today?

GeoX said...

Does Tinsley REALLY believe that if the teacher isn't inundating you with dates, it means s/he doesn't KNOW the dates? What a strange, paranoid mind that man has. I suppose it's probably not unrelated to alcohol abuse.

Anonymous said...

There was actually an old Dilbert that did something similar but more in a parody fashion. Dilbert asks a random kid questions that are more or less random trivia but would probably be covered in school and acts shocked that the kid doesn't know the seventh US president or the deepest North American Lake. The problem is that Tinsley apparently read the comic thinking that it was serious.

exanonymous said...

Facts tempered with thought are scarey for Mallard and his ilk:

I was once presented with non-sensical facts by a Limbaugh fan. global warming wasn't true because 1) trees produce carbon dioxide 2) Antartica had the largest hole in the ozone and 3) democrats were in congress.

Don't examine them, just accept them as true, and vote conservative!

Marion Delgado said...

today's mallard gets it just a little wrong.

What we ALWAYS say is, "real communism has never been tried, which is why I want everyone here to vote for Democrat Barack Obama* if they want a decent grade!"

*I was indeed stoned for the last 20 years, so I probably re-used this with every communist - Carter, Mondale, Clinton, Gore, Kerry - that I promoted at the expense of what my students' uptight conservative parents call "valuable learning time."

p.s. we will bury you!