Before You Watch
Respond to the following questions:
- What are some issues to consider in teaching about the Middle East? What issues do you consider when preparing your lessons? How do you prepare your students?
- How would you introduce a unit on the Middle East? Where would you begin?
- What do you consider to be the major elements of the Middle East conflict? In what order would you introduce them? (For example, Mr. Zimmerman begins his unit with religion.)
- How do you guard against bias when guiding students through highly controversial topics like the Middle East conflict?
- How do you create a safe environment in which to explore a controversial topic with students, some of whom may have a strong emotional connection to the topic?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of using hypothetical situations and analogies to examine complex or controversial issues?
Watch the Video
As you watch "The Middle East Conflict," take notes on Mr. Zimmerman's instructional strategies, particularly the way he encourages students to consider an issue from multiple points of view. Write down what you find interesting, surprising, or especially important about the teaching and learning in this lesson.
Reflecting on the Video
Review your notes, then respond to the following questions:
- What struck you about the classroom climate, background, preparation, strategies, and materials used in this lesson?
- How does Mr. Zimmerman keep students engaged and motivated?
- How does Mr. Zimmerman prevent students from comparing the right of each religion to the land in dispute? Why do you think he does this?
- What aspect of the Middle East conflict do you think Mr. Zimmerman focuses on in the next lesson?
- How does this class differ from yours? How would you introduce your students to the conflict?
Let's take a second look at Mr. Zimmerman's class to focus on specific teaching strategies. Use the video images below to locate where to begin viewing.