What prompts Mr.Neck to teach a straightforward class?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Interestingly enough, through her report on the suffragettes and the complex stand she takes on delivering it, Melinda shows that Mr. Neck's class content is far from straightforward.  He teaches his history class in a straightforward manner because he wants to silence voice.  Mr. Neck represents the faculty version of the social condition that Melinda seeks to overcome.  He desires control and seeks to repress student voice in order to validate his own authority.  He views the teaching of history, and teaching children, in general, as he does football: Overcoming and silencing "the other into submission.  It is this mentality that compels him to teach a class that is far from straightforward in a straightforward and repressive manner.

Mr. Neck embodies this repressive streak, one that denies voice, in a couple of ways. He teaches an ultra- consensus view of history, one that neglects the voices of others.  His aggressive stance against animal rights and those who emigrated to the United States is a part of this. At the same time, Mr. Neck seeks to silence voice in discussion, as he tries to with both David and Melinda.  He believes that he knows all that that nothing can prove complex to him:  "I can tell you what's going on in a kid's head just by looking in their eyes."  Mr. Neck's desire to control "the other," and seeking to silence and eradicate voice rather than understand it is what prompts him to teach a straightforward class as opposed to a complex and intricate one.

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