Ask Huston

Once or twice a year I’ll spend part of a class day just letting the students ask me questions about anything, and we have conversations about whatever topics they come up with.  I wonder how that would work here.

Here’s your chance, anonymous denizens of the Internet, to ask me whatever you can imagine.  Impress me.  Challenge me on issues, ask about my real life, quiz me, ask for advice, whatever.  I promise not to lie in any response, but I do reserve the right to be evasive or sarcastic, of course.  I’ll let questions collect on this thread for a while, then answer them all.  As I warn my students, whether or not this is entertaining depends mostly on the quality of what you ask, so take advantage of this open forum. 

Now here’s hoping I just get more than one or two questions…

7 comments on “Ask Huston

  1. Have you read A Thomas Jefferson Education: Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the Twenty-first Century by Oliver Van DeMille? If so what are you feelings about it? If not, will you read it and do a review on it?

  2. Heather, it’s…OK. It summarizes some basic teaching principles pretty well–good teaching really is easy. There’s nothing complicated about it. There’s no good reason for college level teacher training to be required for much of anything, especially since so much of it is meant to indoctrinate fads and politics, rather than actual teaching skills.

    Anyway, the book’s curriculum is fairly lacking, though. If you’re interested in the subject, the best thing you can do is read Susan and Jessie Wise Bauer’s The Well Trained Mind. I’m a huge fan of that one.

    • Ardis, the Wolrdwide Leadership Training two years ago was about teaching and learning, and it was excellent, especially Elder Holland’s mock lesson segment. To summarize it in short, the best things we could do to improve gospel teaching in the Church would be to prepare more spiritually as teachers and learners, and to focus our teaching on the scriptures and prophets as much as possible. Check the June 2007 Ensign or http://lds.org/library/display/0,4945,7492-1-4036-1,00.html.

      I know that’s the kind of brainless, lazy-sounding, Sunday School answer that will make many people roll their eyes…but I really think it’s true. Consider my post on D&C 101 a few days ago–that prompted some appreciative comments from some smart people, and it was all because my Gospel Doctrine teacher taught from the scriptures. There actually is power in the lesson manuals!

      Hunter, I’ve never thought there’s anything wrong with being a Democrat. President Faust was a Democrat. Our most recent Area Authority was a Democrat. There are things right and wrong in the platforms of both parties, and both basic political ideologies, but like most LDS, I think the right (and therefore the Republican party) is more in line with the gospel. I won’t denegrate anyone for disagreeing with that assessment…though it does often seem to be one of the bloggernacle’s stocks in trade to look down their collective nose at conservatives. (Not everybody, mind you, but enough to call it a trend.)

      If the prophet voted for Obama, I would not only not think less of him, I would respect Obama much more. If needed, I would alter my own political views to bring them line with the prophet’s.

  3. OK, here’s my question: If it were revealed that President Monson had voted for Barack Obama in the last presidential election, would you think less of him?

    (This question implicates what I see as a growing problem in the church: people defining their Mormonism in terms of overall cultural and political trends. Said otherwise, do you think one support a left-of-center Democrat, and still be a good Mormon?)

  4. Thanks for that, Huston. I especially appreciated your comment that, “There are things right and wrong in the platforms of both parties.” Ain’t that the truth!

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