Richard Dreyfuss’s Opus

The other day I thought about Richard Dreyfuss and wondered what he’s been up to since his visit to my school last year.  You may remember that I was less than impressed with his method of engaging students as well as his overall message [and here].  Well, it looks like he finally has a website up, but if you take some time to explore its contents you will notice that it is void of any curricular materials or much of anything at all to assist teachers and students in the teaching of civics.  From what I can tell Dreyfuss has done little more than continue his whirlwind tour of America’s classrooms where he has impressed upon students the importance of understanding the Constitution and the importance of rational debate.  Who would disagree with that?

This past week Dreyfuss was honored with the 2010 Empire State Archives and History Award.  I don’t know anything about this award, but it seems to me that this is a sign of what’s wrong with our society and education.  As much as I applaud Dreyfuss for bringing attention to this issue there are people who work day after day in the trenches teaching this material.  Organizations promoting the teaching of civics are a dime a dozen and there are already more than enough curricular materials for the classroom. Can someone please tell me what Mr. Dreyfuss has done to deserve an award?  We give these people awards as a quick fix rather than taking the time to acknowledge the deeper problems within our education system.

In the meantime may I suggest that Mr. Dreyfuss find a more appropriate outfit to wear in the classroom.  Some of us consider ourselves to be professionals when we walk into our classrooms.

Searching for Black Confederates: The Civil War’s Most Persistent Myth

“Levin’s study is the first of its kind to blueprint and then debunk the mythology of enslaved African Americans who allegedly served voluntarily in behalf of the Confederacy.”–Journal of Southern History

Purchase your copy today!

7 comments… add one
  • Gordon Belt Oct 14, 2010 @ 12:04

    Funny you should mention this. Dreyfuss was in Nashville this week to talk about civics and had lunch with by boss the FAC…

    Luckily, mashed potatoes were not on the menu…

  • Nat Turners Son Oct 13, 2010 @ 10:16

    Kevin why did your school allow such a doofus to come on campus to speak??

  • Larry Cebula Oct 12, 2010 @ 20:05

    Wow–he appears to believe he is making a difference but is in fact doing nothing at all.

  • Amos Humiston Oct 12, 2010 @ 18:12

    I caught Dreyfuss’s act at Gettysburg’s Remembrance Week 2009. His speech on Dedication Day at the Soldiers’ National Cemetery was a well-intentioned mess: a string of cliches about “civics,” delivered in a scolding tone, with very little in the way of actual ideas or useful suggestions. Embarrassing, really.

    • Kevin Levin Oct 13, 2010 @ 0:54

      The “scolding tone” or Dreyfuss sounds very familiar. That was the tone he used with our students and probably did more damage than good.

  • MississippiLawyer Oct 12, 2010 @ 8:22

    Duh Kevin, he got the award because he is freaking Matt Hooper.

  • Michaela Oct 12, 2010 @ 6:18

    He and Mr. Tony Danza should start a school: the Actor’s School of Excellence… or the imaginary world of education. I also am waiting for Mandy Patinkin to start a hospital and be the chief of Emergency Medicine.

Leave a Reply to Nat Turners SonCancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *