Do you need to know any more than the number is performed to the tune of the Hokey Pokey song?
A Crystal Lake high school health teacher's activity designed to teach sophomore students how the female reproductive system works has caught the ire of a conservative religious group.
The Illinois Family Institute, a nonprofit ministry based in Carol Stream, posted an article on its website this week claiming Jacqulyn Levin, a health and physical education teacher at Prairie Ridge high school, taught students about female anatomy using “the Vagina Dance.” The article states the dance, which the group said involved pointing to and singing about reproductive parts while prancing around the room, was set to the tune of the Hokey Pokey.
As you might imagine, the IFI has little bit of a problem with this:
Her selection of this inappropriate instructional activity demonstrated a lack of empathy for those who may have a degree of modesty and self-respect that Levin does not possess. Did she consider that some students might feel uncomfortable participating in or even watching this dance and that they might fear being ridiculed if they chose to opt-out?
Her decision to use this dance as a teaching tool also reveals that she has no commitment to fostering modesty (please don't be deceived by the attempt of "progressives" to conflate essential modesty with some kind of priggish, neurotic prudery). The very fact that a teacher would consider such an activity reflects how debased and immodest a culture we have. And it reveals that she has no regard for the values of all the families who have entrusted their children to her tutelage.
When a father complained about the dance, she defended it as a "kinesthetic" device to help students memorize body parts. The "kinesthetic" argument is simply a rationalization, an obvious and foolish attempt to conceal the inappropriateness and silliness of the activity with a patina of pedagogical legitimacy. Somehow few teachers in math, science, literature, or social studies feel the need to employ "kinesthetic" activities to facilitate memorization. If ever there was a subject in which "kinesthetic" activities would be inappropriate, it would be seem to be female sexual anatomy in a coed class.
You can read the rest of their complaint here.
School officials, you might suspect, have a different view:
“It is overtly misrepresentative of the activity in class,” said Jeff Puma, spokesman for Crystal Lake High School District 155. “There was no music, no song and no movement around the class. The name that the report gave it is a nickname that the students have called it. It is not the name the teacher gave it.”
The district's director of curriculum, Scott Kubelka, said the five-minute activity was used to reinforce information the students had previously learned through textbooks and other lessons.
“This was part of the district's approved curriculum,” Kubelka said. “Certainly the district would not approve something that they thought was disrespectful.”
Kubelka said the activity, which has been used in the past, was a kinesthetic way of explaining the female reproductive organs.
“It is a mnemonic device to help students memorize parts of the anatomy and function,” Kubelka said.
Exit observation from Gawker's Richard Lawson:
Certainly I don't blame any fifteen- or sixteen-year-old kid for wanting the earth to swallow them up at the sight of their teacher doing something called "the Vagina Dance" and asking them to sing along.