While driving my fifth-grade daughter to school today she told me about something they learned in Social Studies.
Daughter: Did you know that in some countries they take your cows away and shoot you?
Self: confused What are you talking about?
D: I learned that in school. In some countries they take your cows away and shoot you.
S: In what countries?
D: I dunno. But in Canada, they take your cows away and give them to the chicken farmers and they take the chickens away and give them to–
S: incredulous In Canada? Is this a joke?
D: No. They showed us a chart in Social Studies.
S: concerned What was on this chart?
D: Stick figures and some cows. In America, you can sell one of your cows and buy a bull and make as many baby cows as you want.
S: angry What are they teaching you there? Some kind of civics or economics lesson?
D: I dunno. In Russia–
S: Who’s your Social Studies teacher?
D: Mrs. XXXXX [name withheld]
A little more discussion as I try to ascertain what was on this chart and mentioning I’d like to get more information about this lesson. By this time, we’re at school and she hops out. I am not happy. Her father is equally perplexed and concerned and is sending an email to her homeroom teacher.
Anyone have any idea as to the nature of this lesson? Is there some jingoistic belief system I’m not familiar with? Should I be as troubled as I am or am I making something out of nothing?