Teaching about whistleblowers

With Pfc. Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden in the news this week, have you thought about if and how you will teach about these individuals and other whistleblowers in your classroom this school year?

Here are some ideas to get you started.  Offer your own suggestions/resources in the comments.

Use this powerful portrait of Pfc. Manning by Robert Shetterly at Americans Who Tell The Truth.

“If you had free reign over classified networks and you saw incredible things, awful things… things that belonged in the public domain — what would you do? God knows what happens now. Hopefully worldwide discussion, debates, and reforms… I want people to see the truth. Because without information, you cannot make informed decisions as a public.”


And from our Zinn Education Project, check out lessons for teaching about whistleblowers based on the history of the Vietnam war and the Pentagon Papers case.

“This 100-page teaching guide . . . for middle school, high school, and college classrooms, enhances student understanding of the issues raised in the award winning film, The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers. . .

“Through the story of Daniel Ellsberg, students can explore the type of information revealed by whistleblowers, the risks and motivations of whistleblowers, and the tactics used to silence whistleblowers. . .

“Not only does The Most Dangerous Man in America Teaching Guide offer a “people’s history” approach to learning about whistleblowing and the U.S. war in Vietnam, it also engages students in thinking deeply about their own responsibility as truth-tellers and peacemakers.”