The city DOE said the use of “The Three Little Pigs” at Landmark was a five-minute “Do Now” activity at the start of class to get the juniors settled down and ready to work.
It was also intended to help the kids consider whether telling the tale from the wolf’s point of view would change the moral of the story, officials said.
Leaving aside the question whether 17-year-old students should be stuck at 6-year-old’s reading level – that issue was resolved long ago when the NEA took over our schools, what about the school’s defense that the object of the lesson was to see the conflict from the wolf’s point of view? The wolf sees something it wants: pigs, and decides he’s entitled to take it by force. The two idle, lazy pigs race to Big Brother’s house, where they are saved by his foresight and wisdom, and poor Mr. Wolf goes hungry, even though it’s not his fault. In our inner city slums and in the hearts of liberals (see, e.g., illegal immigration, reaction thereto), this makes the wolf a sympathetic character, as well as reinforcing the idea that there’s a wise, powerful source of protection available to even the most stupid and lazy. In that sense yes, it’s a modern morality play.
In the original version, as read to me before Disney and modern educators went to work on it, the two idiot pigs who built their homes from straw and sticks, respectively, pay for their sins with their lives. Only the smart, industrious one who built with brick survives and in fact, tricks the wolf into coming down the chimney and falling into a cauldron of boiling water, whereupon he provides dinner, as well as entertainment.
As The Three Little Pigs is taught these days, there is no punishment for the lazy, or even for aggressive predators – wolfie now escapes with scalded buttocks and nothing worse. The original lesson has been perverted to fit the needs of modern educators and our new society. That’s too bad.