A teacher’s cowboy curriculum is motivating high school students in Colorado and elsewhere, reports the Denver Post. Ann Moore, who teaches at-risk students and English Learners at Cherry Creek High, was inspired by Jim Owen’s Cowboy Ethics, which aims to teach values to Wall Street bankers. Her curriculum is based on Owen’s 10-point Code of the West.
1. Live Each Day with Courage
2. Take Pride in Your Work
3. Always Finish What you Start
4. Do What Has to Be Done
5. Be Tough, But Fair
6. When You Make a Promise, Keep It
7. Ride for the Brand
8. Talk Less and Say More
9. Remember That Some Things Are Not For Sale
10. Know Where to Draw the Line
Whether it’s historically accurate isn’t really the point. The code promotes traditionally masculine behaviors that resonate with teens who are likely to be growing up without a father.
“The class teaches values that America doesn’t really hold that much anymore,” said Trevor Unruh, 14. “I’ve learned to think about cowboy values when tough things come my way.”
Unruh is learning the principles this semester. On a recent morning, the core cowboy values — such as courage, self-reliance, duty and heart — were written on the board in his class for kids with emotional disabilities at Cherry Creek.
. . . In a recent class, they sharpened their critical-thinking skills by answering questions designed to elicit their own personal values.
Would you rather end hunger or hatred?
Would you rather always lose or never play?
Moore’s curriculum has spread to other states. To make time for the cowboy curriculum, a Scottsbluff, Nebraska school dropped Shakespeare from ninth-grade literature classes.