Monday, September 27, 2010

Engaging "The Environment"

As we begin our section on American arguments concerning our environment, I want you to reflect on your own experiences engaging with the natural world around you.... or the built world. Natural landscapes and built cityscapes are both unique and communicative "environments." When you think of your own experiences with "environmental protection," about which kind of environment are you thinking? Can you relate an anecdote about this personal experience?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Learning to read/acquiring "education"

We had a very rich discussion on Friday of Malcolm X's self-education during his time in prison. We juxtaposed the freedom he experienced through his reading "travels" with the proscribed and restrictive educational situation many experience in formal schooling. In prison, he was "free," free to acquire an education. What do you make of this? What enabled him, pushed him, on this path, when so many with so much traditional freedom do not have the motivation or inclination to pursue their own "education"?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Wanting to be average.

Mike Rose comments in his essay "I Just Wanna Be Average" that many students in the "vocational track" in high school take refuge in a commitment to "being average," like Ken Harvey, in his example. According to him, why does the vocational track breed mediocrity in students and squelch any desire in them to become remarkable? Or do you disagree with Rose's assessment?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Do we need school?

As you can tell, my question here is inspired by the John Taylor Gatto article you read for Wednesday. His question is as follows, "do we really need school," i.e. "forced schooling" that follows what he calls a "deadly routine"? What is your take on this proclamation? According to Gatto, what is the purpose of this education -- what does it train American students to be? Do you agree with his assessment?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Hi Students!

So, we've begun discussing education -- K-12 and university -- in our class. I think it's very beneficial to our in-class conversations that you all have attended so many different types of schools in your educational careers. Many of you indicated that you felt under-prepared for college in some way or another by your high school experience. Your focus for "blame" for this "under-preparedness" was on various entities (the school board, individual teachers, something more abstract, etc.). If you could go back and make one or two changes to the education-acquisition aspect of your high school experience (as this experience corresponded to you, your school, or something else), what would that change or those changes be? Why?