Friday, September 19, 2008
Please look on YouTube at a few political advertisements from this presidential campaign. In your post please provide the link to the advertisement that most interests you. In light of the readings we've done during this sequence, about American "myths" of educational empowerment, please discuss how the ad you've chosen addresses some of the same themes. If possible, mention the essay that the advertisements reminds you of. Do these ads, in general, promote American myths or refute them and declare selected myths "bankrupt"? How so?
Friday, September 12, 2008
Today's generation of students has access to an immense variety of technology and entertainment. How do you think the media and society's perspective on education influences the attitudes of young people towards education? Do you believe this huge media presence provides too many distractions for students, particularly in regard to their education?
According to "Social Class & the Hidden Curriculum of Work" by Jean Anyon, how do the discussed social classes affect the educational opportunities presented to those in lower social classes? What can be done to allow for more opportunities without inhibiting the opportunities of those in higher social classes?
In the US, our current school system is predominately structured around a "one size fits all" curriculum. Recently, this system has been criticized for being inflexible. Some school districts are implementing a more dynamic system which caters to the individual student's interests and needs. Discuss how you think such a system should be put in place, if at all, and theorize on some possible outcomes.
Thus far, the readings have noted the importance of outside influences (parents, inspirational people, media) in motivating the authors through school. How could the public educational system provide similar stimulation for individual success without defeating the pursuit of an improved general standard?
Today, one needs a Bachelor's degree or higher to receive a "well paying" job. Thirty years ago, a high school diploma was all one needed to do the same. Why do you think that the educational standards have changed, and what does this mean for the future? Draw your answers from the materials from class up to this point.
Saturday, September 6, 2008
The first section of our textbook that we're going to read is titled "Learning Power." The introductory pages consider some of the ways that attitudes have changed about education in our nation over the centuries. The chapter also asks the implicit question, via the readings included, "does education empower us"? We will discuss this question over the course of our classes in the next week. I want us to consider here on our blog another weighty topic, one relevant to millions of young people today. Is our public education system here in America "broken"? Some people argue that it is (and I know some of you already touched on this in your previous postings). Can we ever expect all schools in America to equally prepare all children -- of all races, be they rich or poor, rural or urban -- equally, so that all share the same shot at the American dream? How might this come to pass? Or why might it be impossible? Please weigh in, on any side of this issue! I look forward to reading your comments.