Friday, October 11, 2013

The other shoe: Progressivism as a Response to Industrialization

It was wonderful to see so many of you at conferences this week.  There is always something about being able to discuss the present, past, and future of our students in an open manner.  For the opportunity to do so and for the opportunity to teach your children, I humbly offer my gratitude. At some point, greater minds than mine will figure out how to meet the needs of conferencing in an atmosphere that is not so driven by time and compression.  There must be some aspect of reflection in a day where 24 conferences are held.  When the number of conferences matches the number of hours in a day, that cannot constitute "best practices."  For your patience and your willingness, I offer my thanks to you.
This week, we begin to see the other side of the time period of Industrialization and Progressivism.  It is the "other half's" turn now.  Students will be exploring the roots of the Progressivist movement this week.  This will also culminate in our projects on Progressivism and  exploring the themes of Progressivism in the narratives of  Thich Quang Duc, Malala Yousafazi, and Mohamed Bouazizi.   From this exploration, we move into the realm Marx and Smith.  You can almost hear the intellectual gears shifting from the textbook and the course content into thoughts about being in the world and what it means to be a human being.

In terms of red tape items, I encourage all students to pursue extra credit opportunities or student generate thoughts.  I have always held a special affinity for students who want to keep a blog about some aspect of the course that has proven intriguing to them.  I have also felt that the ability for students to initiate their own desire for additional work and compensation for it represents one of the hallmarks of scholarship.  There have been textbook assignments offered and there have also been opportunities on this blog and I encourage students to pursue these.  It would also be good for students to pursue, you know, the real credit in terms of assignments and work that is placed upon their broad shoulders.  For our young ones, time is beginning to pass.  It's hard to believe that in a month or so, arrangements will be made for them to take the placement exams at the high school. The transition process is upon us and how students will navigate this aspect of their lives is extremely important.

As this process continues and unfolds, if I can be of any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me.  The grains of empowerment are beginning to emerge the mandala of our students' lives.  It's a beautiful sight to behold.
All best.
Mr. Kannan

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