In 1776, as the new nation of America began to flourish, Thomas Jefferson fell in love with a married Englishwoman named Maria Cosway. After Maria returned to England, Jefferson wrote a letter to her in the form of a ³dialogue between the head and the heart,² debating his love for her. This letter, presented as a conflict between pragmatic and romantic thought, sums up the conflict within Jefferson himself. Jefferson ³put pragmatic considerations above unyielding principles² (Nation of Nations), cutting taxes, regulating government, and establishing efficient one-party political control. However, he also believed in an ³agrarian republic,² where rural life could nourish ³honesty, independence, and virtue.² A conflict of mentalities like this would be unimportant in most writers or philosophers, but Jefferson is not so much a product of his times as a creator of them. This debate could only happen during this era of good feelings and hope, because only during times of relative stability can new ideas can really be born.
A quick overview: The United States is a nation of immigrants, and very recent ones at that. This is something we have all come to believe without question, but it¹s actually a very strange and distinctive part of our cultural identity. Even many of the Native Americans who were displaced by Europeans were themselves relatively new arrivals, in some cases ruthless conquerors whose new habits changed the very land beneath their feet. In this course we will attempt to make some sense of what it means to be American. Where do Americans come from? How did they get here? How have their unique backgrounds and beliefs helped shaped the society that evolved on this continent? What does it take to become 'American'? Who decides? How have Americans, over time, chosen to explain all of this to themselves?
Diego: "Nationalism is what comes from the overpowering nation. And overpowering is essential because it is all about power the whole thing revolves around which is more powerful. Can the state keep the nation and the nationalism in line, or does the nationalism overpower the institution of state? The thing that keeps recurring in Hegel and Marx and Arendt is this idea that if we get the people in line with the state (i.e. the nation in line with the state), we have peace, harmony, world spirit, freedom, whatever."
Good morning-- Here today at school visit #21- at the gorgeous, brand new campus of Sonoma Academy. Brand new this fall; in fact, one of the buildings in which I am attending classes today only opened yesterday!
If you are reading along, welcome, and please know that in liveblogging we flow in reverse chronology, with the most recent posting at top, and each new entry headed by the time it was posted.
I am warmly welcomed by head of school Janet Durgan and two juniors who are hosting me today, and we hurry off to PreCalculus. 15 students are seated in rows facing the whiteboard, and our teacher kicks off with a reminder to students not to eat in class. Now she is reviewing for us graphs of sin and cos, asking how many degrees are in a radiant, and whether her diagram of a section of a circle is more or less of a radiant. Students, on this very foggy morning, sleepily offer tentative answers to her called out questions. "Are you all good?"
Now she breaks us up into teams for whiteboard practice of topics for the test tomorrow. "2s or 3s," she calls out, and when the kids say threes, she says "OK, but make sure that third person doesn't slack off-- I want everyone involved. " Important: Marzano says research does support cooperative, team learning, but group size is critical, and has to stay small.
Whiteboards emerge from against the walls, large ones, and are set down on lab tables for student groups-- to my surprise (and delight), these groups are working standing, not sitting. I know not every classroom necessarily can accommodate this, standing, but it is good for kids and learning I think, gets more blood going, gets more movement in the kids, much better than just sitting. Sleepiness quickly dissipates as students work on these problems. One groups works sitting down, and that is Ok, giving kids the choice, but I am glad that most are standing, and I wouldn't want the choice available if they all chose to sit.
She is offering one point extra credit per correct answer per team. Everyone who has a right answer within a time limit-- I am increasingly aware how much I like a little gentle competition, especially team competition, in class and learning. It is this epiphany from the brain research-- a little stress is a good thing for learning, it motivates teams and gives them a goal to strive for, and sets them going. Sometimes progressives in the vein of Kohn bash competition, but it is all a matter of degree, and I really think it works in the rooms I observe.
Considerable emphasis is placed on understanding and appreciating the richness of mathematics and applying mathematical tools to complex and real situations. There is extensive use of technology, instrumentation, graphing calculators and computers to assist in problem solving, data collection, modeling and analysis.
Learning is anything but rote at Sonoma Academy. Innovation, creativity and problem solving are the standards here... We are constantly looking for ways to innovate and make subjects more relevant to students.
This course is designed to offer a general survey of International film history from its modernist/avant-garde years through its development as a viable commercial and influential cultural form on the international market. Aside from examining a wide range of film texts, we will work to position these films in a broader historical, artistic, national, and socio-cultural context. You should leave this course with a general sense of 20th century art and film history-- an understanding of the films, the facts, and the key players.
Found art is a hot art movement right now, with artists building paintings and sculptures around things they’ve picked up on the streets. (“Found” meaning artists use things they have found around them, things they haven’t created themselves). Found poetry is the process of taking words, and phrases from a piece of prose and reframing and configuring the words in poetic formatting in order to create meaning.• From the list of words and phrases that appeared in your novel, circle the 20 that seem most significant to you. If you don’t know why a word or phrase is on the list, don’t circle it.
• Using the words and phrases that you’ve selected ONLY FROM THE BOOK, create a Found poem that depicts or expresses a theme from the novel (loss, immigration, survival, assimilation, cultural awareness, cultural disorientation, self-acceptance, tradition, history, generations, conflict, name vs. identity.
• Proof and edit your work and publish your final copy in final draft format.
• When you have completed your poem, attach a brief, written reflection to explain the theme you are putting forth in your poem and what factors in the novel lead you to this particular theme.
In Gwendolyn Brook’s “We Real Cool,” the young characters in the poem must decide what type of destiny they wish to create for themselves within the context of their environment; it is the classic struggle for many adolescents. This course studies traditional and contemporary “coming of age” stories through the lenses of multicultural literature, poetry, and music with a special reference to hip hop. Research shows that young people from ages 12 – 24 are the most heavily securitized, media-targeted and media-obsessed cohort in history. With the presence and global success of the hip hop movement framing and blurring the lines of race, language, and culture, this course examines what it means to define personal and cultural values. Further what does it mean to unearth your individuality in a consumer-oriented society which produces and profits upon “cool” and “youth images”? By privileging the voices of multicultural writers, students will be able to shed some light on the complexities of identity formation and youth subcultures in the United States and abroad.
The search for good schools is elusive and disappointing if by goodness we mean something close to perfection. These portraits of good schools reveal imperfections, uncertainties, and vulnerabilities in each of them. In fact, one could argue that a consciousness of imperfections, and the willingness to admit them and search for their origins and solutions is one of the important ingredients of goodness in schools.
"Beloved crosses the boundaries of many literary genres in its attempts to get across a myriad of ideas. It toys with the backdrops of both history and slavery to shed light on the suffering on its characters to that the reader may better understand the inner turmoil each person in the story must face. Ultimately, however, Morrison fails to deliver a concrete story, making the entirety of her telling incredibly vague (in all probability intentionally). One of her favorite strategies is to not tell the story in chronological order without making it clear when certain events take place. Unfortunately, from start to finish this gives the reader the strong and perhaps foreboding sense that they are reading an all-too-elaborate prologue for the actual story that is to come, as opposed to a book."
"You may use your book in this demo. I am equally interested in how you explain your ideas as much as what your specific ideas are. Therefore, for you to meet standards on this timed writing, you will need to refer to specific incidents int he novel and work to connect that evidence to your claims. Make sure that you clearly express and support your viewpoint, and keep in mind the perspectives of the characters and the author.So, what is betrayal?
Students in their first year of Senior Institute spend one semester making a contribution to their school community, choosing from a wide variety of options on either the secondary or elementary campus. Students spend two afternoons each week in a job at the school that they have applied for. Students may serve as a teacher’s aide, work in the office, help in the library or write for various school publications. Students also begin planning an independent community involvement project that they will complete in their senior year. This project is the basis of the student’s Community Involvement Graduation Exhibition. The project must be something the student does independently or as a team that makes a difference in the community and has a tangible outcome or product.It is carefully structured and integrated as they describe it, and takes care to avoid the piecemeal approach of just racking up hours for community service, which has been a growing problem at a lot of schools, according to a recent New York Times article, which I want to link too here, but for some reason I can't seem to load the Times via the school WiFi-- maybe there is just a glitch.
Wildwood’s secondary program is built around developing Habits of Mind and Heart that will serve students in their life-long pursuit of learning. Our curriculum, assignments, assessments, and all else we do at Wildwood are based on these habits.