Unit One (plain text)

Unit One: From Personal to Public

Part One: At Least 850 words. Due Feb 14

You’ve read “Outside, In” and “Hidden Intellectualism,” both narratives about the writers’ experiences with education. Now it’s time for you to write an education narrative of your own. What is a particular event that had an impact on the way you view education and school?

So… where do you begin? Note that both Graff and Mellix write about specific experiences with education. In class, we’ve written some scenes, and talked a lot about concrete, significant detail. Please feel free to bring some of these scenes into your essay. I really want to encourage you to be both specific and honest here, as both Graff and Mellix are. I am not looking for a particular answer—I’m not, for example, searching for you to tell me that education is the greatest thing that happened to you if it isn’t. I am looking for you to share your true experiences, both good and bad.

This can be written formally, like Graff writes, or more informally as Mellix sometimes writes—it just can’t be sloppy. You should be able to explain WHY you chose the language you did (even if you’ve chosen “English paper English.”)  Why is that language the best tool for the job?

Everything you write for this assignment will be posted in an eBook, which will be available to everyone in the class, so don’t write anything that’s too personal to share. Also, please note, the late policy is more strict for this assignment (since I need to publish it right away.) You will be marked down a full letter grade for each day your paper is late.

You will be graded on: concrete, significant detail, the thoughtfulness of your reflections, the carefulness of your proofreading and organization, and whether or not it is on time!

Homework for part one (please see OpenLab for more detailed descriptions):

  • Due Jan 31: Read and annotate “Hidden Intellectualism” by Gerald Graff. Write a “lowkey” response: How does this relate to your own experiences with education?
  • Due Feb 5: Read and annotate “Outside In” by Barbara Mellix. Fill out Triple-Entry journal.
  • Due Feb 7:  A less “Sh*&tty” First Draft
  • Feb 12: NO CLASS (Holiday)
  • Feb 14: Part One Due

Part Two. Group presentation. Due Feb 26.

For part two of this assignment, you will be looking at what you think is working well and not working well in American education, using your own and your peers’ writing as sources. You will present the class with what you think the biggest problems in education are (using patterns you’ve seen emerge in everything we’ve read so far) and what might be A PLACE TO START looking for solutions. You also might add what you think the barriers to implementing those solutions might be.

Let me put it this way: you are not going to be able to solve the problems with education in America in 1 hour of discussion, because they are difficult problems! But then again, you are experts: you are students in America, people that are rarely listened to on this topic of education. You will have 5-7 minutes (no less) to get up on a soap box and talk about issues you see. You have two full days of class time and four people to put this together, so I expect you to make it informative and interesting. This means:

  1. Figure out what your key points are.
  2. Find quotes from your essays. (and maybe show them on a Power Point?) that help prove your key points.
  3. Bring in visuals! This always helps a presentation.

Homework for part two:

  • Due Feb 19: Read the three student essays in your group and do triple-entry journal on them (at least three entries each!) Work on Projects in class
  • Due Feb 21: Work on projects in class. Prepare to present on Feb 26.
  • Due Feb 26: Presentations, 5-7 mins each.

Just in case you are wondering, your literacy narrative will be 3/4 of your grade, the group project will be 1/4.

Please come talk to me if you have any questions!