Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Ted’s Thesis/Theses/Thesis' (1-4)

1.       “Forest Primeval to Park Avenue”: Conover most heavily uses Process Analysis, Compare/Contrast, and Narration.  There are consequences for both action and inaction, just because something seems like a good idea does not mean it is actually beneficial for everyone; also don’t rely on Oreste on the river banks.

2.       “Road or Not a Road”: Conover mainly uses Division/Classification, Definition, and Compare/Contrast.  As the old cliché goes “Don’t judge a book by its cover (because although you may see a road, others may see a path their ancestors would worship as sacred, believing the souls of the dead travel long it on their way to/from the Underworld).”

3.       “Slipping From Shangri-La”: Conover employs Cause/Effect and Narration.  Although change is not always for the better, the world will continue to aspire to “advance” more “primitive” peoples; despite the side-effects of gaining the ideal of having lost Shangri-Li, a concept that’s inception will only come into our realm of thought after “advancements” have already been made.

4.       “Road Ecology”: Conover uses Argument.  Roads allow human beings to come into contact with one another, but also assist us in ending the lives of countless scores of animals; we, as the dominant species, must atone for these unintentional acts of violence any way we can big or small (including checking the driveway for toads before we back up).

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

"Learning as Freedom" Precise

In “Learning as Freedom”—an editorial published on September 5, 2012 in The New York Times—Michael Roth argues that rather than structuring education around specific vocations, “making the grade,” and turning people into “robots” designed to complete certain tasks, education should allow individuals to be free to grow and learn while gaining necessary skills and finding their purpose and significance in life and work.  Roth touches on the issues that are affecting students learning in university settings today and warns us not to allow these issues, no matter the level of urgency, to interfere with the truth of learning.  He also quotes philosopher John Dewey for having similar, if not identical ideals; such as the idea of “plasticity”, or an openness to learning by experience and, in turn, continuously learning from everyone we come in contact with as they simultaneously learn from us simply by living.  The key to blending the ability to learn real-world skills while learning by doing is to form learning habits that will allow for this type of educating, allowing for students to both grow as individuals and citizens.  Learning by doing is freedom, Michael states, and that freedom should be integrated into our societies so as to strive towards democracy; this type of learning would allow for individuals to become highly satisfied and aware of their significance not only in the work place, but within their family, society, and themselves.