American Literature, American Learning Recap 4/13

American Literature, American Learning

Wednesday, April 13


  1. Readings

Suggested readings (not required):

  • “Political diversity will improve social psychological science,”
  • José L. Duarte, Jarret T. Crawford, Charlotta Stern, Jonathan Haidt, Lee Jussim and Philip E. Tetlock. Behavioral and Brain Sciences / Volume 38 / Issue / 2015. Cambridge University Press 2015
  • Illych, Ivan. Deschooling Society (Chapter One).
  • Freedom to Learn. film,, 1954. 26 min.
  1. Comment on blogs by Lisa and Arinn
  2. Post your abstract to the table of contents document by Monday, April 11
  3. Read and comment on abstracts by class on Wednesday


  • Midterm feedback (5 minutes):  will try to insert some additional literature (probably poetry), recaps and overviews at start of class
  • Cathy’s overview of the readings (10 minutes)
  • Abstract workshop (20 minutes): Goal–Next class you’ll be bringing in a rough draft of your chapter. What do you need to do, by yourself or with your partner, to do this
    • Those working in tandem should partner today and discuss
    • Those working alone should find a partner and do T-P-S for one another.
    • Question for “Think”: What Are You Most Worried About When Writing an Expanded Abstract for Your Final Paper for Next Week?
    • Make sure you each have 10 minutes to address your concerns for a CFD.
  • New York Times exercise (10 minutes)
    • Look at Education Life in this week’s NYT. See how our methods fit in (they do!) and also see what else is in this issue.   The fight for PUBLIC education and non-privatized education is not so clear here, but ties into the readings for this week.
    • What is the role of the public in public education? Remember education in the US goes back long before the “US” existed.
    •  What does it mean that UC Berkeley is laying off 500 people because of debt and that the share of its budget supported by the state has gone from 50% to 13%? Or that CUNY workers have not had a raise in 6 years?
    • Ronald Ehrenberg Cornell University educational economist:  Inflationary costs of public education have gone up less than .5% per year per student. Increased tuition is due to extreme cutbacks in amount of per capita student support from state and federal sources.
  • Resistance exercise with Arinn (20 minutes)
    • Goal – review and concretize the readings while reflecting on final projects and individual approaches to linguistics.
    • We divided the chalkboard into four quadrants, each for one of the types of resistance in the Shahjahan article (Shahjahan, Riyad A. “From ‘no>’ to ‘yes’: postcolonial perspectives on resistance to neoliberalhigher education,” Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education 35.2 [2014]: 219 – 232.) Then every student had the opportunity to come up to the board and initial the quadrant where they felt their project fell.
  • Stretch (5 – 10 minutes)
  • Discussion of films with Lisa (15 minutes)
    • How is democracy defined in the film?
    • What kinds of resistance (if any) are being practiced?
    • In terms of what this class has been exploring, can we point to anything that is being left out, unsaid, not practiced, not taught, not learned?
  • Discussion of readings (15 minutes)
  • Pseudo-Socratic method (15 minutes)
    • Make a list of a few different viewpoints/opinions you object to or which got under your skin in some way, in one or more of the texts or films.
    • Pair up with someone – share your lists with each other.
    • Each person picks something from another person’s card and each asks the other to explain the objection or issue.
    • Play Devil’s Advocate (whether or not you agree), and keep asking why – try to counter those objections. Try to get the other person to seriously consider the issue from the opposing point of view in order to make a strong argument against it.

For next class

  • Readings
  • Assignment: revise and expand your abstract by April 17. Aprox. 250 words.
  • Rough draft of your chapter due May 1


The Futures Initiative
The Graduate Center, CUNY
365 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10016-4309