Here now in Humanities class, with Pat Holder, a very enthusiastic teacher who has a huge map of the world up on the wall, and a sign over the entry door which reads “Do you know your rights?”   Azer tells me that his teacher is “really into globalization.”  After a brief setup by our teacher, students are paired up and we are reviewing ID terms, for each of which the students need to be able to answer these “essential questions: Does it help facilitate the use of discourse and reason in a democracy amongst all members?  Can we consider it a democratizing force?  Why or why not?”  And these additional questions: Can you ID the term and where it is from?  Give a concrete example/explain how it works in detail?   Give me the significance/importance?       The terms for them to review are: “User generated content; Broadcast media; communications media; fame and interactivity; Filtering; Published author; mass amateurization; transaction costs.”

Pat’s website is very appealing, and his syllabus for this course very comprehensive.  He emphasizes that this is “OUR Class”– where everyone’s point of view and perspective is valued.   In the syllabus he lays out the key framing concept for the class:

This year we will be exploring social/historical issues and literature under contemporary themes; our primary means will be completing challenging projects relevant to our lives.  The explorations we undertake will be arranged thematically, not chronologically, aimed toward developing applicable thinking skills instead of disassociated factual-clutter for our minds.  Our unwavering goal will be to empower our abilities of personal learning and action as we identify the directions of our passions and develop a lens of critique and reason to look through.  Our class will strive to become a community of inquiry and communication working toward a practical understanding of the world beyond HTH.

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