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Archive for the ‘SHP Summer 2010’ Category

This week’s Reading Response assignment asked students to find 1-3 primary sources (government reports, news articles, website blurbs, etc.) and 1-2 related peer-reviewed secondary sources, and compare-and-contrast these sources. I designed this assignment to help students prepare for writing their essay.

This post complements student research highlighted in this post.

More details below the fold!

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We had a recent assignment this quarter that echoed an assignment from the spring quarter (here) in which students uncovered two peer-reviewed sources to help them formulate interview questions and/or to provide materials for their essay assignment.

Highlights of this work below the fold.

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Once again, student responses to our readings this quarter have provided many fruitful avenues for thought and discussion, and I wanted to bring some of these topics to the attention of the broader community.

This post complements last quarter’s discussion of student responses to the same readings, Discussion of oral history methods & philosophy.

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This post will serve as the medium through which students in the Summer 2010 quarter can provide updates on the group work and research that they’re doing to prepare for their interview and/or to write their essay. Updates can include:

    ** Identifying noteworthy research findings, such as new concepts, facts, stories, projects, etc.
    ** Bringing to light useful research methods or sources
    ** Expressing preliminary comparisons and contrasts between different sources
    ** Seeking guidance to help make sense of a source or help find relevant connections between sources
    ** Asking for help to resolve research dead-ends

This comment thread will, ideally, also provide students the opportunity to process some of their research findings in writing. I’ve consistently found it beneficial to jot down thoughts spurred by new information I’ve uncovered. Expressing in writing comparisons, contrasts, and other relevant points often helps me work-through my ideas on the topic which, in turn, helps me compose more appropriate interview questions and more coherent essays.

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This post supplements On Sustainability, Summer 2010 (pt. 2 of 2) and provides reflections from two of my students this quarter on one particular article in this special issue of the journal Academic Questions. Ashley Thorne’s comment to the post Critiquing Sustainability alerted us to the publication of this special journal issue. I plan to post on other articles in this issue of the journal, but the present post will focus on Daniel Bonevac’s “Is Sustainability Sustainable?”[1]

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Below are more student reflections on the second reading response assignment of the summer term. See the post On Sustainability, Spring 2010 (pt. 2 of 2) for the details of this assignment and the citation to Gibson’s article; at the end of this post are citations for the articles that students chose as their second reading. Also, see the post In response to Bonevac, “Is Sustainability Sustainable?” for reflections specifically on Daniel Bonevac’s article in Academic Questions 23:1 (March 2010), 84-101.

(Part 1 of this term’s reading responses on sustainability here.)

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In comments to a previous SHP post (Critiquing Sustainability), Ashley Thorne brought our attention to a special issue of the journal Academic Questions devoted to “sustainability” (vol. 23, no. 1 (March 2010)). This journal is produced by the National Association of Scholars (NAS).

The NAS is “an independent membership association of academics working to foster intellectual freedom and to sustain the tradition of reasoned scholarship and civil debate in America’s colleges and universities.” The NAS was founded in 1987, “soon after Allan Bloom’s surprise best-seller, The Closing of the American Mind, alerted Americans to the ravages wrought by illiberal ideologies on campus. The founders of NAS summoned faculty members from across the political spectrum to help defend the core values of liberal education.”[1] The NAS considers itself to be “higher education’s most vigilant watchdog” on issues pertaining to “intellectual integrity in the curriculum, in the classroom, and across the campus.” The NAS “oppose racial, gender, and other group preferences” while upholding “the principle of individual merit.” Further, they consider “the Western intellectual heritage” to be “the indispensable foundation of American higher education.”

In poking around the Internet, I happened upon another source affiliated with the NAS: A weekly digest of sustainability-related news pertaining to institutions of higher education fittingly called Sustainability News. This digest is composed of “10-20 links to sustainability news stories” that will enable those interested to “keep a finger on the pulse of this movement in its manifestations in higher education.”

Ashley Thorne, as NAS Director of Communications, oversees production of Sustainability News. She also produces the NAS’ online Encyclopedia of Sustainability.

(Soon I will be publishing a post with student responses to one of the articles in the Academic Questions issue cited above.)

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[1] Allan Bloom, the controversy surrounding his book The Closing of the American Mind, and subsequent discussions of this book, are too complex to discuss in this post; see links for places to begin further research on this matter.

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