Connecting the central themes of two provided essays
Bascially it’s just a traditional analytic essay synthesizing the ideas of two provided pieces of writing. The only two sources that are required are the aforementioned essays which are attached.
Here’s the actual prompt:
Davidson, Cathy. “Project Classroom Makeover.”
The New Humanities Reader, 6th edition, edited by Richard E. Miller and Kurt Spellmeyer, Cengage, 2019, pp. 45-66.
Stiglitz, Joseph E. “Rent Seeking and the Making of an Unequal Society.” The New Humanities Reader, 6th edition, edited by Richard E. Miller and Kurt Spellmeyer, Cengage, 2019, pp. 388-411.
Davidson describes Duke’s iPod experiment as “a little wild, a little wicked” and “a calculated exercise in disruption, distraction, and difference” (47). She also characterizes the goals of this project as “a lesson in institutional unlearning” (47). According to her argument, one of the primary goals of education should be to develop “the inestimable skill of responding to a challenge” (65). Great education is about “knowing that when tested by the most grueling challenges ahead, you have the capacity to learn what is required to succeed” (64). Consider these ideas in the context of Stiglitz’s analysis of rent seeking practices as the foundation for the “growing inequality” in America. Would a better (or differently) educated population be more equipped to push back against the manipulative and exploitative powers that Stiglitz critiques? What sort of learning (or unlearning) might lead to a more economically “equal” society? As you consider these questions, think critically about how Davidson argues that any educational system is a reflection of cultural values. In other words, HOW we teach students is just as important as WHAT we teach students.
How might Davidson’s “wild” and “wicked” ideas about education be applied to our understanding of the “grueling challenges” presented by income inequality as examined in Stiglitz’s essay? To what extent do current educational practices and policies promote the kind of thinking that makes inequality possible (or inevitable)?
• When talking about the potential learning outcomes of Project Classroom Makeover, Davidson acknowledges that “[Duke] couldn’t deny that failure was also a possibility” (47). How does anxiety about “failure” affect the way people view new ideas?
• The current education system depends on “a hierarchy based on credentials” (47). Davidson critiques this “authority principle” as an outdated approach that limits creativity and innovation while preparing students for the kinds of jobs that no longer exist. How does “the authority principle” contribute to the success and prevalence of rent seeking as an economic practice?
• Davidson celebrates crowdsourced outcomes as one of the positive developments of Duke’s iPod project. Is crowdsourcing a useful strategy for generating radical ideas related to fields such as education or economic policy-making? Why/not?
• How might we change our educational policies to promote economic equality? What would need to change, and what, specifically, would need to happen in order for these changes to be enacted?
• When Stiglitz examines those at the top of the wealth distribution hierarchy, he says their “genius resides in devising better ways of exploiting market power and … finding better ways of ensuring that politics works for them rather than for society more generally” (396). To what extent can this ideology be applied to the politics of education?
• You will post your drafts as Word files or PDFs (double-spaced, 12 point font).
• You will proofread carefully, title your essay, and number your pages: RD1 should be about 1000 words;
RD2 should be about 1350 words; and FD should be about 1700 words.
• You will incorporate quotations thoughtfully and consistently using correct punctuation, style, and
attribution (MLA format preferred).
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