Dave (yoda4554) wrote,

Call for suggestions

For the next semester at York College--and indeed, for many semesters after that, probably--I am going to be teaching a course in composition. I have done this before--indeed, I've even written my own syllabus in the past.

However, I've been asked by the muckety-mucks at York to have a "themed" course: that is, we read a variety of articles on a broad theme that will allow them to direct their energies at a wide array of research topics. Now, my existing syllabus is not themed, and furthermore, it requires the purchasing of books, which I have been told I should not have my students do (behind a grammar handbook).

So, I have decided that my theme will be Education (for example, why are we all here and what should we get out of this?). That means that I need to acquire about 20-30 or so readings on this subject (on the order of 10-25 pages) to discuss with my students and on which to have them hone their critical thinking skills. I'd like them to be a mix of recent general-audience articles, more scholarly articles, classic texts, fiction, and so on. I also want them to be appropriate to the demographics of the class, which is typically two-thirds female, almost entirely black and Latino, and in their mid-20s (that is, reflections on the cutthroat admissions process in preppie New England suburbs are not likely to really be relevant in any volume).

Any suggestions you all have would be not only welcome, but really quite appreciated. I'd like them to hit a range of issues, including your standard race/gender/class as well as some more erudite issues.

Stuff that I'm considering:
"In the Basement of the Ivory Tower"-Atlantic Monthly
"Teaching to Transgress"- bell hooks
Some excerpt from The Education of Henry Adams
Some excerpt from Democracy and Education
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