As part of my Transcendentalist Unit, sophomore English II students explored the concepts of knowledge, self-reliance, individualism, and freedom--how are they defined; how are they attained; and how these ideas shape our understanding of the world in which we live in (the United States of America)--by evaluating the works of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Sojourner Truth, and Luis Rodriguez.
In reading Luis Rodriguez's Always Running, we explored the relationship between knowledge and public institutions such as schools. The big questions explored within the text were: 1) What is equity in education? 2) What are the current conditions of Chicago Public School, and what efforts is the district taking to ensure equity for all students? 3) Where does inequity exist, and how can it be addressed?
In addition to the readings above, my students read, discussed and evaluated the following works: "Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum", by Jean Anyon, reviewed recent CPS reports about Achievement Gaps, reviewed data about the school to prison pipeline in CPS, Ladson-Billings speech "It's Not the Culture of Poverty; It's the Poverty of Culture", and have seen the PBS documentary School: The Story of American Public Education (1900 - present).
Click below to view students' research. If you should have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.