Start of Fall Classes!
Well, we are at it again! Welcome back to everybody who is pursuing their academic dreams and attending classes this fall.
I have decided to take a little lighter load this fall and concentrate on some of the readings that I have learned about this last year. I recently ordered books about Vygotsky, Friere, and other's. I am always looking for additional suggestions, so feel free to add ideas in the comments area. Some heavy reading but I think I need to understand some of these learning theorists more before I decide what area of a doctorate to work on.
I also have a son who is a senior this year and another one involved in sports at the local high school, so I would like to be able to be available for things they will be doing.
One of my courses will be emphasizing the history and philosophy of work, human resource and education. It will involve much reading, reflection and writing. Although the academic writing is a challenge philosophically for me, I am beginning to understand its purpose and need in filtering opinion from facts. The historical aspect of the course should also be interesting. As always it will be hard for me to synthesize things down to applications that I have interests in. This part of graduate school, indeed academia in general is where I find the most challenge philosophically. Although I understand the need for academic rigor in our coursework is necessary, the evaluation of our work is based more on our writing abilityrather than knowledge and understanding of the material. (my opinion) For example, if I was to compare and contrast Vygotsky and Friere's work through use of different CMC (Computer Mediated Communcation) such as an interactive Ppt or Voice tool application. Wouldn't this display knowledge in two areas? This gets into some of the work that Chris Argyris has done regarding double loop learning. With interests in learning theory and application of it using different technologies for displaying this knowledge, I feel I could be more motivated to dig deeper and more contextually into these areas. (at least for myself) Aw well, who said it would be easy!
I also have been working recently with a small local group called Interfaith Hospitality Network. They are part of a larger national organization that provides crisis housing for families that are on the verge of being homeless. I would like to help provide some financial literacy and advocacy support for this organization. I'll keep my blog posted as things develop here.
Here is an interesting article/book relating to the Michael Katz work and the poor in America.
Its interesting to read about his lifetime of experience and consider its application for an international context. One of the principal thesis of his writings is that poor people have very little control over their environment and that it is very difficult to reach any level of normalcy while they are in these environments. Here are some interesting statistics from his book.
Among African-American children in this country, half live in poverty.
In the city of Washington, African-American males who are between the ages of eighteen and thirty-four, 50% are in the criminal justice system.
Well good luck to all students this fall!