Monday, April 13, 2015


“We have art in order not to perish from the truth” said Nietzsche but why did he say this? Do your research and write an essay explaining why we need art in our lives.  
Familiarize yourself with the issue:
·         “The importance of art”  
Reading material to make notes on:
·         “The Value and Importance of the Arts and the Humanities in Education and Life”
·         “The importance of fine arts education”

·         How arts and culture are important to every aspect of our lives

Videos to watch and make notes on:

·         Why Art Matters: Dr. Linda F. Nathan at TEDxTheCalhounSchool

·         Why art is important | Katerina Gregos | TEDxGhent
“How art changed my life”

Sunday, April 12, 2015


“Though he believed vocational education was key to empowerment, the former slave’s writings offer a reminder that subjects like literature and philosophy are still integral to social mobility”
By: E. Thomas Finan
Level of difficulty: ***
Before you move on to the text, access the site below, watch the videos and discuss them
1.       Which of the sentences below would best serve as the topic sentence of the first paragraph?
·         Technical education is very important for African Americans
·         People can only fulfill their dreams through education
·         Governments that deny people an education are wrong to do so
·         People realize their full potential through education
2.       Vocational training does not go far enough in Douglass’ view; …………………………is/are also needed to ensure ……………………………………
3.       To what extent would Douglass have agreed with the current educational policy in the US?
·         He would have completely agreed
·         He would have completely disagreed
·         He would have partially agreed
4.       Overconcentration on basic vocational training and neglecting………………means that ……..............................................................................................are neglected.
5.       What prejudicial opinion did Douglass seek to disprove by means of vocational schools?
6.       The purpose of Project Lead the Way is to………………………………………………………….
7.       “You have seen how a man was made a slave; you shall see how a slave was made a man” Douglass stated. How could the slave be made a man?
8.       In certain parts of the world, certain groups of people are denied an education. What could be the reason for such denial according to Douglass?
9.       The reading of the Columbian Orator and other works helped Douglass to do three things:  to shake off …………………., get to better understand ……………………….and cease to be…………………
10.   Thomas Jefferson, like Douglass, felt that ……………………………………………proving that great minds think alike.
11.   Douglass was able to become “a free man” thanks to ………………………………………….
Further reading: Douglass’ letter to Harriet Beacher Stowe: you might find it interesting to read this lengthy letter to see what a man who had never been to school could achieve, if he wished. The letter is a masterpiece in more senses than one.
Write an essay in which you defend an education system which successfully combines a liberal arts education and vocational training. Imagine you are making this suggestion to counter current US policy on education.
This text is fascinating on all sorts of levels: on the one hand it argues in favor of an education system that combines vocational training and liberal arts, on the other it introduces a famous civil rights activist that not everyone may have heard about. The text and ensuing discussion will lead itself to a sophisticated essay task.
1.       The fourth
2.       Liberal arts, are, internal emancipation
3.       He would have partially agreed.
4.       Liberal arts, personal development, ethical maturation and preparation for civic life
5.       That African Americans were incapable of economic self sufficiency
6.       To expand economic opportunity
7.       By gaining knowledge / through gaining knowledge
8.       It would make them unmanageable
9.       The psychological web of slavery, his humanity, an uncritical instrument of his master’s will
10.   The principal ways to ward off tyranny was to illuminate the minds of the people at large.

11.   The Columbian Orator

Thursday, April 9, 2015


Where is the Red River and what terrible secrets does it hold? Do your research and tell the story of The Red River Murders.
Familiarize yourself with the issue:
·         “The Red River murder – lyrics”
Reading material and videos:
·         Red River search for missing, murdered women wraps up 1st day


Do your research and tell the story of the Suffragettes and what they tried to achieve.
Familiarize yourself with the issue:
·         “Who were the Suffragettes?”
Simple podcats plus presentations
·         “Sylvia Pankhurst on Emmeline”
·         “Emmeline Pankhurst”
Reading material to make notes on:
·         “The Suffragettes”
·         “The history of Suffragettes”
·         “The women’s suffrage movement”   
Videos to watch and make notes on:
·         “Emmeline Pankhurst speech”

·         “Mark Steel on Sylvia Pankhurst”

Wednesday, April 8, 2015


Standardized tests are widely implemented in the world and much has been said and written about them, mostly negative. Most people have direct firsthand experience of these tests and know the pros and cons very well. Do your research to refresh your memories and write an essay arguing for or against standardized tests.
Introduction: familiarize yourself with the issue
·         Standardized tests”
·         “Standardized testing is not teaching”  
Podcast: Listen carefully and make a note of the general points.
Reading material to make notes on:
·         “Problems with standardized testing”
Videos to watch and make notes on:
·         “Standardized testing: the problem with America’s education system”
·         “None of the above – why standardized testing fails”
·         “What standardized tests don’t measure”
“Do standardized tests matter?”

Tuesday, April 7, 2015


Task: How can the problems in the public education system that has led to the existence of a shadow education system be fixed? Start your essay with a brief summary of the text.
Shadow educational establishments are a global phenomenon. In most countries around the world, there is an educational market that offers private tutoring in all areas for a fee. In some countries like South Korea, this market is so big that some private tutoring academies are among the biggest corporations and some of their teachers are among the richest people in the country.
Unfortunately, this system creates terrible inequalities because the children from the most affluent families have access to the best tutors. Sending their children to these academies is a financial burden on most  parents who have to allocate money from the family budget and may even have to look for ways to make extra money. Students also pay a price because they have to spend their weekends and/ or afternoons studying at a second school. This means they have no time to relax, have fun and socialize. Teachers at these institutions also pay a price as they work longer hours and make less than public school teachers. They don’t have benefits like healthcare or paid holidays.
The reason why the shadow education system exists is simple: the poor quality of public education. Unfortunately, public school teachers lack the creativity, enthusiasm and commitment to student success like the teachers in the shadow education system. Serious measures have to be taken to improve the quality of education in public schools to avoid these negative effects. There are many things public schools can learn from shadow education establishments to improve their quality of instruction. Regular contact with parents in the form of emails, text messages, phone calls and face to face meetings is vital for a cooperation between schools and parents.  It is a act that the education of a child is a team effort and requires the cooperation of the family and teachers. Public schools, like shadow education schools, shuld carry out routine performance reviews. They should do surveys to measure student and parent saticfaction. This way, problems with motivation, dissatisfaction and ineffective teaching can be solved before they get too big. This will mean  more effective and positive learning for all students.
It is also important to improve the quality of public school teachers. Firstly, their salaries should be increased to attract more ambitious and idealistic students to Education Faculties. Secondly, these faculties should only accept top the highschool graduates of the country. Great minds make the best teachers. Public school teachers’ salaries should be fixed to their performance. Teachers whose students do better in creative thinking skills should get higher salaries. Student satisfaction should also affect their pay. All of these policies will mean teachers improve their teaching skills to get financial rewards.
Education of the young generation must be the most important issue for any country. Development, innovation and success are only possible with young people realizing their potential and being prepared for the challanges in life. A good education must be every young person’s right and not only offered to the rich. For this reason, public schools must give a high quality education. This is the only thing we need for a bright future! Hence there will be no need for a shadow education system that is a burden on its teachers, students and parents.

EBRU McCullum


“Confucius was an influential Chinese philosopher, teacher and political figure known for his popular aphorisms and for his models of social interaction”. His philosophy has helped mold Chinese philosophy. Do your research and tell his story.
·         Confucius quotes and sayings: top ten”
Familiarize yourself with issue:
·         “The Confusion tradition”
·         “Who was Confucius?”
Reading material to make notes on:
·         “Confucius”  
Videos to watch and make notes on:
·         “Confucianism: Views, Philosophy & Teaching”
·         “Confucius”

·         “Eastern philosophy: Confucius”