Sunday, April 12, 2015

FREDERICK DOUGLASS, DEFENDER OF THE LIBERAL ARTS


“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 READ
Before you move on to the text, access the site below, watch the videos and discuss them
QUESTIONS
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.
WRITING TASK
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.
FREDERICK DOUGLASS, DEFENDER OF THE LIBERAL ARTS KEY AND TEACHER’S NOTES
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

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