Saturday, June 21, 2008
Why must we think?
I think this might become my essential question for my world literature/AP English Literature class. Why is thinking so important, and how does reading literature and studying authors and examining other cultures help us to become world citizens who think? An editorial in my local newspaper this morning brought it on: "'New Atheists': Englightened guides to perdition." It is an intriguing interview that is worth reading, if only for the fact that you might disagree with Chris Hedges's book I Don't Believe in Atheists. Here is a snippet, "We've learned to speak and think in the epistemology of television, which is essentially filled with thought-terminating cliches ... There is a kind of war against self-reflection, self-criticism, and real introspection." I believe literature of all kinds, and specifically the literature and themes my seniors study, can create a culture of intellect and thought. Self-reflecting and collaborating around the world through technology is one of the main ways of showing my students how real this thinking really is. Anyone want to become my class's partner as they study Brave New World, religious texts, Siddhartha, The Alchemist, Othello, Gilgamesh, The Metamorphosis, or Things Fall Apart?