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?


  1. Now I really am disappointed I won't be teaching next year. Wasn't that a great editorial? Can't wait to catch up tomorrow night.

  2. I'd be intrigued about the partnering opportunity you mentioned with Othello, although we'd have to talk about when in the year it falls for you and your students. Let's talk!

    BTW, "scmorgan" sent me your way (she was kind enough to hand over your blog URL in a comment at my site this week). Tell her thanks!