Education Values and Society

Fall Quarter 2002

Faculty: Helena Meyer-Knapp                                                                 Class Times: Wednesdays 6-9.30

E-mail:                                                                                        Saturdays: 9-.4.30 10/5, 10/19, 11/2

Office: Lib 3401B 11/16 and 12/7

Phone number: 360 867 6549                                                                                        Location: Library 3500


This is a program with two enrollment options:

8 quarter hours -- class every Wednesday evening and day-long every other Saturday

12 quarter hours ? class same as above + 8 other evenings For information about this option see the 12 credit page

Program Questions

How do kids and young adults learn values? Instinctive and inborn and/or as they are raised in schools, families and churches? Born good or born sinful? And whose values are they learning? Traditional community values, Godís laws, those of global capitalism or their parents and siblings? What difference does it make when "kids" turn into "teenagers?" These questions ask of us some work in the following academic disciplines: education, evolution/ethology, religion, human development and cultural studies.

8 Credit Topics

Obviously these are huge questions so this program will take a quite focused look. The entire program will look at schooling but we will subdivide into three smaller groups to look at sports, at teenager in jobs and at rock music/musical performance. Those taking the 12 credit option (max 6 people) will take up tan additional topic: teenagers, America and violence. We will also broaden our perspective beyond the US, looking at moral education and child-raising in Japan today. (We will get support for this work from Prof. Takashi Notsu, a visiting Professor on Sabbatical at Evergreen to study culture and identity formation.)

8 Credit Activities


The book list includes Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger, Patricia Hersch, A Tribe Apart, Feiler, Bruce S, Learning to Bow : an American teacher in a Japanese school, Rose, Mike, Lives on the Boundary, a short "encyclopedia" called Keys to the Japanese Heart and Soul, T R Reed, Confucius Lives Next Door and Michael Pollanís wonderful book on American values called Second Nature.

The specialized sub-groups on work, sports and music will each read another book or two in their arena.

In addition, Saturday class time will include critical movies. Final selection is still to be determined but possibilities include Fame, Clueless, The Commitments, Princess Monanoke,Boyz Ďn the Hood.

The week by week schedule appears on the Schedule page

I handed out schedules of writing and math workshops, most of which are daytiime. There are also two special workshop sessions during week 4. You will be released from class to attend on Wednesday and if you are interested you can also attend on Saturday. The schedule is on the Liberal Arts Forums page, on the Evening Weekend, Half Time programs page.


As usual, students will write short reflective papers in response to each of the seminar readings. In addition the small sub groups will produce written and oral reports on the values evident in teenage sports, in jobs and in rock music. Together we will construct an American equivalent to the Japanese Encyclopedia. This will entail careful crafting of brief (1-2 paragraph) definitions of key American values expected of teenagers (by other teens or by society). Each personís contribution will involve research into the history of 2-3 key values and some very careful writing. The program will offer instruction on writing for those whose skills need improvement.

For a look at the assignments in more detail open the Assignment Pages

Audio Files
There will be some classes when recordings of classes are available. Click here to the page which contains the audio files and also contains links to downloadable software to play the files.


The final allocation of credit will depend on sub-group topics, but the primary areas will include some combination of education/human development, social values and cross-cultural comparisons. Upper division credit will be available for students whose work demonstrates an advanced understanding of the material.