Spring 2004

Meeting times

Wed 6:00 - 9:30   phone: 867-6549   867-5485
Sat 9:00 - 4:30   email (@evergreen.edu): meyerknh   olsona
     on 4/17, 4/24, 5/1, 5/15, 6/5   office: Sem2 B3102   Sem2 B2108

Meeting place: Seminar 2 B1107

Evaluation Conferences with Allen are listed here!

Evaluation forms are available for download here.


Book list (with seminar due dates)
Assignments page (with links to PDF files)
Values lists

    (use evs as your enrolment key after you create a new account)
Software for Teaching
Resources for Brown
Resources for Washington Schools
Recorded lectures
(you will need a free DSS media player to listen to these files.
  Follow this link and then choose
  Step 1 -- digital voice recorder
  Step 2 --  model 330
  Step 3 -- digital player lite (which is free)
  Step 4 -- platform.)

Program summary

This program will allow students to engage with two of the key issues in education, and in US society today: race and technological change. You will learn about the 20th century history of race and desegregation and become able to explain the mechanisms which enabled change in social values and education. This will enable you to become more knowledgeable about the work still needed to bring about an educational system which will serve students from divergent backgrounds equally well in the future.

You will also examine the ways that technological developments in the last 50 years have impacted US society and thereby the lives of America's children and teenagers. You will become able to critically assess the social impact of the key components of electronic systems with which we live.

We will examine both technology and race from a cross-cultural perspective, discerning more how US society works by brief encounters with books and articles about technology, education and difference that describe Chinese, Japanese, and Finnish experiences.

Throughout the quarter we will also continue our analysis of ethical systems. Last quarter we approached the subject from a philosophical standpoint, reading articles and the Tao to gather a sense of some of the key modes of ethical thinking. This quarter you will explore the historical context which underlies value systems in the United States. Often our focus will return to the meanings embedded in the two terms "separate" and "equal" that are a legacy from the civil rights court cases.


In addition to the standard Evergreen reading/writing/seminar learning process, you will be working with a sub-group of your seminar to share among yourselves the task of reading a series of articles.

The standard seminars will be conducted on eight books ( listed on the booklist ) .

Your seminar subgroup will divide up the additional articles so that you will read and report on two of them, distilling from the articles the information essential for the other members of your group. As a result you will learn to discern the key elements of someone else's argument and to seek out the critical pieces of supporting evidence. You and the others doing reports in your small group will then lead a discussion on the ideas in all the articles for the week. Additionally, all students will have a common introductory reading to set the stage for these additional articles.

The additional articles (many of which can be downloaded in pdf format) are listed on the assignments page.


This program will also require that you be or become quite fluent in the use of computers and the media for your studies. We will continue using WebX and may also do trials of other software which enables students to work collaboratively via computer.

Our "shared readings" portion of the program and the ethics encyclopedia will also involve the use of technology. We will be learning how to use the internet to seek out sound and image resources, and everyone will develop the start-up skills needed to design a simple web-page. If you already have those skills, your learning will be focused on facilitating the basic skill development of your peers.

Throughout the quarter, we will be discussing and assessing the different software we encounter.

Writing and ethics

In addition to the standard pre-seminar writing as we were doing during winter quarter, each of you will be learning the techniques needed to distill a longer piece of writing about a particular ethical attribute into a richly illustrated, clearly stated, succinct 2-paragraph essay. Ultimately your essay will be joined with all the others into an "encyclopedia" of American values which will be put together in paper and web formats. Each student will work on two entries, either two different values, or the same value seen from two perspectives -- from that of the larger society and from the point of view of the adolescent community.

The skills you will develop here include an enlarged vocabulary and an understanding of the ways that punctuation helps to create an engrossing and fully developed sentence. In effect, you will be becoming able to do the kind of writing needed for an "executive summary" of a report or the abstract of an article. For those of you who have done annotated bibliographies, this has some similarities to an annotation.

Seminar writing

Last quarter we asked for a 1-2 page written response, posted to WebX which had three components: a quote from the book, your assessment of the author's meaning/purpose in this segment, and a discussion of how this relates to your life. This quarter we want to continue with these three and add a fourth section in which you spell out explicitly something you have learned from the book and something about which you still have questions. The latter will become the basis for seminar.