Step 4: Read Essay Assignment
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- Writing Assignment 2: The Transformative Power of Education
In this module, we have been exploring the ways that our educational journey might challenge not only our abilities to acquire new knowledge but might also challenge our very conceptions of the world–in other words, our elemental values. Freire writes about contrasting models of education and some of the outcomes of those models. Gross comments on whether college has the liberalizing effect on students it is sometimes thought to have. Bauerlein reflects on the changing role of the professor as catalyst for change. When we add these accounts to our earlier readings by Rodriguez and Rich, we can begin to have a larger conversation about the impact of education on our beliefs and values.
For your second paper, I would like you to take a position in response to the idea that education changes who we are as people. Rather than give you a single, prescribed prompt to respond to, I’d like you to explore a position that you find intriguing and would like to explore further. Some possible directions you might take would be
- Should learning change us?
- How do, or should, we respond to challenging ideas/concepts that we encounter in our education?
- Is the primary responsibility of a college education that of preparing us for a vocation or that of challenging our ideas of how the world works?
- Is college a level playing field in which students and faculty can explore new and challenging ideas equally, or does the unequal power relationship make this kind of exploration impossible, making it more of an “indoctrination factory”?
Just to be clear, I am not asking you to write a paper in which you address all of the above questions in a formulaic fashion.
They each represent a single paper topic, and you might think of a question you’d like to explore that isn’t on my list. That’s fine, but, whatever your topic, your paper must bring at least two of the readings we’ve read into the discussion, one of which must be Freire. One of the other readings should be Bauerlein, Gross, or Lukianoff and Haidt. You are also free (and encouraged) to bring Rodriguez and Rich into this conversation as well.
For this essay, you will not use first person pronoun (“I”). Focus on your thesis and the subject matter, not yourself. Avoid phrases such as “I believe,” “I think,” and especially “I feel.”
You will also avoid using the second person pronoun (“you”) in this assignment.
The paper should be a minimum of 1,000 words. Follow MLA document design carefully. Failure to do so will result in a grade deduction.
Document all quotations carefully using MLA format.
Proofread your final draft carefully. Avoid such deadly errors as comma splices, run-on sentences, fragments, and faulty possessives. An excessive number of basic writing errors (generally more than five) will result in automatic failure of the essay, regardless of its other strengths.