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Unit Three, Day 23 - Tuesday

Class Goals: Defining issues. Characterizing viewpoints and positions, synthesizing viewpoints, understanding context.

Connection to course goals: Ability to define a variety of issues within one larger "topic" and the variety of positions one can take on those issues. Writers write from a given context.


  1. Devise a discussion or some other activity to get at main points of essays, with the ultimate goal of not only characterizing the writers’ positions, but the assumptions they hold that would lead them to these positions regarding the rise of multiculturalism and the backlash against it. (40 min.)

Focus on how the assumptions inform these differences. For example, because Cheney sees a feminist conspiracy behind the new multiculti, she sees the curriculum as disadvantageous to whites and men, whereas Ehrenreich’s feminist background leads her to see that everyone benefits from the opening of the canon to be more inclusive.

Given the assumptions, who do you think the writers identify as their audience?

  1. Group activity: Now that we have analyzed the authors’ assumptions and what that implies about the audience in Cheney and Ehrenreich, you will do it on your own with Roszak and Postman. Assign each group the following task:
  1. Discussion of main points of Roszak and Postman. Be sure to highlight what they focus their discussion on to get to the issues.

Main points of Roszak:

Main points of Postman:

Gather for your discussion

Connections between Roszak and Postman:

CSOW: Postman quotes a writer who believes that "modern technologies have rendered schools entirely irrelevant since there is so much more information outside the classroom than inside it." This is why we study critical reading and evaluation, so that we can learn to discriminate between those ideas that are useful and those that are not. As Postman describes with his "little Eva" example, it’s not a lack of information that troubles us, but what to do with all of the information we are constantly taking in. We need to do this not just in writing arguing essays, but throughout our lives as ideas/ solutions are presented to us.

  1. Introduce CAP.

Assignment: Read your group’s article (it may be on reserve in Morgan Library) and be prepared to summarize it for people who have never read it. Read "Field Sources" in PHG and finish SEA.