Prep for 22May class of Academic Conversations

Read the article below and think about the following questions. Come to class prepared to discuss and give examples of how you think the rich and poor are treated differently. http://mobile.nytimes.com/2013/12/14/us/teenagers-sentence-in-fatal-drunken-driving-case-stirs-affluenza-debate.html?_r=0&referrer=   Questions to consider: Do rich people get off easier when they break the law? Why do you think … Read more

24April15 Meeting of Academic Conversations

After watching a TED talk and reading various articles, the following was discussed in class about mandatory vaccinations: reasons for fear of vaccinations (autism scare, aluminum, mercury and other vaccine ingredients, Guillain-Barre, allergies, celebrity anti vaccine publicity, religious fears “contaminating soul”, fear of needles, personal stories of people harmed from … Read more

Prep for 24April class of Academic Conversations

Should vaccinations be mandatory (should personal belief exemption be eliminated)? The next topic will be on the new controversial (especially among many homeschoolers) legislation being proposed to eliminate a “personal belief exemption” that allows California parents to refuse to vaccinate their children. Please read the following articles and watch the … Read more

27March15 Meeting of Academic Conversations

The following was discussed about high stakes testing: Does test matter if a student is already doing well? Should it just be an alternative assessment (either grades OR standardized test scores, not both)? Standardized tests are an easy way to evaluate large groups of people. In Singapore teachers & grades … Read more

Prep for 27March class of Academic Conversations

Our next topic of conversation will be: Should high stakes testing be abolished?   High stakes testing is when the outcome on a standardized exam is a key factor when making important decisions concerning students, teachers, and schools. In other words, to different extents each of these three groups has … Read more

13March15 Meeting of Academic Conversations

The following elements of free speech (should there be limits) were discussed: Does comedy excuse offensiveness? Does it make it any less offensive under the guise of humor? ex: Black face, political cartoons Are satires making fun of a stereotype or perpetuating it? Ex: Tyler Perry, Charlie Hebdo Many political … Read more

Prep for 13March class of Academic Conversations

Topic for next class is: Should there be limits to freedom of speech? Is there a moral obligation to freedom of speech, what about hate filled speech and speech that incites violence? Please read the following article before class http://www.vox.com/2015/1/7/7507883/charlie-hebdo-explained-covers/in/7271890 and listen to the following clip http://www.npr.org/2015/01/07/375616537/charlie-hebdos-history-defined-by-humor-controversy-and-cartoons    

27Feb15 Meeting of Academic Conversations

The class did an excellent job researching and discussing pros and cons of genetic engineering over our 2 day conversation. THe following was discussed. Genetic engineering can be described as any genetic manipulation that allows an organism to perform new functions or produce new substances. Genetic engineering can be used … Read more

Prep for 13Feb class of Academic Conversations

We will continue our exciting discussion on genetic engineering and if we have time, start to talk about our next topic: Should there be limits to freedom of speech? Is there a moral obligation to freedom of speech, what about hate filled speech and speech that incites violence? Here’s the … Read more

Prep for 9Jan class of Academic Conversations

The next class will be taught by the students in the class. Each student is asked to research something of interest about genetic engineering, present it to the class and engage in a conversation about the possible pros and cons. You can present articles, videos or your own collection of … Read more