The students arrived today. Grisha and I have 18 young minds (13 - 16 yr. olds) to mold for the next three weeks. Course topics cover the following:
The first week of the course will focus on beginning the process of becoming aware of our own beliefs, assumptions about the world, and opinions. Students will begin to define the term self and explore what makes up our sense of who we are in society. We will begin to explore philosophical, biological, as well as psychological views of who we are as well as what each of our unique perspectives are on the world. Towards the end of the week we will look more closely into the complexities of how it is that we can come to understand people who have significantly different perspectives.
The second week of the course will build on the first by introducing more of the famous thinkers and theories around these issues, such as philosophers Derrida, Foucault, Gadamer, Noam Chomsky, and Daniel Dennet. The class will begin to explore how our assumptions, which we looked at during the first week become the roots of our political assumptions and our society. The students will begin forming groups and thinking about what aspects of our discussion they would like to pursue more in depth in the group projects and presentations during the third week.
During the final week of class, we will begin to tie everything we have covered together by beginning to look towards the future, with an eye to learn from the past. Ideas of progress, the future of humanity, globalization, morality, and the value of technology will all be covered as we look towards new, emerging theories about our culture and the responsibilities we have towards understanding the fellow members of our society. Students will present their own "Wisdom Scriptures" detailing what wisdom they would pass on to the next generation, which they began during the second week to the rest of the class.
Grisha is also going to teach them consensus building as a decision making process.
If you have any suggestions of further topics/activities, feel free to let me know!