Semester Reflection Essay

This semester you have traced your subject position (“Origin of Ideas”), used evidence to support claims pertaining to a specific aspect of our culture (“Cultural Analysis”), and built a researched position on a current social issue (“Research Project”). Additionally, throughout these assignments, you have engaged with several readings that explore language and culture Reflect on your understanding of and engagement with the course objectives of analyzing and writing about a range of rhetorical situations in society. Support your response with specific examples from your essays, class activities, and other course materials. Additionally, discuss new ways of thinking about language and learning you have developed this semester. The readings by John Dewey (Democracy in Education) and Paulo Freire (Pedagogy of the Oppressed) were very influential in the course creation; connect specific ideas from the readings to your reflections above. Additionally, the progression of assignments you completed this semester was designed to be aligned with William Perry’s “Scheme of Intellectual and Ethical Development.” You may want to reflect on where you are in the sequence and the impact your understanding of language and critical thinking this semester has had on your progression. Read:   “Democracy and Education” by John Dewey: Almost 100 years old, John Dewey’s ideas about the role language plays in society continue to be powerful and pertinent. As you read this essay, think about how your view of language and communication has changed this semester. “Pedagogy of the Oppressed: Chapter Two” by Paulo Freire: In this chapter, Paulo Friere provides an overview of two types of teaching/learning — the “banking method” of education and “problem-posing” education. He is a proponent of the latter, but it will take reading the entire essay to fully understand his position. As you read this essay, think about this class may have been designed with “problem-posing” techniques for teaching and learning.  “Theory of Intellectual and Ethical Development” by William Perry: The assignments for this class have been designed with William Perry’s theory in mind. You began by locating your subject position in relation to a specific social issue through the “Origins” essay, then analyzed a specific cultural influence through the “Cultural Analysis” essay, and lastly, you finished the semester by researching a social issue that is important to you — providing you with the knowledge to be informed and act on the issue. Each assignment has used previous skills and evolved them by adding new elements of college-level writing and critical thinking.

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