[CAS-BHS] SENIOR SEMINAR - KEY UPDATES
cas-bhs at lists.berkeleypta.org
cas-bhs at lists.berkeleypta.org
Sun Apr 16 15:52:02 PDT 2006
From: Rick Ayers rayers at berkeley.k12.ca.us
April 16, 2006
Dear CAS seniors,
Welcome back from spring break. It is only a short hop, skip, and a jump to the end of the year here. Let's review a few important elements of your completing your senior year in CAS.
By the way, you may know that we modeled some aspects of Social Justice Seminar on the work of Facing History and Ourselves, a national education organization which helps develop curriculum on social ethics and history. They are the sponsors of a high school in New York that looks quite interesting. Check it out at http://www.edutopia.org/magazine/ed1article.php?id=Art_1499&issue=apr_06 .
First, an update on some of what we've done the past weeks. We started reading Studs Terkel's Working - a wonderful introduction to the world of work and the many ways we adapt to and struggle with the imperatives of labor. Some people tie their identity up deeply with their career and care deeply about what they are accomplishing there; others simply put up with their jobs but experience mainly insults and frustrations at work. We have discussed how the internship experiences are a chance for students to think about work and the kinds of work they want to do in coming years. In addition, we recognize how being a student is the "job" for students at this time in their lives. And of course some students learn to find something they love and are passionate about in school; some are mainly alienated. The same factors - marginalization, self-motivation, meaningful contributions to make - impact student and worker response to their jobs. Students will continue to read interviews from this book and to respond to what they find there.
Second, we have begun a unit on LBGT (lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender) identity and homophobia in America. We are bringing the same lens to this subject as to previous case studies we have done (the border and immigration, race in America, etc.). How do we define our universe of obligation? When are we guilty of the "creation of the other?" When are we perpetrators of injustice; victims; bystanders; or rescuers? We began with a reading of the Annie Proulx short story Brokeback Mountain. This is an amazing piece of fiction writing in its own right; and it pushes us to confront the many ways that gay people are forced into the margins by the subtle and overtly violent pressures of society. We had one of our most engaged and powerful discussions in class when we began probing what kind of homophobia exists at Berkeley High. It strikes me that this level of maturity and sophistication is only possible after we have worked and struggled together for many years. The seniors have been incredibly smart, honest, and insightful in this whole discussion. We plan to continue this unit with a showing of the film Brokeback Mountain as well as some other materials.
Third, we had an interim unit on prison, criminal justice, and restorative justice just before spring break. We viewed a PBS documentary, "What I Want My Words to Do to You," depicting a writing workshop at New York's Bedford Hills women's prison. The women articulated truths about their lives, their mistakes, their newly-gained insights. . . . quite a powerful story. One of the women prisoners in the film was Kathy Boudin, who served 22 years in prison for her part in a politically-motivated Brinks robbery in 1982. She then came to class on the Thursday before break and spoke to the students. Really, it was not just her talking but a whole class discussion (all 90 seniors were there). She was amazingly powerful, honest, open, and reflective. Students were able to explore issues of punishment and reconciliation, about the role of victim families and the role of broader social factors in the incarceration experience of these women. We were able to make a connection to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission discussions that began with our study of South Africa. For those who are interested in thinking further about the criminal justice system, we will be taking some CAS juniors and seniors to the showing of The Soul of Justice - a video made by Abby Ginzberg concerning the life and contributions of Federal Court Judge Felton Henderson. We have already viewed this video in government class but we this viewing, on May 11, will include Judge Henderson speaking and fielding questions from the students.
Fourth, we have been taking advantage of Sara Shor's senior internship with Jewish Youth for Community Action (JYCA) in which she has worked to set up a visit by teenagers from Israel and Palestine for a discussion on the issues there. There will be a public event at the Berkeley Richmond Jewish Community Center on Tuesday night but we will also have these two guests visit our classes (period 5 and 6 only) on Tuesday. Below are brief statements by our two guests, explaining who they are.
My name is Dimitry Shvartsman. I'm seventeen years old and I live in a city called Afula. It's a small city up in the north of Israel. I was born in Kharkov, Ukraine and when I was four we moved to Israel. I'm a senior and in the coming October I will join the Israeli army. Since 2003, I'm involved with an organization called "Seeds of Peace." I spent two summers in the international "Seeds of Peace" camp in Maine, and I'm working here in Israel in their regional programs.
My name is Hurriyah Ziada and I'm a sixteen year old Palestinian girl living in Ramallah. I'm a junior in Al Ahliyeh College High School. I've been active with "Seeds of Peace" since almost three years and that includes working with the other side in order for each side to understand the other. And I've been working with Ashtar Theatre for five years on performing plays. Also, I acted in a Palestinian movie called A Ball and a Coloring Box which talks about the life of Palestinian children and their dreams.
Finally, as to the final chapters of this senior year. We only have the rest of April and the first week of May to complete internships. Make sure your hours are up to date (4-6 hours per week on this semester) and signed off by your supervisor. Final exhibitions begin on May 9 and run until June 9. We will have a signup sheet for you soon. Each presentation will be about 45 minutes and your classmates, teachers, and possibly guests from your internship placement, will be in attendance. You will see below an assignment sheet that describes how you should plan your final presentation. We handed it out on Friday and we will have hard copies again on Tuesday.
AND, your I-search. We will have all I-Searches returned to you this week. Your final steps with this paper will be to make corrections we suggested and then to add a few more steps (see below). This will be a bit more research (you may bring in observations from your internship but you also need research, work you do in the library with other experts and sources on your subject), one more interview, and your final reflections.
Have fun. Give it a real push for the next month and make your senior year significant and powerful. See you Tuesday!
Senior Seminar - CAS English
CAS Senior Seminar
SPRING SEMESTER FINAL I SEARCH PAPER
DUE: ON OR BEFORE TUESDAY, JUNE 13, 12 noon.
As we have discussed, your final paper should be an expansion of the I-search project you began last semester. The completed paper, including your work for both semesters, should meet the following criteria:
. at least 14 pages total length (250-300 words per page, 12-point font). This does not include interview write-ups or works cited page.
. at least 10 sources, with a mix of different types (i.e. newspaper, magazine, book, internet, video/film,
. at least one more interview. Interviews must be written separately in one of the TWO formats (New Journalism or Studs Terkel) that we reviewed.
. parenthetical citations in the Modern Language Association (MLA) style, where appropriate, to acknowledge sources of information referred to explicitly in your paper.
. formal Works Cited page, listing all works used in writing your paper.
. creative Titles and Subtitles to help define content and stimulate your reader's thought.
Note: About 4 pages, at least one interview and 3 of the sources for the paper should be based on work you've done this semester.
. New Ideas and Information
What did you learn through your day to day work, and what new research did you do, including interviews? What are the most important new ideas and information you've learned this semester about your topic, in terms of problems, causes and solutions? How did this change your earlier understandings-both in terms of the questions you've investigated and the conclusions you've drawn?
To what extent is the work you have been engaged in part of a solution to a social problem? Discuss the theories, strategies and tactics of the organization you've worked with. How does their approach differ from that of others working on similar issues? (For example-Earth Liberation Front v. Earth First v. Forests Forever v. Sierra Club v. Wise Use Movement in the area of the environment.) Which of these approaches do you think works best?
-Suggested length: 3 pages
. Second Interview
You need to do a second interview. Where your first interview was with an expert in the field, this time you may decide to interview a client or recipient of the services. Make it serious. Make it deep. Report it in Studs Terkel style, not just Q & A.
- Suggested length: 2 pages
What have you accomplished through your project? What difference have you made? What people or purposes have you served? What new abilities, experiences, perspectives and knowledge have you gained?
Overall, was your project a success? To what extent did you meet your goals for the project? Did your goals change over the course of the semester? What were the most challenging aspects of your experience? What parts of it were most rewarding?
What have you learned about yourself from doing this project? Were you dedicated to your project? Were you able to be self-motivated and disciplined in pursuing your project? To what extent did you take advantage of the opportunities the program and your project offered? If you could do it over again, what would you do differently?
Do you see yourself continuing with this particular project or with similar work in the future?
-Suggested section length: 1 - 2 pages
The final I-Search will include:
Title Page (include title, your name, course name - CAS Social Justice Seminar - teachers' names and submission date.)
Fall Semester I Search:
Overview (Part One)
Your Journey (Part Two)
Interview (Part Three)
Fall Research (Part Four)
Spring Semester I Search
New Ideas and Information
Interview Write Up
List of Works Cited (including all sources from both fall Part 5 and spring research)
. With the exception of the List of Works Cited, try to avoid using the generic titles above for the major sections of your paper. Instead, use creative headings specific to your topic and ideas. You may want to explicitly indicate the fall and spring semester parts of the paper.
. Number the pages of your paper in the lower right corner. Page numbers for the interviews can continue from the main paper.
CAS Social Justice Seminar
Final Exhibition, Senior Project and Internship
You have done powerful and very impressive work in this, your final year of high school. This is an opportunity for you to display and celebrate the work you did, the insights you gained, and the direction you are going. Your final exhibition will be a 45-minute presentation. Be sure to sign up and reserve a time that works for you. Your I-Search is still due on June 13.
Below are some important elements to keep in mind for your exhibition:
a.. If you did an internship with another person, you can present together and you have to make sure each of you has a major part of the presentation to give.
b.. You will need to present your exhibition before a panel - this should include peers, teachers, family members, and experts in your field. The panel viewing your presentation will fill out peer response sheets.
c.. You should nominate one expert for the panel.
d.. You will need to use the full 45 minutes. It can include time for questions and answers.
e.. You must have a media element to your presentation. Visuals are very important: students have brought posters, student work, videos, and other materials to show what happened at their internship.
f.. You are encouraged to invite a guest (a client, a supervisor, etc.) from your internship to be part of your presentation.
g.. You should make sure to cover the following: what you did in your internship, what you learned in your I-search that connected to your internship, what you learned and realized while doing your internship. You should also bring up high points and biggest problems that arose in the internship.
h.. Explain how this internship and senior work have impacted you, what you might pursue in the future (studies, volunteer activities, etc.) as a result of this experience.
i.. Your audience should leave your presentation with new insights, new ideas, about different areas of social justice and social change work in their world.
CAS social justice seminar
Check out the CAS web site at www.cas.bhs.berkeleypta.org
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