The juniors in G17 opened their school year with a reflection on beliefs, perspectives of how the world works or how the world should work. They studied essays from NPR’s “This I Believe” series, noting common themes of struggle and achievement, awareness and hope. I shared my own essay with them, showing them the power I see in reading. If you’re interested, check it out here!
Students were given a values inventory and learned about the values they held before surveying the class to see how those values compared to their peers. We were interested to see the high value many students placed on achievement and loyalty to family and group and the low value many placed on scientific understanding and spirituality. Students then questioned: What is the cause of this distribution? How has our culture informed our values?
This early work will pave the way for our upcoming unit. Next week, students will write their own “This I Believe” essays, and then we will begin to explore through literature how our American foundations play a role in our country’s current perspectives and values.