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Donald Lessing – Weekly Writing & Blogs

Response to Nick Gamba

Group Members: Nick Gamba, and TJ Fitzpatrick

Nick Gamba was the leader of our group and the topic of our discussion group was “Are discussion groups helpful in sharing ideas and knowledge between students?” We all agreed that the answer was yes, they do help. As a class we all read the same thing, but everyone perceives what we read in different ways., everyone has different perspectives and viewpoints on what the author is trying to get across in their writing. Discussion groups allow students to share what they feel the reading is trying to say, and share what they are taking away from the reading. Discussing this with fellow classmates allows us to see how other people portray the writing and how it compares to our own personal opinions. As long as the discussion groups are run correctly and each student gets their chance to express their ideas or opinions, then discussion groups are a very helpful way to relate to your classmates, meet your classmates, and collaborate with your classmates.

Draft review for Kira Aves

Praise- Your comparison to HIS 100 supports your thesis really well. Your conclusion paragraph sums up your essay very well.

Constructive- You need stronger transitions and topic sentences when ending and starting paragraphs.

Percy- You did well with working your quotes into your writing and the quotes themselves go along well with your topic.

Draft review on Jake Drap’s team

Praise- I like the comparison between high school education and college education. Relating your ideas to the real world keeps a reader intrigued in your essay.

Constructive- More analytical work necessary within your paragraphs. Make sure to reread your essay and look for grammar mistakes.

Percy- Your quotes are very good and can go along with your work well, they just have to be worked into the essay a little better.

Peer Review on Ava Hill’s draft

Praise: I like how you are using the course EGP 209 as a general theme to your essay, it’s a very good way to hold everything together and keep the main focus intact.

Constructive: Your introduction is very good, but in high school I learned “show, don’t tell”, so instead of saying “In this essay, I am going to discuss…” find a better way to show the reader what you will be discussing without directly saying it.

Percy: The use of Percy in your introduction is a very strong opener for your essay. The quotes you have selected are also very strong, but they need to be cited in the text.

Peer Review On Abby’s team draft

Praise: Your thesis statement is a very good lead up to the rest of your essay.

Constructive: Quotes make an essay a lot stronger, this essay would be much stronger if supporting quotes were included.

Percy: No quotes from Percy are in this to back up your theory, it is very hard to tell this essay relates to Percy or Friere at all without quotes.

Peer Review on Amanda’s Team

Praise: Your supporting ideas are very good and I’m interested to see what other ideas you may include.

Constructive: Your thesis is too “fluffed” I feel. If you shorten it and get to the point sooner it will be better.

Percy: Your second quote from Percy is very strong and can be used well to support your thesis.

Peer Review on Jason’s Team

Praise: Your second quote is very strong and backs up your thesis well. If you use the quote correctly it could be the part of your essay that pulls everything together.

Constructive: Your first sub-point is very broad which will make finding 2 more sub-points very difficult.

Percy: The 2 quotes you have chosen can easily support your thesis.

Response to Laura

Group Members: Laura McGroary, Hailey Myers, Kiera Aves, Brandon Zahal

The topic of our discussion was the similarities and differences between Percy and Friere, and their views on the education system. The similarities between Percy and Friere are on their thoughts about the education system. They both believe that you cannot learn through teaching, you learn through experience. Friere says that students do not find what a teacher says to be meaningful. Percy refers to this with the Grand Canyon, people don’t find it as meaningful because other people have discovered it and people know what the grand canyon looks like. When they go to see it is not as meaningful to them. This is also where Percy and Friere have a difference, as Friere says going out and experiencing is real learning, Percy says going out and seeing things that have already been discovered isn’t learning. Both Friere and Percy have very strong and similar beliefs, but Percy’s viewpoint takes Friere’s to the next level, and because of this they do have some differences in the end.

Response to TJ Fitzpatrick

Group Members: TJ Fitzpatrick, Gabe Jsinski, and Nick Gamba

The main focus of our group is how Walker Percy believes that technology is ruining the thrill of seeing something for the first time. In our discussion we discussed both sides of the argument. One of our main points was the comparison of our generation and our parents generation. For most of our generation we had technology at the palm of our hands, which made it so much easier to see things on our devices which we felt we may never see in real life. For our parents generation, since they didn’t have the easy access to technology, like we do now, they feel that seeing things first hand are much more exhilarating and real than seeing it on a screen. Technology takes away the mystery and the chance for imagination to overtake young ones minds when it comes to something they have never seen before. Kids will no longer “wonder” what something looks like because the second they have that thought, they can access an image almost immediately. On the other side of this argument, there are things in life that we would never actually get to see if technology was not so advanced. For example, Gabe mentioned the photographed picture of a black hole NASA was able to get. This definitely helps with studies and discoveries of space, but I still feel that it takes away our chance to paint our own mental picture of what we think a black hole truly looks like (Besides just a black circle in space). In the end, I still agree with Percy’s viewpoint, nothing compares to seeing something in person for the first time, with your own eyes.

Writing Project Draft #1

Donny Lessing, TJ Fitzpatrick, Nick Gamba

Professor Randall Cream

WRT 120 

29 September 2019

Regaining student power 

In “The ‘Banking’ Concept of Education” by Paulo Freire, Freire points out the disconnect that we commonly see in today’s learning systems between the teachers and the students. Education is a complex system that is in a general form when most students need a more hands on and helpful approach. We will be discussing how students will take their own education into their hands, by forms of organization and a sense of togetherness needed for change. Students should use the power they have to form an education system by the students for the students.

Friere often talks about how education is not in the hands of the students. The education system has a set plan on what is taught, and the students have no say. Students are no longer learning. They listen and memorize. “Education thus becomes an act of depositing, in which the students are the depositories and the teacher is the depositor. Instead of communicating, the teacher issues communiqués and makes deposits which the students patiently receive, memorize, and repeat,” (Freire 1). Here, at West Chester I often hear other freshman students talk about how they feel they are not learning in there classes. They aren’t interested in most of the general education classes that we are forced to take and pass. They go to class, take detailed notes and when it comes time to take exams, they reread their notes and memorize the content for the exam. The second the students hand in that exam, 90% of that knowledge is forgotten. This is ultimately useless. In college, we are here to learn about what we want our career to be. Is it necessary to take a class that does not interest us, thus making us cram just before the exam in order to pass that exam? It is necessary to have some guidelines when it comes to taking classes, but if you are majoring in math or literature, taking a science gen ed should not be necessary. As students we can stand up for what we believe in and force the board to rewrite the rules. We are here at West Chester for ourselves, not anybody else, so shouldn’t what we learn but our decision? 

West Chester University has a variety of classes that are available for students to take in a semester.  The First Year Experience class has become a required class for all incoming freshman starting this academic year.  Many of the students taking the class do not like the way the professors are teaching and the assignments that are given.  “The capability of banking education to minimize or annul the students’ creative power and to stimulate their credulity serves the interests of the oppressors, who care neither to have the world revealed nor to see it transformed,” (Freire 2).  The content that is covered during the lengthy class can be seen as pointless to the students. The assignments that are due at the end of the week, that a majority of the time do not relate to the class, might also be considered useless. Having the professors deposit useless knowledge to the students does not contribute to their ability to learn.  To combat this problem, students can organize a day in which a majority of the students agree to not show up to the lecture. If this “boycott” is executed the way it is intended, questions will be raised from both the professors teaching and the department in charge of the First Year Experience class. As a result, the faculty would want to hear from the students about what they think about the class and what the problems with it are.  This would give students more power in deciding what they are learning about and taking education into their own hands. Freire would want the students to act on what they see as unjust education because they should be able to decide what they are learning about.

Students can also use their power in more specific ways opposed to targeting a whole class. An example of this is staging student walkouts and boycotts of certain assignments that they find to be unfairly given or graded. If the student representation in the class find the test, quiz, or assignment to be unjust or unfair they should come together and simply not complete it. If just one student were to not complete the assignment then they would simply receive a zero but if the whole class were to participate in the boycott then the teacher has no choice but to listen to what the students desire. If the teacher continues to grade the assignments and gives the students poor grades they then run the risk of alerting the suppieriors and their job becomes at risk. The whole goal for the students is to create change and that can only be done by awareness. Whether the goal is to alert the University board or if it is just to let the teacher know that their assignments or assessments are unfair, awareness must be raised. 

In conclusion, students attend West Chester university for themselves and their own education, nobody else’s. So why should we have to sit in class and be taught about content that we are not interested in? Students need to use the little power we have to gain more power. Strikes, boycotts, intentional failure, etc. These are all ways that will make our voices heard. If we want something done, we have the power to do it, but the most important thing to remember is that we have to do it together. We can reshape the education system and make it the way we want, for the students by the students. 

Writing proposal 1

Topic #2

Team: Myself

Thesis: In Freire’s “The Banking Concept of Education” he often talks about how the teachers see themselves as superiors to the students. “The teacher knows everything and the students know nothing”, this often seems to be the case in education. Society has made it a point that the teacher and the student are very separate from each other. This way of thinking creates problems in the classroom. When students view teachers as there superior they may not feel inclined to listen and learn and take what they are being taught and use it. Students just want to pass the class and be done with it, so what they do is memorize. But the point of college is to learn and use what you learned in the real world. When a student is put in an environment where they feel they have a relationship with a teacher and feel they have a say in what they learn in the classroom they are bound to be more successful.

Quote #1: “The teacher’s task is to organize a process which already occurs spontaneously, to “fill” the students by making deposits of information which he or she considers to constitute true knowledge.”

Quote #2: “The banking concept of education, which serves the interests of oppression, is also necrophilic.”

Discussion Group 3

Group Members: Richard Walther and Sean Harris

The topic of our discussion group was about the student/ teacher relationships at wcu via race/class/gender. Our main point of discussion was how prejudice views can affect teachers and students. Everyone is prejudice in there own way, they may not show it or act it, but everyone has some. This did not become a concern until fairly recently. In the generations above us prejudices were everywhere and were not taken as seriously as they are now. Now, we are taught in school about other cultures and taught to respect everyone else no matter race, gender, ethnicity, or cultural beliefs. This can affect the relationships we build in classrooms negatively or positively. Learning about new cultures and understating other lifestyles can improve the relationships in the classrooms and limit prejudices. On the other hand, with older teachers who were raised very differently, may not agree with what our world is trying to do. They may alter the lesson plans or not focus on it, or even have there own prejudices that they feel but don’t necessarily act on. Prejudices can alter classroom relationships a lot, and hopefully with the way our world is changing, they one day won’t affect relationships in the classroom.

Response to Noah H.

Group Members: Riley Baughman, Nick Passias, Bella DiPasquale, Kyle Owens, Muhammed Rabi, Haley Myers, Sean Redding

In our group we discussed how the size and location of classes affects the student to teacher relationship. In high school, classes were a lot smaller and it made it is easy to create a relationship with your teacher. Everyone knew everyone on a somewhat personal basis. This also improved grades and the grading process. This made the whole learning experience much more enjoyable and more beneficial. In big college lecture halls, you are lucky if your teacher even knows your name. In lecture halls people are much less involved and relationships are not built. Along with that, online classes create no connections and provide minimal help when help is needed. In a learning environment personal connections with classmates and teachers can improve your grade and make it an overall more enjoyable experience for both the teacher and student. It is very hard to achieve this in college lecture halls and online courses.

Students have no say in what they learn

In this weeks discussion we will talk about when Friere says “The teacher chooses the program content, and the students (who were not consulted) adapt to it.” Do you believe students have no say in education? Is this fair? Does it happen often? Think about how you feel about this statement and if you have ever felt that it has happened to you for our discussion group.

Location: In the Quad in front of University Hall

Date and Time: Thursday, September 5th, 2:00 PM