During this next section in class, we will be exploring the issues connecting socio-economic class status and the educational system in the United States. We will be having an active discussion, writing personal reflections, viewing documentary clips, and reading the assigned articles. In order to facilitate the discussion, I have invited Dr. Mark Jury to join us for the week in order to share his expertise on the educational institution.

Our main challenge this week is to identify social institutions and power dynamics that intersect with the educational system. In order to do this, we must first understand the impact of this intersection personally.

For your class participation, please write a 100-250 word essay about your personal experiences of education in regards to socio-economic class and power.  Also include in your story, how your educational process has been influenced by at least two other institutions. Post your story in the comments section of this blog before Monday at 5pm. After that time, please look over your classmates’ stories and find sociological themes to comment upon during our discussion circle in class. Be ready to share your story again in class. We will go over these narratives on Tuesday.

Institution Examples:

Financial System
Government/Electoral System
Healthcare System
Immigration System

On Tuesday, we will watch clips from two documentaries,Born Rich and Nursery University:

We will also be connecting the two assigned articles to our personal narratives and the documentaries on Tuesday. Please read both articles (see Prezi):

–      Nelson: Parenting Out of Control: chapter 4: How They Parent: Styles, Satisfactions, and Tensions, 87-104
–      Textbook: Reading 30: Why Middle Class Mothers and Fathers Are Going Broke, 401-420

On Thursday, I will be out of town, so Dr. Jury will continue the conversation with the class. He will show parts of the documentary The Lottery

You will connect the documentary, your personal narratives, and the assigned readings for Thursday:
–      Textbook: Reading 27: Families on the Fault Line, 371-388
–      Textbook: Reading 29: The Missing Class, 395-400

Finally, on Tuesday November 6, we will have a focus group on student loans. We will watch the short documentary Default: The Student Loan Documentary. For those of you who are willing to speak publicly about student loans, you can participate in the videotaped focus group. This exercise will help me develop questions for students about student loans.