Here is a refinement of our assignment so far beginning with Scott's question to his class:Paper Assignment # 1, Part A. DUE Wednesday, March 24 (I could move this)
How do you think race affects crime? For example, why do you think minorities in America are associated with higher crime rates? Are arrested more? Are imprisoned more? Post on your Ning blog. These blog posts will be reviewed and commented on by members of another class. At the end of the semester, you will review their posts and answer these questions again. We encourage you to continue discussions with members of the other class throughout the semester.
I figured it could be sort of a pre and post test. They'll post what they think at the beginning, go through the class, reflect on their posts and conversations with members of your class, and then post at the end of the semester using the same guide questions. It will give us all an idea of how their thinking on this topic has evolved. This assignment will help them. I'm not sure how it can help your class, unless they are able to maintain a dialog during the semester.
I'll be doing all of these assignments for Part 1 in Ning. I'll be posting other questions (usually about some controversial issue or famous case) during the semester. Your class is welcome to comment on those posts. Perhaps something will organically present itself to us.
When students in my class begin reading about reservation life in the Alexie novel this will be the perfect time for them to read Scott's students' postings-we are still working on how we want students to respond--what makes the most sense for me is for my students to "test" the ideas about crime, race, violence in Scott's class, using what they are reading as evidence. . .