In this series of posts, I’m asking all of you to offer your observations on students and teaching today so that I can begin thinking about what the next edition of Emerging needs.
My central question this time is: What are the most pressing challenges and problems you feel students will face in their lives today and in the future?
One of the things that I love most about Emerging is how contemporary the readings are. I’ve always felt that one of the most enduring lessons of FYC is how to think critically not about this or that academic reading but about the real issues and problems that students, as political agents and citizen actors, will have to work through (and hopefully solve) as they move into their lives and careers. That is, I think that FYC should prepare students not only for academic success, but also for success in the world.
Emerging has a number of readings that try to tackle some of these thorny issues such as globalization (Kwame Anthony Appiah, Thomas Friedman, Richard Manning), education (Yo-Yo Ma, Ruth Padawer, Graeme Wood, Wesley Yang), climate change (Sandra Allen), sexuality and gender (Roxane Gay, Ariel Levy, Ruth Padawer, Hanna Rosin, Dan Savage and Urvashi Vaid), and technology (the Dalai Lama, Francis Fukuyama, Chuck Klosterman, Maria Konnikova, Nick Paumgarten, Tomas van Houtryve). But as important as these issues are, I am sure there are others we’ve not considered.
So, what do you think? What are the thorny problems that most need addressing, understanding that the students of the today will be the ones to address those problems tomorrow (if not now)?