In the reading “The New Sovereignty by Shelby Stee...
In the reading “The New Sovereignty by Shelby Steele,” the author
challenges the orthodoxy of diversity that is very common in university
campuses (451). He describes the embarking of the US government in the
alteration and expansion of the entitlement concept in the 1960’s as dramatic
social experiments in America’s history (451). During that period, the rights
to justice as well as the benefits were extended to people from all races and
ethnic groups. He introduces the concept of the New Sovereignty, where he describes
the sovereignty as the authority to act autonomously, and it is granted on any
group that can construct itself within a perceived grievance. He explains how
on American college campuses, groups such as blacks, Asians, gays and lesbians
harden into sovereign constituencies on the basis of their grievances. There is
a need for equality in many groups
In the reading “The Pedagogic Creed by John Dewey,” the author
attempts to describe what education is. According to him, education proceeds
through an individual’s taking part in the “social consciousness of the race.”
An individual’s unconscious education starts during birth (460), where habits
are formed, and ideas trained. The education that is most formal as well as
technical in the world cannot depart from the general process. The author
considers the only authentic education to originate from the stimulation of a
“child’s powers,” which are demanded by the social situation. The demands
of the society make one to be stimulated in order to act as a member of the
unity, which comes from one’s original narrowness of both action and feeling.
This enables one to envisage oneself from the viewpoint of the group’s welfare.
According to him, the process of education contains two sides: sociological, and
psychological. Among the two, psychological is the basic one. Both the
psychological and sociological are connected organically, and that neither of
them should be neglected. The author asserts that a person who should be
educated is that person who is social and that the society should be an organic
union that is formed by individuals (462). In this reading, Dewey describes
schools as social institutions, and therefore, education is a social process.
In the description of the subject matter of education, Dewey asserts that the
social life of a child correlates to the training that he receives. Lastly,
Dewey describes the nature of the method at length.
In the reading “The American Scholar by Ralph Waldo,” the author
tries to show the principal influences that a man receives while in school. He
describes the scholar as a “delegated intellect. “One of the main influence to
man comes from the nature, and he must “settle its value in mind” (470). The
second issue that influences the scholar is the “mind of the past,” which
represents his history (471). He describes books as one of the best things,
which are “best used, or among the worst” (472). The author goes ahead to
explain what is the right use of books, as well as what is the wrong use.
According to him, as the human body is fed with food, the mind should be
nourished by knowledge” (473) By playing down thought and knowledge, which the
author describes as “natures in which apparatus and pretension avail nothing,”
American colleges will retreat in terms of their public significance.