I have gone through a writing dry-spell lately, bereft of ideas compelling enough to muse upon publicly, yet forgetting that my job provides a wealth of potential topics. My newer readers may not know that I have a very unique teaching job: I teach a critical thinking course called “Theory of Knowledge” in a public high school in the metro Atlanta area. It is a required course for the International Baccalaureate diploma program. The joy of teaching it lies in the effect it has on students, opening their minds to other ways of thinking while exposing the short-sightedness of their own perspectives, and empowering not merely to accept claims as knowledge on the authority of second-hand sources, but to evaluate critically, though with a measure of humility, the things they are taught.
Recently, I’ve been finishing a study of the history of ideas (in Western Civilization) with my juniors. I’m planning to relay on this blog some of the highlights of the lessons from more modern history, starting with Karl Marx and concluding with Sartre. This will give me the opportunity to reflect more deeply on what I am learning with my students, and hopefully shine some light of understanding on anyone who reads.