Current Connection 10/12/20

The article for this week was written by Maxine Greene and is titled, “Wide-Awakeness and the Moral Life”. She discusses in depth of how teachers need to be wide-awake when in their classrooms and how morals are brought into the classroom and how teachers are supposed to deal with those things. Wide-awakeness is described in the article as “a plane of consciousness of highest tension originating in an attitude of full attention to life and its requirements. To expand upon that, it is said that teachers need to be wide-awake at all times when they are in their classrooms. First of all, they need to be aware of themselves and everything going on with them in their lives. Secondly, they need to be able to understand what is going on with their students and how they are acting with each other. This awareness of what is going on allows for the teacher and their students to have a safe environment for learning that allows for the students to succeed. The teacher should be comfortable sharing their opinions with their students and in return, the students will be comfortable sharing their opinions with their teacher. This sharing of opinions is able to allow for students to learn from each other and form their own opinions on things which is very beneficial to start during school.

Then Greene goes on to discuss her idea of moral life. She introduces this topic by discussing how people in society have many feelings of not being heard or that they are powerless in society. These feelings are said to then cause people to wonder many things about themselves such as where they belong and many other questions of where they fit in. Greene then says later on that reality is basically what we make of things and it is possible to change this reality but it is hard because we are all so used to the way things go in our daily lives. Greene wants there to be more of a teaching in schools about morals and real life situations to be shown to children so they know what to do in said situations. She gave an example about kids doing drugs and the different “what if” situations if the kids had a sense of morals. She then poses the problem of how this education would work because it is very crucial for children to know these things, but to be able to teach it to them in a way that would resonate with them is the challenge.

The article that I found is titled, “Students must form own opinions” by Nietzsche Deuel who was in high school when this was written. This article was written in 2016 right before the Presidential Election that year between Clinton and Trump. The article discusses how it is very important for students to be able to form their own opinions on things and how people should not just go along with their parents opinions. The targeted audience of this article was the people in Deuel’s high school who were able to vote for the first time. One quote that stuck out to me from this article was, “the skill of analyzing information is an important skill to have in life. Students must think critically about information given to them. They need to recognize their parents’ political views, but then do their own research”. This was able to be done in this school because the teacher of the government class, allowed for civil debates to be held for students to form their opinion on the election. This is the primary reason I picked this article because I immediately thought of wide-awake teaching.

The article by Deuel relates to Greene’s article because it is a good demonstration of the work being described in Greene’s article. Greene emphasized how important it was for students to be exposed to wide-awake learning and they were in Deuel’s article. Their teacher was able to create a safe environment where she and her student felt comfortable having a sophisticated debate about politics, which is quite the controversial topic, in a civil way. This debate was able to allow the students of the class to formulate their own opinions which were very important because they were voting in their first major election.

Overall, I think that Greene’s article poses a lot of questions to educators around the world and makes them think of how they can do better. It also makes educators think of how they can create this safe and healthy learning environment for their students. I wish I had more teachers and professors who had the wide-awake viewpoint because I feel like it fosters an amazing learning environment that all students can thrive in. I hope to be able to have an environment like that in my classroom one day.

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