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MOOCs - more glacier than tsunami

MOOCs - more glacier than tsunami | Digital Identity and Access Management | Scoop.it
 by NASA Goddard Photo and Video
About a year ago Stanford University president John L. Hennessy made a much publicized presentation comparing MOOCs to a tsunami about to hit higher education.

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HARRY POTTER and the SORCERER'S STONE: A Marxist and Feminist View of the Boy Who Lived

HARRY POTTER and the SORCERER'S STONE: A Marxist and Feminist View of the Boy Who Lived | Digital Identity and Access Management | Scoop.it
Literary theory on Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling.

Via Dan Galvin
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Dan Galvin's curator insight, December 22, 2012 9:05 AM

EXPLANATORY ESSAY

This text is an ideal text to help students take the step from reading texts in orer to understand Marxist literary theory to actually applying that knowledge to create their own Marxist interpretations of literarture.  This text serves as an ideal model for the type of writing students will be expected to produce. The fact that the subject is a story most students are familiar with through popular exposure through books, movies and media makes the text even more ideal as students grapple with how to approach such a comlex task.  However, even though the author provides a mini-primer of Marxist theory, the concepts involved are complex enough that this text would be most effective only after students have a basic understanding of Marxist theory.

 

QUANTITATIVE MEASURES

Purpose / Levels of Meaning

The purpose of this text is two-tiered.  The text seeks to introduce it's reader to two schools of literary criticism, and to then use apply that knowledge in order to analyze the popular Harry Potter series usig both a Marxist and Feminist lens.

 

Structure

The structure of he text resembles that of a literary essay, similar to what students may themselves produce.  However, there are enough stylistic and structural deviations from the basic essay structure so as to serve as a model for a more sophisticated approach to literary essays.

 

Language Conventionality and Clarity

While it seems the author has made an attempt to keep the language relatively accessible, the subject matter, specifically the references to literary theory, require the use of highly domain-specific language and vocabulary often not seen even in most high school english classrooms.

 

Knowledge Demands

While the author does make efforts to supply the reader with the basics of both Marxist and Feminist literary theories, in order to understand those theories, a suffcient background knowledge of the social and economic circumstances that led to their creation is necessary in order to properly understand the throries as they are introduced, and thus follow the author as he applies those theories to Harry Potter.

 

QUANTITATIVE MEASURES - Lexile 1360

The complex vocabulary necessary to analyzing literature using literary theory, as well as some complex sentence structure, results in a lexile measurement that places the text slightly above the 11-CCR complexity band, which is set at 1215-1355.

 

RECOMMENDED PLACEMENT

Both qualitative and quatitative measures suggest that this text is apt fr the 11-CCR level.  Certain measures place the text at the uper end of the band, meaning that it would be best utilized after students have attained a basic familiarity with many of the concepts of the text, as well as understanding of some of the terms.

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Action Philosophers Marx


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Dan Galvin's curator insight, December 28, 2012 1:57 PM

INFORMATIONAL (GRAPHIC NOVEL)

This is a great text to introduce the throries of Karl Marx in as accesible a way as possible.  Because of the complexity of the task of using Marxist theory to analyze texts, it will be important that ALL students have a firm grasp of the background knowledge of Marxist theory before advancing to the application of theory to literature.  This text is therefore ideal for providing an engaging and accessible introduction to some very complex yet essential concepts.

 

QUANTITATIVE MEASURES

Purpose / Levels of Meaning

The purpose is to explain the basic theories of Marxism through an accessible and entertaining format.  The compexity, however, comes from an ambiguity about how the author feels about those theories, thus making it difficult to determine bias and thus reliability.  The child character in the text serves as a stand-in for the reader as the cartoon-Marx explains it's theories.  However, while portrayal of Marxism can be interpreted as extreme and violent, it is unclear how much of this portayal is a result of author's bias.

 

Structure

The structure presents visuals to accompany all text, but the interrelatedness of text and visuals vary.  Some of the visuals are helpful in supporting understanding of text.  A few of the more difficult passages of text, however, have very little in the way of visual scaffolds to understanding.

 

Language Conventionality and Clarity

The language is designed to be accessible, however many of the terms (i.e. commodities, fetishism, bourgeois) describe such complex concepts that the provided explanations and visuals may be inadequate to fully understand without additional explanation or instruction.

 

Knowledge Demands

Many of the concepts referred to require an understanding of economics, history or social theory, much of which may need to be pre-assessed and pre-taught.

 

QUANTITATIVE MEASURES - Lexile 930

The efforts made by the author to present complex information in as accessible a manner has resulted in a much lower lexile score than would be assumed.  The information is segmeneted by both smaller sentences as well as speech bubbles and panels, which makes the information easier to process.  More complex terms are counterbalanced by simpler language, all of which reults in a lexile level consistent with the grade 4-5 complexity band, despite containing subject matter decidedly more complex.

 

RECOMMENDED PLACEMENT

This is a difficult text to place, due to the variety of ways in which the structure and author's choices work to make the text as accessible as possible.  However, due to the knowledge demands and the presence of complex conceptual Tier III vocbulary, I believe that the text would be appropriate for the 11-CCR complexity band.  Some of the concepts addressed in the text are often not encountered until college, and so the format is simply helpful scaffolding for what is, in reality, a very complex text.

 

 

PERFORMANCE TASK

Students provide an objective summary of this interpretation of the philosophy of Karl Marx wherein they analyze how the author's articulate the central ideas of nature of capital, value and exploitation  and how those ideas interact and build on one another. [RI.11–12.2] 

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Anthem by Ayn Rand (Full Text with Annotations)

Anthem by Ayn Rand (Full Text with Annotations) | Digital Identity and Access Management | Scoop.it

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"Edison, New Jersey" as read by author Junot Diaz

"Edison, New Jersey" as read by author Junot Diaz | Digital Identity and Access Management | Scoop.it

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Dan Galvin's curator insight, December 19, 2012 9:29 PM

"Edison, New Jersey" by Junot Diaz

SHORT STORY (AUDIO RECORDING and TRANSCRIPT)

The is a text that spans genre.  Originally published in Junot Diaz's book of short stories entitled "Drown," the story was read by Diaz for a radio broadcast called "This American Life."  The broadcast has been taken down, but electronic copies can still be acquired.   What is contained in the link above is a transcription of the broadcast, which is actually better fr using with the audio recording, as there are inconsistensies between the audio file and the published short story.

 

QUANTITATIVE MEASURES

Purpose / Levels of Meaning

This is a story that, while simply told, is densely packed with implications and commentary on race relations, classism, gender roles, and the power dynamics of a modern American economy.   A Marxist interpretation is only one of many possible avenues for analysis.  Feminist and Postcolonial literary theory are also very much in play with this text, makig it a text that, while sparesely written, is densely packed with meaning.

 

Structure

The structure is a series of vignette-style moments strung together to create a narrative.  The occasional lack of transitional explanation, or sparse use of attributions in dialogue could possibly lead to lapses in clarity, but in general the structure is a fairy straightforward delivery for a short story.

 

Language Conventionality and Clarity

The language seems almost purposely simplistic, taking on a style that would be consistent with the working-class background and lifestyle of the narrator. The literal meaning is always extremely clear, whereas the underlying levels of meaning are how the text achieves its complexity.

 

Knowledge Demands

There is very ittle in the way of knowledhge demands that are not supplied within the narrative.  Knoweldge of the locations within New Jersey, pool tables and the spanish epithets that are used may help with more ready appreciation, but lack of knowledge in these areas should not impede comprehension. 

 

QUANTITATIVE MEASURES - Lexile 860

The vocabulary and sentence structures are simple, placing the Lexile level within the grade 4-5 complexity band.

 

RECOMMENDED PLACEMENT

This short story, based solely on the literal and surface-level understanding, is very simple.  However, the avenues for analysis using a variety of critical theory lenses are seemingly limitless, making it an ideal text for students learning to use critical theory to examine literature.

 

 

PERFORMANCE TASK

Students provide an objective summary of Junot Diaz’s "Edison, New Jersey" wherein they analyze how over the course of the text different characters try to escape or accept their situations, including the role that economics and social class play in preventing or allowing escape. [RL.11–12.2]

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The Fallacy of Success by G. K. Chesterton

The Fallacy of Success by G. K. Chesterton | Digital Identity and Access Management | Scoop.it

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Dan Galvin's curator insight, December 19, 2012 10:16 PM

INFORMATIONAL (LITERARY NONFICTION)

This is a highly dense and complex text, and should be read by students with a great degree of scaffolding.  Accordingly, there is no need to ascribe to this text an assignments that will place even greater demands on students comprehension abiliities.  In fact, an assignment that gives students a starting-point in which to ground their analysis of the text will help to further scaffold what is atruly challenging text for high-school students.

 

QUANTITATIVE MEASURES

Purpose / Levels of Meaning

There is agreat deal of complexity to understanding the levels of meaning in this text, as there is a high degree of satire and sarcasm in the writing.  This is especially difficult to decipher when combined with the convoluted language.  Students will have to labor to decipher the literal meaning of the text, only to determine which statements are meat literally and which statements are meant in jest. 

 

Structure

The essay format which is used by the author is one that is seemingly straightforward and familiar.  However, the large paragraphs that seem to meander across several talking points makes for an especially dense text.  The technique 'chunking' that more modern writers tend to do, where each paragraph is focused around a single idea seems to be missing here, making for a more difficul read for students accustomed to more formulaic approaches to essays.

 

Language Conventionality and Clarity

The language is extremely ornate, and even the simpler vocabulary and concepts are presented in a rambling and overblown manner.  This is done for the purpose of establishing a tone and style, but does serve to make the task of reading the text more difficult.

 

Knowledge Demands

A knowledge of the American industrial movement of the late 1800s and early 1900s would be helpful in truly appreciating some of the refernces and examples given within the text.  It will be especially helpful to have some background knowlegde of the the American indusrtialists such as Vanderbilt who are referenced within the text.

 

QUANTITATIVE MEASURES - Lexile 1050

While other measures combine to make the reading of this text a demanding process, quantitatively the text falls within the grade 6-8 complexity band. 

 

RECOMMENDED PLACEMENT

Accoring to Appendix A of the Common Core State Standards, this text is appropriate for the 11-CCR complexity band in the category of Informational: ELA.

 

 

PERFORMANCE TASK

Students analyze Chesterton's "The Fallacy of Success" for how what is directly stated in a text differs from what is really meant, comparing and contrasting the point of view adopted by the author in each his essay. [RL.11–12.6] 

 

OR

 

Students analyze how the key term success is interpreted, used, and refined over the course of G. K. Chester- ton’s essay “The Fallacy of Success.” [RI.11–12.4]  (Taken directly from CCSS Appendix B)

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Questions From a Worker Who Reads, Bertolt Brecht 1935

Questions From a Worker Who Reads, Bertolt Brecht 1935 | Digital Identity and Access Management | Scoop.it

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Dan Galvin's curator insight, December 26, 2012 1:28 PM

POETRY

This is a simple text, and thus ideal for student first experimenting with the process of using literary theory to dissect text.  The text itself is on a complexity level simple enough that the text itself should prove simple to decipher, allowing students to focus on the process of incorporating complex criticism into their analysis and thus their writing.

 

QUANTITATIVE MEASURES

Purpose / Levels of Meaning

The purpose of this poem seems to be drawing a common thread though many famous historical events, with that thread being the presence of common, working class people who have toiled to make the great events of history possible, only to have the upper-class heroic figures be remembered. The case that can be made that while many Marxist texts attempt to establish a working brotherhood across national and ethnic dividing lines, this poem attemts to take that effort one step further and forge those connections across the divides of history and time.

 

Structure

The structure is simple and repetitive, using the basic comparison between the famous figures who have been recounted throughout history, and the ccomplishments of the lower-classes whose support has made their accomplishments possible.

 

Language Conventionality and Clarity

The language is quite clear, with simple sentence structure, and vocabulary that can be quickly explained wthout much in the way of complex conceptual explantion.

 

Knowledge Demands

The entire poem is essentially a series of historical references of varying degree of obscurity.  However, if a student is unaware of the context surrounding one or more references, it does not prevent understanding and appreciation of the larger themes or message. 

 

QUANTITATIVE MEASURES - Lexile 460

The simple sentence structure, as well as limited Tier 3 vocabulary would indicate that quantitative measurements would place the text weel below the 11-CCR complexity band, perhaps as low as Grades 2-3.

 

RECOMMENDED PLACEMENT

The text itelf, while making reference to complex concepts and historical references, is actually relatively simple.  It is then important that the task and analytical demands bring the level of challenge up to a sufficient level as to be worthy of the 11-CCR level.  In this case, a requirement that analysis of the poem be done through citation of other texts that have been clearly established within the 11-CCR band would be challenging enough for students still mastering the task of using literary criticism to analyze text.  However, this text should be seen merely as a scaffolded 'stepping-stone' to the analysis of more complex texts using Marxist literary theory.

 

 

PERFORMANCE TASK

Students determine the purpose and point of view of Bertold Brecht in "Questions from a Worker who Reads,” and Karl Marx in the Communist Manifesto, analyzing how the themes and content contribute to the eloquent and powerful contrast between the commn worker and the powerful in each separate epoch. [RI.11–12.6] 

 

 

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Quantitative visualization of nanoparticles in cells and tissues

Quantitative visualization of nanoparticles in cells and tissues | Digital Identity and Access Management | Scoop.it
Currently, optically absorbing nanoparticles are breaking into clinical medicine because of their ability to aid in the identification of disease with several medical imaging modalities.

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Jacqueline Taylor-Adams's curator insight, February 12, 11:28 AM

Let's keep using technology for good.

Jacqueline Taylor-Adams's curator insight, February 12, 11:32 AM

This form of technology would also be great to identify the strength of our cells and educated how to continuously strengthen, nourish, and fortify the cell membrane.


I'm just saying...

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UC Santa Barbara History Professor's Book Elucidates, Celebrates 'Visioneers' - Nanotechnology News (press release)

UC Santa Barbara History Professor's Book Elucidates, Celebrates 'Visioneers' - Nanotechnology News (press release) | Digital Identity and Access Management | Scoop.it
Nanotechnology News (press release) UC Santa Barbara History Professor's Book Elucidates, Celebrates 'Visioneers' Nanotechnology News (press release) "The Visioneers: How a Group of Elite Scientists Pursued Space Colonies, Nanotechnologies, and a...

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Discover the NanoTechMap: the largest online exhibition of nanotechnology, featuring over 4000 registered companies!

Discover the NanoTechMap: the largest online exhibition of nanotechnology, featuring over 4000 registered companies! | Digital Identity and Access Management | Scoop.it

The NanoTechMap is made to accelerate nanotechnology business. It is the perfect platform to showcase and find innovative companies and products.


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Ancient Roman Nanotechnology Inspires Next-Generation Holograms for ... - The Epoch Times

Ancient Roman Nanotechnology Inspires Next-Generation Holograms for ... - The Epoch Times | Digital Identity and Access Management | Scoop.it

The Lycurgus Cup, as it is known due to its depiction of a scene involving King Lycurgus of Thrace, is a 1,600-year-old jade green Roman chalice that changes colour depending on the direction of the light upon it.


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Textbooks Go out the Window as Ed Tech Spreads in Pennsylvania Schools

Textbooks Go out the Window as Ed Tech Spreads in Pennsylvania Schools | Digital Identity and Access Management | Scoop.it
Technology trumps paper textbooks when school districts change priorities.
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A Big Picture Look at E-rate Changes for 2015

A Big Picture Look at E-rate Changes for 2015 | Digital Identity and Access Management | Scoop.it
With a redesign and increased funding, the federal discount program for school and library technology is making broadband a priority.
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Rescooped by Frank J. Klein from CAT 2014, Cat Preparation, MBA, B Schools, MBA Colleges, MBA In India, CAT Exams, XAT 2015, IIFT, SNAP, MAT, CMAT, TISSNET, NMAT, GMAT Preparation Material
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CAT 2014: Focus on Accuracy, attempt 60% question correctly; Topper Gaurav Awal Advice

CAT 2014: Focus on Accuracy, attempt 60% question correctly; Topper Gaurav Awal Advice | Digital Identity and Access Management | Scoop.it
CAT 2014 Exam strategy revealed by CAT Topper Gaurav. Reap the benefit from the success stories of past CAT toppers and their preparation strategy for CAT 2014

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THE COMMUNIST MANIFESTO

THE COMMUNIST MANIFESTO | Digital Identity and Access Management | Scoop.it

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Dan Galvin's curator insight, December 19, 2012 9:22 PM

ESSAY (HISTORICAL TEXT)

This famous historical document has value both a historical text as well as an exercise in literary and critical reading.  Due to the complexity of the text itself, the need for a complex and demanding task is not as necessary.  In fact, this may be a text ideal for allowing students to express their understanding through ceative means.

 

QUANTITATIVE MEASURES

Purpose / Levels of Meaning

The purpose of the text is to explain the makeup of the social system at the time the text was written, and to explina how that social system was exploiting the vast majority of individuals within that system.  It also sought to explain why the overthrow of the system was necessary and inevitable.  Clearly, however, the overthrow was not inevitable, as it has not taken place. The complexity of the process of reading the text derives from determining where the flaws in the text's logic arise, and what conditions described in the text remain in present day.

 

Structure

The structure of the text is relatively straightforward, as it is uses an essay structure, and while the lnaguage may be somewhat complex, the structure is fairly straightforward.

 

Language Conventionality and Clarity

The language is very complex.  There is a great deal of conceptual, Tier III vocabulary, and an in-depth understanding of certain key terms which are not fully broken-down within the text are essential to understanding the overall messages.  In addition, the use of figurative language in the text further increases the complexity.

 

Knowledge Demands

An understanding of history and economics, both at the time of the text's creation as well as since, are essential to reading the text with a critical eye.  In addition, the key terms that form some of the central understandings of the text require prior knowledge of the history and meaning of these terms.

 

QUANTITATIVE MEASURES - Lexile 1230

The long and complex sentences, as well as highly complex, domain-specific vocabulary, results in the text receieving a quantitative measure within the 11-CCR complexity band.

 

RECOMMENDED PLACEMENT

Due to the incredibly complex language, as well as the array of knowledge demands necessary to perform a critical reading fo this historical text, the mere reading and comprehension of the text is sufficiently demanding to warrant inclusion in the 11-CCR complexity band.

 

 

PERFOMANCE TASK

Students determine the meaning of key terms such as bourgeoisie, proletarians, and communist as well as other domain-specific words and phrases such as epoch, serfdom, and feaudal absolutism used in Karl Marx’s “Communicts Manifesto” [RST.11–12.4] 

 

OR

 

Students delineate and evaluate the argument that Karl Marx makes in the Communist Manifesto. They assess the reasoning present in his analysis, including the premises and purposes of his essay. [RI.11–12.8] 

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Ayn Rand "The Virtue of Selfishness"

Ayn Rand – THE VIRTUE OF SELFISHNESS THE VIRTUE OF SELFISHNESS“Ethics is not a mystic fantasy—nor a socialconvention—nor a dispensable,

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Rev. Martin Luther King, Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence

Rev. Martin Luther King, Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence | Digital Identity and Access Management | Scoop.it
Rev. Martin Luther King, Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence

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Dan Galvin's curator insight, December 19, 2012 8:56 PM

INFORMATIONAL (LITERARY NONFICTION)

This is a text that is an incrediby important, yet little-recognized historical text that can serve as a basis for very high level analysis of recurrent themes throughout history.  It explores aspects of MLK's philosophies that are often overlooked, and provides commentary that is illuminating regarding the connections between poverty and war, themes that are often examined in isolation of one another.  Highly valuable text.

 

QUANTITATIVE MEASURES

Purpose / Levels of Meaning

The purpose of the speech is somewhat straightforward in that it is designed to clearly communicate ideas to a listening audience, athough the use of quatations and references to literature, biblical themes and philosophy does increase the complexity.  In addition, the focus of the speech shifts several times, which does require the reader to readjust to new topics throughout the text.

 

Structure

Originally written as a speech, this transcript has been broken down into segments complete with labeled main ideas, a scaffolding to understanding that helps to break up an otherwse fairly dense text.

 

Language Conventionality and Clarity

The language is poetic and full of figurative language and references that might not otherwise be understood by high school students, much of which is crucial to understanding the main ideas of large sections of the text.

 

Knowledge Demands

The text presupposed a high degree of knowledge about a great many disparate topics, including popular philosophy and world religions.  Highly important, however, is a background knowlegde of the Vietnam conflict, as well as the backdrop of the Cold War.  Appreciation of the impotance of this speech as well as the ideas it puts forward will not be acheved without both the historical context of the geopolitics of the era, as well as the context of Martin Lither King Jr.'s life.  An understanding of the American social and economic policies of the time is less integral, but worth at least discussing throughout the reading as a means of scaffolding learning.

 

QUANTITATIVE MEASURES - Lexile 1150

The quantitative measurements place this text within the 9-10 complexity band.

 

RECOMMENDED PLACEMENT

While aspects of the text would seem to place it slightly lower than the 11-CCR complexity band, the high degree of knowledge demands to fully understand the depth and importance of the text means that it could easily be used in a 11-CCR level in order to make complex connections across history and synthesize complex politicl and philosophic ideas from different eras and political contexts.

 

 

PERFORMANCE TASK

Students determine the central ideas found in Martin Luther King's speech "A Time to Break the Silence", noting the parallels between it and the Communicts Manifesto and providing a summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas of each text and between the texts. [RH.11–12.2] 

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Excerpt from "The Jungle" by Upton Sinclair

Excerpt from "The Jungle" by Upton Sinclair | Digital Identity and Access Management | Scoop.it

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Dan Galvin's curator insight, December 19, 2012 10:43 PM

INFORMATIONAL (LITERARY NONFICTION)

This is a text that has gret potential in the classroom.  While it is dense and complex in its language, the descriptions are vivid and scintillating enough that the challenge of decoding the text results in an immediate payoff - a rare quality in classroom texts.  In addition, it is a text where the connections to Marxist criticism are fairly immediately apparent, and can thus be a good early text for Marxist analysis.

 

QUANTITATIVE MEASURES

Purpose / Levels of Meaning

The purpose of the text is truly social commentary with and eye towards inspiring popular demand for legislative change.  The task in reading the text critically comes from analyzing the techniques the author uses to accomplish his purpose, and determining why those specific techniques were used.

 

Structure

The genre is somewhat tricky, in that it has the appearance of a narrative, but is argumentative in its purpose and nonfiction in its subject matter.  However, in this case, the narrative structure makes the text actually a bit more readbale than other approaches the author might have used.  Examination of the effect of one genre versus another is another level of analysis that is important to truy appreciate the text.

 

Language Conventionality and Clarity

The narrative is dense with description of the inner-workings of an industrial plant, but the narrative in written in such a way as to be very accessible to readers without knowledge of the meat-packing industry.  The dense descriptions actually serve to create vivid images which make the text more engaging, rather than difficult.

 

Knowledge Demands

The purpose of the text is wide accessibility.  However, as it was written for an audience of the early 1900's some basic background knowledge of the social conditions and econom of the day would aid readers in quickly comprehending the texts literal meanings as well as underlying social critiques.

 

QUANTITATIVE MEASURES - Lexile 1240

The quantitative measure of this text is within the limits of the 11-CCR complexity band, mainly for its elaborate, descriptive sentences, and wide array of descriptive vocabulary.

 

RECOMMENDED PLACEMENT

All facets of the text are aligned to place the text within the 11-CCR complexity band if taght with a focus on the larger implications rather than a surface-level appreciation of the descriptions contained therein.

 

 

PERFORMANCE TASK

Students compare and contrast the figurative and connotative meanings as well as specific word choices in Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle" in order to determine how the descriptions of industry shape the meaning and tone of each poem. The reader pays particular attention to the implied message regarding capilatism and the relationship between the roles of workers and the larger structures of industry. [RL.11–12.4] 

 

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Jeffrey Sachs speaks to Occupy Wall Street

Jeffrey Sachs speaks to Occupy Wall Street | Digital Identity and Access Management | Scoop.it

Economist Jeffrey Sachs spoke to Occupy Wall Street protesters at Zuccotti Park on October 7, 2011. Here's a transcript of his remarks.


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Dan Galvin's curator insight, December 19, 2012 11:53 PM

ARGUMENTATIVE/INFORMATIONAL (VIDEO/LISTENING)

This is a fascinating text in that it is so very clear and relevant to present day, and thus a perfect bridge linking the theories of the past to recent events and current politics.  The fact that a video is presented alongside a written transcript means that the text can be used in a variety of ways, including focusing on its delivery as a purely audio-visual text, and even as a analysis of the qualities that make for good public speaking.  A truly multifaceted text, and perfect for any unit on the philosophies of Marxism.

 

QUANTITATIVE MEASURES

Purpose / Levels of Meaning

The original, primary text is the actual speech made by Jeffrey Sachs.  It's basicpurpose seems relatively clear: he aims to inform a crowd of Occupy Wall Street protesters about the economic and historical facts that have led to the income disparity they are now protesting.  There are subtle aspects of the purpose that can be further examined, however, about what other purposes he might have had for delivering such a widely pubicized speech, or whether or not he assumed that the protesters already were aware of such information, and the implications of such assumptions.

 

Structure

The structure is relatively simple  It begins as a simple greeting, progresses to a presentation of information, and then takes a more narrative structure as Sachs describes the history of income disparity in this nation.  While some attention does need to be paid for the shifts in structure, and discussion can be valuable as to why he chose such a structure, the structure itself does not add additional barriers to understanding.

 

Language Conventionality and Clarity

The information is presented is condensed into simple and slaient points, and presented so as to be easily understood.  In fact, the information is presented in such an overtly simple way, that the decision to do so warants further analysis.  If watching the video, the presentation of information is made somewhat more difficult to follow by the 'audience participation' aspect.

 

Knowledge Demands

A understanding of the Occupy Wall Street movement is fairly essential to truly grasp the text.  In addition, a cursory understanding of not only American history of the past 50 years, but also a basic understanding of the tax code and changes to budget and spending policies and how they have changed will help to deepen appreciation and analysis of the text.

 

QUANTITATIVE MEASURES - Lexile 720

The text is relatively simple in terms of its quantitative measures of complexity, being within the grade 2-3 complexity band.

 

RECOMMENDED PLACEMENT

While the understanding of the information presented by the text itself is a relatively simple task, the analysis of the nuances and contextual influences associated with the text has the potential for highly complex discourse and inquiry.  Therefore, while the text itself would be appropriate for the 9-10 complexity band, the use of the text for the purpose of marxist literary analysis would place the text within the range of the 11-CCR band.

 

 

PERFORMANCE TASK

Students determine the central ideas found in Jeffery Sach's speech, noting the parallels between it and the Communicts Manifesto and providing a summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas of each text and between the texts. [RH.11–12.2]

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