Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Do You Believe In Me?

A most amazing public speaker. That is exactly how I would describe Dalton Sherman. You can see rhetoric at work in the speech of this Dallas public school student. I was so motivated by this video that I blurted out at the beginning of class to my unknowing, much-too-sleepy, and completely shocked comp class, "I believe in you!"

It was so weird because Sherman talks about something so simple and yet so complex. We sort of got into this last week when talking about feminist teaching and the de-centering of authority in the classroom. Are there ways to avoid it? One pessimist in class just kept harping on the fact that we still have to turn in grades at the end of the semester/year and that no matter what this is an authoritarian position we will never be able to escape. (She even decried my methods of my equal power as silly. As if letting students grade themselves will allow them to learn anything. Well, wouldn't they be able to learn how to evaluate others?)

1 comment:

Katherine said...

I think that even when I did the contract grading I was in control for the most part--I was still leading many lectures, assigning activities, and commenting on their papers. I'm actually hoping to try something in class tomorrow--letting a couple of students lead class discussion. I'll let you know how it goes.

And, of course, I believe in you, Michael!