Aspects of American Culture
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Diana George and John Triumph provide ideas on how to think critically on the American culture. George and Triumph’s idea is to classify the contemporary culture as a vast research project and to comprehend its ways of life from the inside, as you observe and live with them. The American students have a chance to go through persuasive arguments on crucial matters, which they are likely to encounter in life and not just in classroom. They are provided with reading and writing assignments in their familiar way of life in order to understand how the ways fit into the multi-cultural, mass-mediated and diverse contemporary American society.
Teachers of persuasive arguments are free to have students conduct research on the text needed field and, hence, make it more flexible for the classroom by providing alternate groupings of articles. These articles comprise of alternate content and rhetorical content, where the alternate content assembles articles under headings such as journalism and popular writing. Academic and critical writing literary essays and fiction, while the rhetorical contents, involve headings like description, narration and exposition. There are also suggestions for reading, discussion and writing for every reading. There are also other features, which are not included in other texts, such as the visual culture, which shows students different images, including billboards or newspaper pictures to interpret and analyze them. Also other sections contribute significantly, e.g., the fieldwork that offers students the chance to observe and interview people about culture in a relatively broad perspective. Mining archive sections help students to learn to use resources for maximum benefit, such as use of the internet websites and library. This is because students are provided with such assignments as to find old texts books from the library and do research on the different norms, which existed in the past, and compare and prepare written findings on how they have changed until the present time.
Perspective sections also provide clear observation on how different authors may have different ideas or thoughts about certain subjects, hence, create a mentality that everyone should be ready to defend his or her ideas, and be confident enough to express what they feel and think about particular issues. They also learn how to write persuasively in order to convince the audience to understand clearly their points of view. Students are also offered companion website to enable further reading and comprehension of the tackled topics, and also the sites have capabilities to act as discussion board and place where students can submit reading responses online. The topics are part of the American culture and, hene, affect the students directly.
Students are able to look at the culture critically rather than accepting them without any further research, hence, making them learn and develop ideas and arguments as they explore their culture. Different authors agree on a common issue that the American culture is mainly aimed at creating adopting the teens to the existing culture, rather than offering the theoretical work in classroom. David Brooks had his thoughts that there is a difference between the hardworking Chinese students and the lazy American students. He says that Chinese education impacted morals built around cultivation of discipline and other internal virtues, while the western education focuses on learning about the things that hung on critical inquiry and sharing of ideas.
There is a deep cultural difference between the Chinese and western attitudes towards education. The American high school students are mocked as nerds, while in the Chinese vocabulary there are no such concepts. There are different meanings for the term “nerd”, where in the Chinese it includes terms for dull and tasteless person, and for someone extremely enthusiastic about computers. In Brook’s perspective, the word refers to a pedant and bookworm. According to Benjamin Nugent, access to wide range of materials and use of computers to conduct researches was useful to help the student see matters from different perspectives and to acquire knowledge about how different people persuasively argue out there ideas. It is of more importance and should not be ignored or classified as unbeneficial culture to the students. David Brooks sees the American culture to be working less on instilling discipline to the students, but acting as a way of conducting researches to intimidate other people’s ideas. He claims that the American culture works less towards upbringing of morally upright and hardworking generations since information is acquired so easily from a variety of sources. Though it concerns with learning of the changing trends in the American society, students should not depend much on the already researched arts, but instead they should do their own researches to obtain the first hand information, then proceed to compare it with what is already published and posted on the websites by different authors.
Many authors have defined the term “nerd” in the same way as a person who is guided by personal interests towards a certain issue. The Western culture in that way teases the nerds but according to the way they describe the word is that nerds are always stuck into books without consideration of what their culture is. Therefore, they follow a culture that is relevant to the current issues in the societyy. These cultures enable students to fit right into the environment after school, since what they gained during the education system is relevant to what is required in the environment outside school. Four different authors came up with the same view regarding the issues that suggests that there is no problem with accessing a wide range of information from different books. They also highlight websites as another good thing applying the knowledge gained to the present culture in order to be true to the real situations. Research also should not be conducted with the main aim of challenging the already established issues, but to discover their relevancy to the real life situations, and learn their weaknesses to try to solve them and bring a more comprehensive report avoiding the weaknesses. Classroom work should be based on acquiring the required experience in the different sectors of the society, and this can be achieved from learning how different people handled and reacted to different matters. This information is provided through the published works of art and posts from relevant websites and, hence, accessing them to gain the information should not be viewed as an issue of becoming a bookworm, but rather a way of acquiring diverse range of information.
Learners should not largely depend on such information, since they have the chance to do their own researches, and obtain first-hand information, and through such practices they develop the culture of working hard and being reliable in the society.
Adam Rogers supports the idea about accessing to wide range of information and says that the modern society is mainly based on Gary Gygax since the most creative and helpful materials can be accessed from a variety of resources, and this includes novels about superheroes and fiction movies. The reading culture provides different ways through which students conduct their studies, whereby one way is through reading for change. Students make efforts to acquire certain information so as to pass tests. This method provides detailed information, since intensive research is conducted, and even after the student has been tested the knowledge still remains and can be applied in the daily life situation and become helpful. Other students study for pleasure, whereby there is no important matter to research on, but one wants to read about a certain topic which he or she likes, and it helps on specialization since the information is acquired out of one’s intentions and, hence, it is well-understood.
According to all the authors, the societies discussed have different emphasis on the reading culture, but they all work to acquire the necessary and useful information to fit well into the culture of their society.
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