Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College


English 101 Section A17. Writing about Rewriting Education

In Rebecca Solnit’s “Abolish High School,” Solnit poses a question about contemporary education: “What was it that I was supposed to learn in high school?” For many students, the answer to this question is no more clear at the end of senior year than it is at the beginning of freshman year. In the sixteen years since George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act, the rift between education policy-makers, educators, and young learners seems only to have grown, making Solnit’s question all the more pertinent.

In this class, we will seek answers. Through a research-based exploration of contemporary public, private, and alternative schooling approaches, we will question the efficacy of standardized testing (and thus standardized education), examine the ongoing debates regarding issues of access, like Affirmative Action and the “leaky pipeline” and its effect on women in STEM, and explore how technology, and a growing trend toward autodidacticism, is already reshaping our approach to education, both inside the classroom and out.