Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Required Readings

On my last teaching trip we had the students write "Five Things to Know About Me" assignments. They were meant to mimic the style of readings that we provided about philosophers.

For instance, Five Things to Know About Karl Marx included his idea of the inevitable proletariat revolution, his materialistic understanding of history, Hegel's influence on his work, etc. They were short readings designed to give a straightforward introduction to their ideas and provide some basic context for their lives.

So the students were assigned to record their own philosophical conclusions and historical context. At the very least it's fun to write about yourself in third person. Additionally, we asked the students to make a list of "required readings". These are essentially a list of favourites that allow for further insight into their development. It doubled quite nicely as a list of recommendations.

I completed the assignment first, as an exemplar for the students. Now, with the help of my brother I was able to add an extensive list of my "required readings" in the sidebar. It's quite a neat tree menu provided by code he found at Yahoo's User Interface (YUI) Library. At the very least it's nice to point someone to the menu wants me to recommend something to them. I look forward to reviewing each one.

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