Saturday, October 31, 2009

The American Dream

Jeg begyndte at lære om et nyt tema i torsdags med mine 2.g elever...... "The American Dream". Under de næste 3 måneder læser de 3 forskellige bøger og ser 2 filmer så vi undersøger ideen af "The American Dream". For at begynde vores arbejde, lavede vi en brainstorm session sammen for at vise mig hvad de ved og synes de ved om emnet.

I started a new theme on Thursday with my "2.g" (second year students- comparable to 12th graders in the US) classes...... "The American Dream". During the next 3 months they are going to read three different books and see 2 films as we research this idea of "the American Dream". To get our work started, we held a brainstorming session so I could see what they already knew about the subject as well as what they thought they knew.


Så eleverne fortalte om deres list af ting i forbindelse med The American Dream, var jeg lidt overrasket på noget mange af dem sagde..... "Jeg ved godt om The American Dream og jeg synes at det er modsat hvad danskerne tror er vigtig i livet og hvordan du måler success." De næste 3 måndeder skulle være ganske interessant!

As the students began to share their list of things associated with The American Dream, I was a little shocked by something that several of them said.... "I have a good idea of what the American Dream is and I believe that it is contrary to everything we believe in Denmark about what is important in life and how you define success." The next 3 months should be quite interesting!!!

9 comments:

LadyFi said...

What fun - and it will be an eye-opener! I love the way different cultures have such different perspectives on things.

HOLMES said...

I have been reading a lot about stress, burnout, and how different countries try to help citizens create a work-life balance. It is amazing how different the European view of work/life is from the American one. I cannot wait to hear what your students say during this lesson!

Corinne said...

I can imagine that to Danes the American Dream is a very selfish concept. It's interesting to take the ideas we were raised with and turn the tables on them, so to speak.

Jesper said...

How cool...which books are you gonna read and what movies will you be watching???

nettielouise said...

Hey Kelli...it could be interesting to do a journal swap sometime...have American teenagers journal about what they consider "The American Dream" to be and how that might differ from what they perceive ideals of happiness to be in Europe and vice versa...then let the students read each other's responses...

Mads and Kelli said...

Jesper- we are reading Of mice and men, Grapes of Wrath and the play "A Raisin in the sun"... Then we are doing the film version of the play and watching the movie "Pursuit of Happyness" with Will Smith.
This has been a unit they study at the gymnasium for many years, but I am building my unit from scratch and choosing different texts and writing my own lessons.... I think my role as an American will help bring another dimension to it that they cannot get from just reading texts. I am really excited about this!

Khawaga said...

Kelli, I get your point. As Scandis and especially Danes, they are starting out from a Protestant moralistic viewpoint as well as a socialist one. They have been brought up to think that capitalism is wicked. And also that the Danish way is better, superior. This word keeps coming up in DFP's rhetoric, and Kurt Westergaard the cartoonist used it in an interview with AFP last week. It's odd to a Brit, because while in UK schools and discourse we teach that colonialism is bad, we don't have a *system* in the UK because we are too diverse and there is too much disagreement(this has advantages I think!), and we certainly don't teach that systems are better, or worse. Maybe that racism and sexism and oppression of women is bad. (Also that Islam is bad, unfortunately.) But we certainly don't elevate ourselves - or anyone? - morally.

So it will be odd, yes I bet. Tell us what you find! I'm sure you're more than competent to deal with it though. Good hunting!

Khawaga said...

Kelli, the word I was looking for was 'judgmental'. The Protestant point is key. Have a look at this map I found on Wiki. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Europe_religion_map_en.png

Look how small the Protestant area is - a bit of northern Germany, and the Scandis with their titchy populations, and Britain. Though I must say I've experienced much more Protestant judgmentalism here than in England, where the discourse is mainly class gripes. You get the judgmentalism in Scotland, though.

Jacki said...

It will be interesting! I agree with Corrine, that we Americans can seem very selfish and materialistic to the rest of the world. However, I also think that Danes can get a little judgmental from time to time. So it will indeed be interesting to read their responses!