Monday, June 6, 2011

Social Studies 30 Diploma

Throughout the 8 months of Social Studies 30 that we have experienced, and especially in the Post-English portion, the assignments and lessons present have thoroughly tested me when it comes to trying to interpret sources and analyze their beliefs in both an economical and political aspect. Also, with this, I have also found my greatest challenge to be the relation of the beliefs of a source in comparison to the philosophers discussed throughout the Social Studies 30 curriculum. Although, I do believe that over time, my work has shown an improvement in the interpretation of presented materials.

Key Concept Assignments:

Issue 1 (Identity):
Issue-Related Assignment
Graphic Organizer

Issue 2 (Resistance to Liberalism):
Issue-Related Assignment

Issue 3 (Contemporary Liberalism):
Issue-Related Assignment
Graphic Organizer


Issue 1:
Progressivism - Promoting the concept of change and reform to improve the overall structure of things (usually political).
Collective Norms - The common expectations and behaviours of people in a given society.

Issue 2:
Baron de Montesquieu – believes in the separation of powers, relative to Rule of law.
Brinkmanship: Attempt to push an enemy to the “brink” of disaster to force them into surrendering
Neo-Conservatism: fusion of Individualism and Classical Liberalism, used by the United States (puts main focus into military power and government control)

Issue 3:
Patriot Act - Act passed in the United States which restricted the rights of citizens regarding billing information, communication through phone and email, among other things to combat terrorism.
Illiberalism - A type of government that violates the concepts of liberalism, but still holds elections.

Issue 4:
Dissent - A disagreement.
McCarthyism - Making accusations of disloyalty (normally toward pro-Communist behaviour), normally supported by irrelevant evidence.

Practice Quiz Results:

Both Quizzes

Most of my reflection was focussed on studying the political spectrum to gain a better grasp on the 'right-wing' and 'left-wing' related questions. Alongside that, just general studying regarding the philosophers and their ideals was how I worked to improve my mark. Without this, I would not have been able to gain a perspective of my own, along with the ability to interpret and fully understand the sources provided in assignments throughout the year.

Diploma Practice Assignments:

Practice #1

On my mark review sheet, no teacher comments were made. However, with the marking gradient that was provided, I was able to interpret the weaker parts of my assignment, as well as the stronger areas. The lower point of my mark was in the analysis of the source, and I do believe that may have been partly due to the fact I did not clearly interpret the actual political belief system of the second source. Considering the fact that the source expresses distrust in socialism and faith in still providing Economic Freedom and Individual Rights & Freedoms, I would mostly likely claim the opinions of Source II to be of Classical Liberalistic views.

Practice #2

Once again, I was not given any specific direction regarding the improvement of my essay with actual comments, though my analysis of source was my lowest portion of my mark. With that in mind, I would take into account the fact that I lacked to describe the actual political structure for the source's beliefs. Considering how the source expresses the urge to support the needs of the group by restricting the freedoms of the individual temporarily, I would consider this a form of Modern Liberalism, specifically with the aspect of Welfare Capitalism. Therefore, I would probably want to include more information about how Welfare Capitalism and Modern Liberalism relate to direct portions of the source, and compare those aspects to my own opinions to try and form a position paper that responds more clearly to the question being answered.

General Showcase Assignments:

Assignment #1
Assignment #2

Contest/Publication Submission:

Moore Shilleto Submission

Example of Bibliography:

Bibliography (located on Slide 8)

Visual Assignment:

V for Vendetta - Viability of Liberalism

Oral Assignment:

Hamlet & Hobbes

Technology Assignment:

James Bay: The Story of Mathew Coon Come

Quizzes & Reflection (for Portfolio)

Quiz 1 (Scored 35/59)

Quiz 2 (Same questions as above, second time given the test) - Scored 52/59

Sunday, June 5, 2011

2011 Moore Shilleto Submission

Expanding World Views: Education in Developing Countries

            We cannot truly take control of our lives without being ourselves, and we cannot affirm our own identities without first learning what we ourselves believe in as individuals. Through an educational system, individuals in society are provided with the fundamental means needed to bring forth a more productive lifestyle, and ultimately, more prosperous life as a whole. Unfortunately, though many of the human beings dispersed widely throughout the continents engage in everyday educational activities, other individuals, societies, and even countries are not so fortunate in that they lack the monetary funding for even the most basic learning programs. With this in mind, I believe that developed countries have an obligation to their less developed nations to ensure that all individuals are entitled to at least a basic form of learning and insight. However, I believe there should be a few conditions regarding the funding: Developed countries should be responsible for funding the educational system, and educational advisors should be expected to create the specific learning materials, ensuring that the cultural aspects of the developing country’s citizens do not be overlooked or covered up. Also, I believe that once more educated citizens in the developing countries find means to stimulate their economy, the developed countries should slowly move out of the program, allowing the developing countries to learn to maintain their own programs and organizations.

            Though I firmly believe that developed countries should assist their developing counterparts, there is always the condition of when to quit providing funding. However, considering the fact that knowledge and education is an invaluable resource, funding for such a program is something that should not be halted. Therefore, developing countries should only cease their assistance once the receiving country has the means to continue the educational programs on their own. Through this, not only will the country be able to continue providing access to education for all its citizens, but also, the country will begin to learn the techniques needed to sustain their own organizations, a skill that will benefit them countless times in the years to come. In addition, the educational programs could also be used as means to stimulate that country’s economy, providing for even more advantage. Then, not only would the developing country be able to create and influence its own culture with the concept of enlightenment, but also, the citizens would be able to contribute feedback and take control, allowing for both the implementation of program maintenance, as well as a stimulant for their own economy, resulting in greater financial stabilization.

            Putting the financial aspect of the educational implementation aside, there is another condition that can be brought into perspective that is crucial to the learning system’s success. In regards to the content material being taught, there is always a risk that the material creator’s opinions and beliefs may be forced upon the recipient of knowledge, making it so that the receiving individual’s opinions may not actually be of their own choice. Through this, education is not being used to help make people more confident in their own identities, but rather, the receiving end becomes a sponge, obtaining any information that the influencer enforces. Considering the Residential schools of the 19th century in Canada, where natives became forced out of their own cultural backgrounds and ways of life for the sole purpose of blending in with mainstream Canadian society, we do not want to force our own lifestyle and beliefs upon a culture once again. When creating the material to be learned in a developing country, the subject matter must be understanding and respectful toward the specific culture of the target individuals. If this criteria is met, the people will then be able to retain information to form their own values and beliefs, all while still maintaining the aspects of their culture that form the other portion of their identity.

            The power of knowledge and education is an irreplaceable tool that carves away the unknown and assists us in countless ways to forge our own futures the way we see fit. As no man or woman is more or less equal than the last, the ability to acquire understanding and use it to benefit oneself is something that every human being should be blessed with, regardless of where the individual resides. So long as developed countries who contribute to the educational systems of developing countries ensure the prevention of cultural masking, then financial assistance is a viable solution. Also, considering the possible likelihood of financial dependency, a limit should be placed on the amount of monetary assistance being provided to the developing countries once said countries begin to establish the means to provide for themselves and create a sustainable educational fund for themselves. With a wider variety of people originating from unique lifestyles sharing their own insight with the rest of the world, especially with a new foundation of learning, the potential for discovering new concepts in any given field will be even more likely than ever before, and in doing so, a better future will be created for all human society as a whole.

Diploma Writing Assignment II

            Individual Rights & Freedoms are a principle of Liberalism that are commonly taken for granted in everyday society, but to lose such privileges that we use on a daily basis would truly make us consider how much we value democracy as a whole.  In the included source, it is expressed that there may be times when the rights and freedoms may need to be restricted for the possibility of a democratic future. However, the need for such action may be deemed necessary or not, depending on the situation of the specific country. If, by chance, the country and its people are experiencing grave circumstances, then such drastic forms of action may be necessary to put the country back on the right track. Although, if a country is in less-severe political and economical standing, then by no means should the revocation of the citizens’ rights and freedoms be the first course of action to protect democracy.

            Despite the reservation that people may have to give up their own rights, if the entire country is in a crisis, it may be deemed necessary to prolong the lifespan of democratic principles. In post-WWI Germany, the Treaty of Versailles had left the country and its people deprived of even the basic means for survival. During this time, Adolf Hitler made his rise to power through the promise of a solution to the serious dilemma that Germany faced, at the cost of the citizens following his orders and giving up their own rights and freedoms. Though Hitler ended up running Germany as an Authoritarian leader, the citizens felt the need to sacrifice their own freedoms for the sake of a more prosperous future for all. In a situation like this, to try and salvage the remains of Germany from the shambles that it was in was a nearly impossible task, and though the rights of the citizens were being temporarily taken away from them, drastic measures were needed to try and ensure that there would even be a future in Germany.

            On the other hand, when a country isn’t struck down by as drastic of circumstance as life-threatening recession, sacrificing rights and freedoms should not be deemed “necessary to guarantee the preservation of democracy”, or at least not until the situation becomes worse. With the United States’ Patriot Act, the government attempted to implement a plan to combat terrorism both inside and outside of their home country.  The United States’ condition was in no way comparable to the disaster that unfolded in post-WWI Germany, the Patriot Act enabled the government to take action instantly, in case a risk were to suddenly arise. Through the premise of the act, rights and freedoms such as privacy in regards to communication and financial matters are sometimes violated, but only if a particular individual is deemed suspicious in regards to potential terrorism. This way, rather than instantly limiting the rights and freedoms of the entire country’s population is avoided, and only the individuals that may pose a potential threat to the well-being of the remainder of the country are inspected, though they are presumed innocent until found with means to incriminate. Along the same conditions is Canada’s Emergencies Act, which was the replacement to the War Measures Act. The Emergencies Act, like the Patriot Act, allows Canadian Parliament to suspend the rights of citizens deemed suspicious, for the purpose of ensuring the security of the country during a crisis.  To ensure that the citizens’ rights aren’t being taken away unnecessarily, declaring an emergency must be reviewed by Parliament first, and also, laws that are temporarily put into effect are subject to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, ensuring that the rights of the citizens will be maintained one way or another. With both of these Acts ready for the time when an emergency may come forth, the people can feel safe, without having already lost their rights.

            We must be careful when deciding upon whether or not to take away the rights and freedoms of the citizens of any country, and also, whether such a drastic course of action is truly necessary. If the country is in need of radical improvement, then the end may justify the means. However, if the country is only caught up in a slight dilemma or even in no trouble at all, then by no means should they be considering individual rights and freedoms as a mandatory sacrifice. The government must be capable of taking a step back and fully evaluating the situation before deciding what is truly necessary, if their main intention is to keep the concepts of Democracy for the long run.