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Persistent Dilemmas in American Society

by Barbara Butler

Get on your mark, get set, start THINKING! And thinking is what
Naida Tushnet intends to get the class to do in Persistent Dilemmas in
Society. The topics, she suggests, will get everyone off and running. Wondering if our society has dilemmas is a moot point. But to share these dilemmas with classmates and discuss the different options for solving them is exciting and stimulating. naida
One topic, for example, is that of national security. The citizens of the country, without doubt, believe this is a necessary element if the country’s population is to prosper and live in peace. But as Naida suggests, personal privacy is also an
important factor if we are to share an existence. An example of this is the terrorists who attacked the center in San Bernardino. We want to know how this took place and more about the individuals who carried out this heinous act. Apple may have the answers in iPhones, but will not open them to inform people. National security or personal privacy? This is the dilemma. Naida is anxious to prod her class into discussing arguments from both sides in order to see differing points of view. There will be no assigned reading, but she will bring handouts based on current events.
Naida was a high school history teacher in St. Louis but left her job to go back to college and earn her Ph.D at Washington University in St. Louis. Her
dissertation was “Justice in Elementary Classrooms” which begs another important topic to discuss––education. What are the dilemmas in schooling? What rights do the teacher and student have? Who should plan the curriculum - the teacher or the state? These are but a few topics that can stimulate a healthy discussion.
An important point about this course is that it is not based on debate but thoughtful, deliberate discussion. Let the thinking begin!


Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at CSULB
Building HS&D, Rooms 100 & 101
1250 Bellflower Blvd.
Long Beach, CA 90840-5609
Phone: 562-985-8237 Fax: 562-985-8213
Web site:

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