Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Thoreau in High School: The Tiny House Movement
So in order to engage high school students with Thoreau, one of the challenges is to create a palpable connection between his ideas and the modern world. I start by focusing on the chapter in Walden from Economy in which he outlines the plans to build his cabin and tie it to the Tiny House Movement. More specifically, I focus on his idea that college students should build their own dorms: "I thus found that the student who wishes for a shelter can obtain one for a lifetime at an expense not greater than the rent which he now pays annually." In this section, Thoreau makes some great points about the value of vocational training. Since I work in a vocational school, my students can relate their educational philosophies to his perhaps more easily than students in a traditional high school setting. Usually, after reading and discussing this section with my students, they are engaged by the following video, in which Austin Hay seems to be living Thoreau's ideas in the modern world.