Matters of Authority

This lesson starts with a simple question: "Who knows the most about (topic of your choice)?" 

In my experience doing this lesson with first year students, a majority of students will identify personal experience as knowing the "most" at the outset. It is common for them to say something along the lines of: No one understands what it’s like to be homeless more than someone who has been through it. Starting from that firm conviction, this lesson is designed to help students think about different ways of “knowing” and what secondary sources (particularly scholarly) are able to accomplish in providing analysis, context, and scope. 

Learning outcomes: 

Students will be able to articulate multiple ways in which authority can be ascribed [Authority is Constructed and Contextual]

Students will be able to identify primary and secondary sources / scholarly and popular sources and how they are linked to each other [Scholarship is Conversation]

Students will seek a variety of source formats and perspectives in their own work [Information has value]

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