“An Intimate Education”

For Inside Higher Ed, Tamara Mann, John Strassburger Fellow in American Studies at Columbia University, reflects on her time teaching a Great Books program to low-income high-schoolers.

“Turn the air conditioning off.” It was a hot July day in New York City. “Trust us,” one of my students beamed, “we need absolute quiet.”

Quanisha rose, shyly adjusted her T-shirt and started to sing. Her voice was raw and stunning. When she finished, my 16-year-old students looked at me and said, “Now we’re ready for Rousseau.” That was the day I learned that great classes contain extraordinary moments of intimacy.

Dr. Mann offers much that is moving – and enlightening – in this piece drawn from her experience with the JMC-supported Freedom and Citizenship Program at Columbia University.

Read the full article here.