Progress Topics- Is Progress Worth the Price?


The new semester-long project looms over the horizon as we give the final touches to our required blogs, give the final presentations about our groups ( refer to “Changing to Project Based Learning and First Assignment”) and prepare to investigate the new question  posed for the upcoming project.  Its a scary and exciting time for those of us who care about our projects. We are in a type of educational limbo; we know enough about the next project to be scared but not enough to be sure we will succeed. How long will it be until we know what we’re in for? One week, two weeks, we are at the mercy of our teachers and our own brains. What we are sure of is that this next project will be more immersive than the one before, and it will be so complex that it might make our brains explode out of pure awesomeness. I exaggerate, but the topic is rather exciting.

IdeasHere it is, lo and behold the question that will guide us for the next four months: “Is Progress Worth the Price?”  In a traditional school we would be given an specific topic for the project, but in our version of project based learning we  have complete freedom over our project. Freedom is scary, specially when it has to do with education. I feel like my education is at the tip of my fingers and at the ends of my neurons and it’s up to me whether I learn as much as I can. It’s ideal to include politics, literature and composition, science and a little bit of psychology to my project which would ensure I get the most education from the project. The problem is that my approach might complicate the project too much. Moreover, this approach might not suit my group members which would set the stage for a semester full of frustrations and contempt. Yes, having the freedom to design a school project is exciting, but also overwhelming.

I have to start brainstorming for topic ideas at one point because “is progress worth the price?” driving question wont answer it self. I need to search within the depths of my brain for a suitable project topic.

  • Capitalism.
  • U.S. influence over the rest of the world.
  • Is globalization a good thing?
  • Is technology beneficial for everyone?
  • Is increased human life expectancy a good thing.

Capitalism is a broad topic. It has brought  countless of benefits to those who can afford it, but immense misery to those who can’t. You would imagine that those who lived in misery would rise in demand of change, but they don’t. Capitalism with all its glory and sadness holds the motivation for the dreams of millions of people. Its a never ending cycle. Capitalism creates competition in business which brings us advancements in technology and other important filed. Is capitalism a good thing? Does it benefit everyone in the long run? Are the lives of the miserable worth world wide progress?

When I say globalization I mean the unification of nations in more ways than merely economics. I mean cultural, linguistically, communications and the such. I think that sometime in the future we will no longer be divided by borders, by language and culture, we will be one human species working toward a common future. This sounds good. Maybe there will be less international conflicts. The process of globalization brings the end to diversity. Is diversity a good thing? Is it worth losing diversity for globalization?

Technology helps us do an immense array of things. Medicine, business, and entertainment benefit from advancements in technology. I love my smart phone! Should I call it a smart phone? Why not call it a computer? Technology is helpful, but it creates pollution and perhaps cultural changes that are not beneficial. Most would consider advancements in technology progress, if it is then is this progress worth polluting the environment?

Capitalism, globalization and technological advancements help people live longer lives. Yes, I want my grandma to live for as long as I live just as the next person. I also want to see Steven Hawkins live longer so he can continue to share his knowledge, but keeping people alive for longer brings over population which in turn brings more pollution and other more complex things. I don’t think that  longer life expectancy is a good thing. I think of the Earth as an organism; it has an immune system. If our population is too large, Earth will most likely produce a pathogen which will kill most people. Although it is nice to keep grandmas alive for longer, it may not be the best for the world!

Our exhuberant numbers is a result of general progress so, is progress worth the price?

That is a question that my group and I may be able to answer. Whether we will be able to answer the question “is progress worth the price” well is up to our brains and the dynamics of the group. I’m excited to delve into the complexities of this question.

This project in project based learning is far more immersive than traditional school projects. Would you agree?

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