Case 2: Thinking Brings Enlightenment

BIG IDEAS :  Scientific methodology was used as a means of understanding the world; rational thinking was replacing superstitious beliefs. 

Discussion questions:

  • In what ways was thinking repressed during the Middle Ages?  What was the effect of that repression, in your opinion?
  • How did thinking flourish in the Renaissance? What factors contributed to the encouragement of thinking? 
  • How, in your view, did scientific investigation challenge the dogma of the church? Why do you suppose the church was threatened by science? 
  • What factors do you consider to be repressive of clear thinking in today's culture?
  • What do you consider to be some of the consequences of the repression of thinking?
  • Why do you suppose thinking is important? Does everyone share your belief? 

Case 3: The Printing Press - Taking a Giant Step Forward

BIG IDEAS :  The printing press made it possible for information to be disseminated among a large number of people.  This information sharing brought sea changes in the quality of life and thinking.

Discussion questions:

  • What do you consider to be the major impact of the printing press on the quality of lives and thinking during this historical period?
  • What, in your view, was the relationship between the invention of the printing press and the need to learn to read and write?
  • How, in your view, does more widely shared information make improve the quality of lives?  How, in your view, does the rationing of information among a select few diminish the quality of lives?
  • How would you compare the invention of the printing press with the information sharing available on the Internet?

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