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Critical Pedagogy, Notes from the Real World
Fourth Edition
pp. 176-177
by Joan Wink
Published by Pearson Education, Inc.
Copyright © 2011 by Joan Wink
Chapter 5 – Where in the World Do We Go From Here?

Figure 5.1

Who We Were, Who We Are, and Who We Teach

Generation

Baby Boomers
  • Teachers
  • Administrators
  • Parents of Teachers
  • Parents of Students
Generation X
  • Teachers
  • Administrators
  • Parents of Students
Generation Y
  • Teachers
  • Students
  • Parents of Students

Years/Size

Baby Boomers
  • 1946-1964
  • 72 million
Generation X
  • 1965-1978
  • 45 million
Generation Y
  • 1979-2000
  • 70 million

History: Influential Events & Experiences

Baby Boomers
  • Parents’ experience during Depression and WW II
  • Korean & Vietnam Wars
  • Television
  • McCarthy Era
  • Nuclear Era
  • Sputnik Era
  • Rosa Parks/Civil Rights
  • Rock-n-Roll
  • JFK, RFK, MLK killed
Generation X
  • Watergate Scandal
  • U.S. Hostages in Iran
  • Computers
  • Regan Era
  • AIDS
  • Nation at Risk
  • Women’s Movement
  • Lennon killed
  • Environmental Movement
  • Fall of Berlin Wall
Generation Y
  • 9/11 attack
  • Gulf War/Iraq War
  • Columbine shootings
  • Oklahoma City Bombing
  • Dot com Boom/Bust
  • No Child Left Behind
  • Internet
  • Cell phones, pagers
  • Social networking
  • Busy, over-planned life

Media: What They Watched, Played & Used to Communicate

Baby Boomers
  • Leave it to Beaver
  • Walter Cronkite
  • Elvis Pressley
  • 4 TV stations
  • Radio/Record Albums
  • Letters
  • Telephone
  • Face-to-Face
  • Monopoly
Generation X
  • Brady Bunch
  • Dan Rather
  • The Beatles
  • 4 TV Stations; VCR
  • Radio/Albums/CDs
  • Letters
  • Telephone
  • Face-to-Face
  • Pacman
Generation Y
  • The Simpsons
  • Jon Stewart & Oprah
  • Tupac Shakur
  • 100s of TV stations; DVR
  • Radio/CDs/iPods/iPhone
  • Cell phone
  • Email and texting
  • Facebook
  • World of Warcraft

Texts: What They Read in/out of School

Baby Boomers
  • Huckleberry Finn
  • Lord of the Rings
  • Newspapers
  • Comic books
  • Time, Rolling Stone
  • Doonesbury
Generation X
  • Catcher in the Rye
  • Speak
  • Newspapers
  • Chatrooms, forums
  • WIRED
  • Dilbert
Generation Y
  • Bless Me, Ultima
  • Harry Potter series
  • Blogs, wikis, tweets
  • Facebook/MySpace
  • Manga/Graphic Novels
  • Calvin and Hobbes

Heroes

Baby Boomers
  • Gandhi
  • Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • John F. Kennedy
  • John Glenn
  • Malcolm X
  • Caesar Chavez
Generation X
  • None
    (Note: I checked several sources, none came up, even in discussions of who those heroes might be.)
Generation Y
  • Michael Jordan
  • Princess Diana
  • Mother Teresa
  • Bill Gates
  • Christopher Reeve
  • Barack & Michelle Obama

Core Values and Qualities

Baby Boomers
  • Optimism
  • Social responsibility
  • Work
  • Health, wellness, nature
  • Personal growth
  • Personal gratification
  • Authenticity
Generation X
  • Self-reliance
  • Diversity
  • Life-work balance
  • Technology
  • Pragmatism
  • Informality
  • Fun
Generation Y
  • Optimism
  • Social responsibility
  • Ambition
  • Morality/Integrity/Ethics
  • Confidence
  • Sociability
  • Diversity

Attitudes: Life & Work

Baby Boomers
  • Live to work
  • Value rewards other than $
  • Hard-working
  • Focused on family
  • Seek flexibility in work
  • Devoted to company
  • Committed to equity, justice
  • Want to make a difference
  • Collaborative, social
Generation X
  • Work to live
  • Value material rewards
  • Optimistic about personal future but not world
  • Resist/resent supervision
  • Fragmented as a group
  • Need/resist feedback
  • Comfortable with change
  • Effort, commitment vary
Generation Y
  • Live to work (but expect reward and recognition)
  • Value rewards other than $
  • Optimistic
  • Close to parents
  • Global awareness
  • Open-minded about other cultures, sexual prefs
  • Very social, collaborative

Reaction to Previous Generation

Baby Boomers
  • Refined roles
  • Left unfulfilling relationships for more satisfying ones
  • Sought immediate gratification
  • Bent rules to meet own needs
Generation X
  • Bypass authority or used it to achieve own end
  • Avoided attention, labels
  • Thought: Get a life
  • Believed politics never the solution; useless
  • Rejected nostalgia for 1960s, past
Generation Y
  • Appreciate authority and structure
  • Respect and enjoy their parents and boss
  • Seek leadership roles because optimistic, confident, ambitious
  • Embrace nostalgia for past

Assets

Baby Boomers
  • Service oriented
  • Ambitious
  • Disciplined
  • Cooperative
  • Considerate
Generation X
  • Flexible
  • Technoliterate
  • Independent
  • Unintimidated by authority
  • Creative
Generation Y
  • Collaboration
  • Optimism
  • Persistence
  • Ambition
  • Ability to multitask
  • Digital natives

Liabilities

Baby Boomers
  • Avoid conflict with others
  • Stress process over product
  • Oversensitive to criticism
  • Judgmental of those with different opinions
  • Self-centered
Generation X
  • Impatient
  • Rude, blunt, disrespectful
  • Inexperienced
  • Cynical
  • Discipline (work ethic)
  • Commitment
Generation Y
  • Need structure, supervision
  • Inexperienced
  • Tend to take on too much
  • Oversensitive to criticism
  • Need approval, praise
  • Skeptical

FIGURE 5.1 Who We Were, Who We Are, and Who We Teach.
Sources: Don Tapscott, Grown Up Digital; Bridging the Generation Gap: How to Get Radio Babies, Boomers, Gen Xers, and Gen Yers to Work Together And Achieve More by Linda Gravet, Robin Throckmorton; Generations at Work: Managing the Clash of Veterans, Boomers, Xers, and Nexters in Your Workplace, Ron Zemke, Hewlett, Sylvia, Sherbin, Laura, and Sumberg, Karen. “How Gen Y and Boomers Will Reshape Your Agenda.” Harvard Business Review. July-Aug 08(71-76). I am particularly grateful for ideas about teaching Gen Y students found in “Teaching Generation Y–Three Initiatives,” by Susan Eisner in the Journal of College and Teaching Learning (2004). Finally, thanks to Jennifer Abrams for her workshop at the 2009 California Teachers of English Conference on teaching and working with different generations.