By the time students are seniors, they have been
asked in Integrated Studies courses to develop some understanding of
their places in college, their places in the world, and their own
beliefs and values. The senior capstone course, Citizenship, challenges
students to move past study and contemplation to conscientious action.
Rather than defining citizenship prescriptively, courses in the rubric
aim to articulate and compare different ideas of what citizenship has
meant and can mean. In the climate of legitimate epistemological
diversity, among competing and even antithetical definitions, students
are encouraged to examine and negotiate the presumptive goodness of all
definitions of citizenship as a requisite of conscientious action.
Students will employ critical thinking skills (analysis, synthesis) to learn the meaning of informed, conscientious action; they will learn to integrate general and disciplinary knowledge with experiential knowledge, gained through direct contact with individuals and groups in the wider community. (Citizenship is a capstone rubric because the aim is to model “transferable knowledge,” knowledge in action, knowledge in practical application).
This objective furthers the following objectives of integrated studies:
· ILA—“Development of analytical thinking skills.”
· GP—“The understanding that problems, issues, ideas, and actions cannot be considered from only a national viewpoint or from a political cultural or historic vacuum.”
· GP—“Help students understand the influence and importance of cultural differences.”
· RFL—“Have an aspect of active learning…..”
Students will engage in open-minded inquiry and develop strategies for ethical decision making and problem solving. This objective furthers the following objectives of integrated studies:
· ILA—“Development of analytical thinking skills.”
· GP—“Teach students to become more informed and interested global citizens.”
· RFL—“Learn how our society and other societies past and present have struggled to formulate ethical and moral frameworks, to understand and represent their place in the cosmos, and to grapple with the realities of human existence, including joy, death, pain, suffering, and evil.”
· RFL—“Critically evaluate how these fundamental questions can, do, or should affect the manner in which we choose to live our lives, interact with others and live in the world.”
Students will develop awareness and understanding that concrete localized problems calling for conscientious action are often embedded in complex, historical, economic, political, social and cultural contexts. This objective furthers the following objectives of integrated studies:
· GP—“Students will understand that events, problems, or decisions cannot be considered from only a national viewpoint or from a political, cultural or historic vacuum.”
· RFL—“Courses should avoid a mono-vocal or single worldview approach."
Students will develop skills of interpersonal and empathetic communication; also habits of self-reflection, and self-analysis as those activities establish the basis for conscientious action. This objective furthers the following objectives of integrated studies:
· ILA—“Development of speaking and listening skills.”
· RFL—“Students will individually reflect on the material, its intellectual and spiritual implications for their lives and their communities.”
Students will develop an understanding of the importance of individual social responsibility-- that the combined efforts of individuals can and do make a difference.
Students will learn to distinguish the possibilities and limitations of social change; students will further reflect on the ways various forms of civic engagement may work at local, regional, national or international levels. This objective furthers the following objectives of integrated studies:
· GP—“The ability to appreciate the global nature of local problems, issues, ideas, and actions, and the local-global articulation.”
· GP—“The understanding that problems, issues, ideas, and actions cannot be considered from only a national viewpoint or from a political, cultural or historic vacuum.”
· GP—“The realization that nearly every phenomenon has worldwide advantages and disadvantages, winners and losers, cures and side effects, profits and losses; sometimes the net yield is progress and other times, decline.”Learning Outcomes For Students
1. We analyze something by taking it apart, dividing it into manageable elements; “dissecting” it for purposes of examination. We synthesize by composing, combining, or integrating different elements, different ideas or even different disciplinary perspectives into complex knowledge. In this course, to what extent have you used individually or in group work these two critical thinking skills, particularly with reference to problem solving?
2. Experience also leads to knowledge, particularly when you reflect on experiences and think critically about them. What have you learned from applying critical thinking to your individual and group experiences in this course?
3. Knowledge and experience and action ideally go together. In Citizenship courses, that’s what we mean by “informed, conscientious action” and “transferable knowledge” and “knowledge in action. Basing your answer on individual and group work in the class, to what extend were you able to use knowledge gained from critical thinking and knowledge gained from experience to act conscientiously and deliberately?
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Integrated Studies Courses
Contact: Professor Craig Watson: E-mail
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