University of Massachusetts Boston
Graduate College of Education
Critical & Creative Thinking Program
Critical & Creative Thinking in Science & Technology
Environment, Science & Society
Instructor: Peter Taylor, Critical & Creative Thinking Program
Office: Wheatley 2nd flr 143.09 (near Counseling & School Psychology)
Class: M 6.45-9.15, McC 2-628S
Office/phone call hours: M, Th 2-3.30 or by arrangement
Email office hours: M & Th 7.30-9am
Course Website: http://www.faculty.umb.edu/peter_taylor/640-02.html
General email: Emails sent to firstname.lastname@example.org go to everyone in the
E-clippings: Clippings from the internet sent to email@example.com
will be archived for all to read at www.yahoogroups.com/group/cct640clips
Through current and historical cases this course explores issues about
experiment, discovery, and application in science and technology; the
professional, social and moral issues to which these give rise; and more
general themes about critical and creative thinking in science and technology.
Implications of this study for science teaching and citizen activism are
DESCRIPTION of the theme for Spring 2002: Environment, Science &
Critical thinking about diverse influences that shape environmental
science and practices, giving particular attention to the tension between
simple and complex accounts of environmental and social change. The course
material, activities, and teaching/learning interactions provides students an
opportunity to learn new science and new approaches to interpreting science, a
set of models for their own teaching and educational work, and a basis for
discussions and reflection about practices and philosophies of education. The
topics addressed in the activities include ideas of nature; conservation and
colonialism; systems thinking; population growth and futures modeling; the
tragedy of the commons; stability and complexity; environmental economics;
local knowledge; commodities and environmental history; agriculture and
biotechnology; and socio-environmental analysis.
PREREQUISITES: CrCrTh601 and 602, or permission of instructor
TEXTS: A set of readings are available on reserve for personal
Books and additional readings marked in the bibliography are available on
reserve. (Arrange time in your schedule to read or photocopy relevant
selections in the Healey Library.)
SECTIONS TO FOLLOW IN SYLLABUS:
(See notes on how to read syllabus)
Additional material linked to the course website includes: Handouts,
some non-copyrighted Readings, and other Resources.
Throughout this syllabus attributes of the Thoughtful and Responsive Educator are indicated in brackets:
Commitments: cE Ethical behavior, cL Lifelong learning, cD dedication, cM Modeling and mentoring
Understandings: uC Content, uP Pedagogy, uA Assessment, uT Technology
Practices: pC Caring, pCo Collaboration, pR Reflection, pJ Social Justice.
ASSESSMENT & REQUIREMENTS:
More detail about the assignments and expectations is provided in the
Teaching/Learning Tools and Rubric sections of the syllabus, and will be
supplemented when needed by handouts and emails.
Written assignments and presentations, 2/3 of grade
A. Project: A research paper or set of lesson plans that draws
on the course themes and activities for critical thinking about the
environment, science, and society. A sequence of 5 assignments is
required--initial description, notes on research and planning, work-in-progress
presentation, complete draft report, and final (1500-2500 words) report. [uC,
B. Five mini-essays that weave the course material--readings, activities,
homework tasks--into your own thinking. [uC, pR]
Participation and contribution to the class process, 1/3 of grade.
C. Prepared participation and attendance at class meetings (=13 items)
D. Personal/Professional Development (PD) Workbook submitted for perusal week
5 & at the end. (=2 items) [cL, uC, uP, pR]
E. Minimum of two in-office or phone conferences on your assignments and
project, by weeks 4 and 10 (=2 items) [cM]
F. Peer commentary on another student's draft report (with copy submitted to
PT or included in PD workbook) [pCo]
G. Assignment Check-list maintained by student and submitted week 12 [uA]
H. Process Review on the development of your work, included with your PD
Workbook at end-of-semester perusal [cL, pR]
ACCOMMODATIONS: Sections 504 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of
1990 offer guidelines for curriculum modifications and adaptations for students
with documented disabilities. If applicable, students may obtain adaptation
recommendations from the Ross Center (287-7430). The student must present
these recommendations to each professor within a reasonable period, preferably
by the end of the Drop/Add period.
Students are advised to retain a copy of this syllabus in personal files for
use when applying for certification, licensure, or transfer credit.
This syllabus is subject to change, but workload expectations will not be
increased after the semester starts. (Version 28 January 02)
This course is designed to prepare graduate students to addresss the
following goals as formal and informal environmental educators. Thoughtful
and responsive environmental educators should, ideally, challenge
and enable their students to:
* learn facts and theories about environmental processes and problems;
* develop skills in critical thinking, interpretation, inquiry, and writing;
* express their feelings about prospects for the environment and society, and
their desired impact on these areas;
* be inspired by positive examples, cases that are constructive, successful,
* be actively involved as citizens in scientific and environmental debates;
* gain experience in designing proposals, policy, and plans for action in the
wider arenas of politics, policy making, informed citizenship, and social
* bridge the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences;
* clarify their choice of more specialized studies to pursue; and
* achieve a growing sense of competency.
The course material, activities, and teaching/learning interactions operate on
* as an opportunity for students to learn science and approaches to
* as models for their own teaching and educational work; and
* as a basis for discussions and reflection about practices and philosophies of
The particular approach adopted in the course is to focus on critical
thinking about the diverse influences shaping environmental science and
practices. In a sense subscribed to by all teachers, critical thinking means
that students are bright and engaged, ask questions, and think about the course
materials until they understand well established knowledge and competing
approaches. This becomes more significant when students develop their own
processes of active inquiry, which they can employ in new situations, beyond
the bounds of our particular classes, indeed, beyond their time as students.
My sense of critical thinking is, however, more specific; it depends on inquiry
being informed by a strong sense of how things could be otherwise. I want
students to see that they understand things better when they have placed
established facts, theories, and practices in tension with alternatives.
Critical thinking at this level should not depend on students rejecting
conventional accounts, but they do have to move through uncertainty. Their
knowledge is, at least for a time, destabilized; what has been established
cannot be taken for granted. Students can no longer expect that if they just
wait long enough the teacher will provide complete and tidy conclusions;
instead they have to take a great deal of responsibility for their own
learning. Anxieties inevitably arise for students when they have to respond to
new situations knowing that the teacher will not act as the final arbiter of
their success. A high level of critical thinking is possible when students
explore such anxieties and gain the confidence to face uncertainty and
ambiguity. (See Taylor, "We know more")
With respect to the iteractions among environment. science, and society, three
key tensions should emerge as the course unfolds:
science "proper," that is, viewing scientific practice in terms of researchers
conducting a dialogue, involving concepts and evidence, with the situations
studied vs. knowledge-making as a social process, in which researchers endeavor
through interactions with other social agents to establish what counts as
science as knowledge-making vs. science as a way to influence or change other
people and society; and
simple formulations of well-bounded or strong systems vs. accounts of dynamics
among particular, unequal agents whose actions implicate or span a range of
See also the italicized Narrative paragraphs in the following
Schedule of Classes and the Description of Key Teaching/Learning Tools
SCHEDULE OF CLASSES
**Detailed instructions for preparing for classes will be distributed
through handouts and emails**
Narrative: Two features of the first class run through the
entire course, namely, getting to know and learn from fellow students and
working through activities to introduce issues in critical thinking. A brief
overview and notes in the syllabus help orient you, but the most important work
in a critical thinking course is to reflect and digest afterwards and
incorporate the issues, themes, and teaching/learning tools into your own
thinking and practice. (In this spirit, the first mini-essay is due week
The first class introduces five key concepts and terms, with the expectation
that you will not appreciate their significance immediately, but will chew over
them as the course develops:
Critical thinking (see overview above)
Heuristics (or interpretive themes) (Propositions that stimulate,
orient, or guide our inquiries, yet break down when applied too widely)
Critical heuristics (Heuristics that place established facts,
theories, and practices in tension with alternatives)
Intersecting processes (Social and environmental change analyzed as
something produced by intersecting economic, social and ecological processes
operating at different scales)
Tool box for critical and creative thinking (The more critical
heuristics a person has available to work with, the more likely they are to
have a creative, self-generated response to a new, unfamiliar case.)
Class 1 (1/28) Introductions and Frame-setting
--fellow students and their concerns
--key term and concepts: "Critical thinking," "Heuristics," "Intersecting
Processes," "Critical heuristics" as a potential resolution of the tension
between the last two concepts, and "Tool box for critical & creative
"How do we know there is a population-environment problem?" --includes class
simulation on the "Population problem," mini-lecture on a case study of soil
erosion in Oaxaca, Mexico, analysis of language in short reading, Meffe, "Human
population control," and drawing of an intersecting processes diagram for
Pearce, "Inventing Africa." (See related handout)
Homework tasks include: complete Pearce diagram, review the syllabus and
overview, get set-up to use the internet and computers, begin your PD workbook,
sign up for first conference, etc. (see handout).
Narrative: The first class touches on the complexity of
intersections among social and environmental processes and of intersections
among making knowledge and influencing society. But the course steps back from
that complexity and instead introduces a series of heuristics, that is, simpler
themes that stimulate our thinking, open up questions, and orient our
inquiries. The first heuristic that might go into your toolbox is that
people's ideas about nature can be interpreted as (historically and socially
located) ideas about society, that is, about the social order they favor.
Class 2 (2/4) Introduction to co-operative group work; Ideas of
A. More on the course as a teaching/learning community
Video on group work
Establishing and practicing small "base" group processes/procedures in
reviewing the syllabus
B. Interpreting ideas about nature as ideas about society, which involves
exposing what is only implicit, what is not literally stated
Interpreting images of society and nature in the West since the middle ages
*A* Asmt due: Mini-essay 1
Class 3 (2/11) Tensions in people's views of nature, including
Readings: Williams, "Ideas of Nature, " Worster, "Scrambling for a
Mini-lecture on William's history of changing ideas of nature
Review Worster to identify tensions evident in Darwin (which persist today)
Read and revise a multi-person conversation about contemporary ideas about
Begon, "The influence of predation and disturbance."
Botkin, Chapters 1 & 12 from Discordant Harmonies
Worster, "Science in Arcadia & The empire of reason"
(review and homework tasks)
2/18 No class -- undertake exercise towards an initial formulation of your
course project so you can email Initial description of proposed project to PT
Narrative: We now extend the first heuristic to ideas in 20th
century conservation and ecological science, that is, these can also be
interpreted as (historically and socially located) ideas about the social order
the conservationists or ecologists favor(ed).
Class 4 --on 2/23 or 2/24, or in self-directed field trip in small
groups at mutually agreed time
"Animals are both like and unlike humans" Zoos, conservation, and the
marginalization of both animals and peoples
Reading: Berger, "Why Look at Animals?"
Field trip to an Aquarium, Zoo, or Natural History Museum
*A* Asmt due on or before 2/25: Mini-essay 2
Class 5 (3/4) Conservation and early C20 colonialism, patriarchy, and
Reading: Haraway, "Teddy bear patriarchy."
Discussion of field trip in relation to Haraway's article.
Responding to Haraway's interpretation extended to the late C20 as evidenced in
a video in which Donna Haraway interprets National Geographic.
*A* Asmt due by 3/4: Revised Initial description of proposed project
*A* PD workbooks collected for perusal; returned week 6.
*A* First conference mut be completed by 3/8 to discuss the course thus
far, your mini-essays, and initial ideas for projects
*A* Schedule second conference before 4/22 to discuss progress on your
projects and incorporation of heuristics from the course
(review and homework tasks)
Narrative: We now extend the last heuristic to interpret
ideas in mid-20th century ecological science in relation to the ecologists'
ideas about how they, as scientists, can act in their specific social
Class 6 (3/11) Systems: Cybernetics and ecology in the atomic age
Reading: Odum, Chaps. 1, part of 2, 11 in Environment, Power &
Mini-lecture on Odum's diagrams and their interpretation
Using diagrams of humans and nature you locate, discuss interpretations and
develop a lesson plan for students to interpret visual representations of
Additional Reading: Taylor, "Exploring heuristics"
*A* Asmt due on or before this date: Mini-essay 3
(review and homework tasks)
No class 3/18--Mid-semester break--keep working on your projects.
*A* Asmt due 3/18 by e/mail: Notes on research and planning for your
Narrative: We continue the last heuristic but also pay
specific attention to the use of simple formulations, within which lie a hidden
complexity of assumptions about society.
Class 7 (3/25) Systems of selfish individuals: The tragedy of
Reading: Hardin, "The Tragedy of the Commons."
Class simulation on the commons and on ways that people use simple models to
address ecological and social complexity. Critique examples of commons talk.
Additional reading: Taylor, "Critical tensions"
*A* Asmt due on or before this date: Mini-essay 4
Class 8 (4/1)
Work-in-progress Presentations on Student Projects
with peer/instructor evaluations
*A* Asmt due: Work-in-progress Presentation on Project [handout on preparation]
Class 9 (4/8)
Readings: Schwarz & Thompson, Divided We Stand, Pearce,
"Prices and incentives" [handout on preparation]
Respond to a proposal for market environmentalism, and analyze responses
according to Schwarz' & Thompson's framework
*A* Asmt due on or before this date: Mini-essay 5
[handout on review & preparation]
4/15 No class (Patriots' Day) -- work on projects!
Class 10 (4/22)
How do we know we have local vs. global environmental problems?
Readings: Meadows, et al. from The Limits to Growth., Glantz,
from Societal Responses, Toledo, "Ecological rationality," Stevens, "An
Contrast a report on global modeling with an alternative analysis and/or
favorable vs. critical accounts of local knowledge and peasant/ indigenous
Produce a lesson that moves students from a dichotomy between global and local
to formulations that attend to intersecting processes.
[handout on activity]
Additional reading: O'Hara, et al. "Accelerated soil erosion," Taylor, "How do
Narrative: Thus far the heuristics have emphasized the
relationship between ideas about nature/ecology and ideas about society.
However, once we connect thinking to acting we need to address not only ideas,
but also the material world. The two classes ahead touch on ways that
environmental thought and science is bsed in the material world of production
Class 11 (4/29)
Europeans, commodities, and changes in New England; contrasting historical
[handout on review & preparation]
Reading: Cronon, from Changes in the Land.
Class prepares a schema of history
Discussion of why, according to Cronon, Europeans changed the New England
landscape more than Indians.
*A* Asmt due: Complete Draft of Project Report (2 copies and by email
attachment or on disk)
Class 12 (5/6)
Commodities (cont.); revising historical accounts
[handout on preparation]
Readings: Both Rowling, "Introduction" and Wolf, "Europe, prelude to
At least one of Peluso, "Coercing conservation," Lewontin, "Agricultural Research,"
Lappe and Collins, "The Green Revolution Is the Answer"
Revise schema of history in response to readings about extraction, processing,
exchange and control of commodities.
Use the other readings to sketch a lesson on the relationship beyween
commodification, other economic and technological changes, and environmental
*A* Assignment Check-list maintained by student, with incomplete
contract if needed
*A* Make comments on another student's draft
Class 13 (5/13)
Taking Stock of Course: Where have we come and where do we go from
Reading, Taylor, The Limits, chapter 1.
Mini-lecture on larger framework surrounding this course
Written Course evaluations (CCT form)
*A* Asmt due: Final version of Project Report
Kerstin Adami, "5th grade lesson plans about the environmental history of early New England"
*A* Bring PD workbook for perusal, to be picked up after 5/20 from
Department of Curriculum & Instruction office, W-2-093
Patricia Aylward, "Amazon medicine: An exploration of the discovery and use of medicine found in the Amazon"
Senait Fesseha, "The rinderpest factor in the great famine of Ethiopia"
John Lewis, "Brain development: A product of human adaptability"
Ben Okafor, "Oil politics and the impact on environment and ecosystem of the Ogoni people of Nigeria"
Marisa Papile, "Oil, environment, war, and politics"
Matthew Puma, "Intersecting processes diagrams for teaching in an adult diploma program"
Colette Worrall, "An alternative medicine: Horticulture therapy"
*A* Asmt due: Process Review
KEY TEACHING/LEARNING TOOLS
including guidelines for assignments
Examples of previous students' work will be distributed from time to
time if further guidance is needed. Refer to the Rubrics section for a
check-list of expectations for the assignments and other requirements.
Written assignments and presentations
Note: If you get behind, ask for an extension or skip the
assignment/item--the intended learning rarely happens if you submit a stack of
A. Stages of development for course project [cM, uA, uT]
The course project should not be seen as a "term paper," but as a process of
development that involves dialogue with the instructor and other students,
ongoing processing of course themes and activities, and revision (re-seeing) in
light of that dialogue and processing. To facilitate this, a sequence of five
assignments and peer commentary is required. The goals of each stage are
Revised Initial description
Building on your emailed initial draft and comments back from me, compose an
initial overview of your project. This overview may, several revisions
later, end up setting the scene in the introduction of your project. In
one-two prose paragraphs (not disconnected points aka "bullets"), an overview
should convey subject, audience, and your reason for working on this project.
The subject must relate to critical thinking about the environment, science,
and society and draw on the some of the course themes and activities. Previous
semesters' projects are available for viewing on request.
Notes on research and planning [uT]
Pull together notes on your reading and your thinking and present it in
a form organized so it can elicit useful comments from a reader (in this case,
me). To show your planning, you should submit an updated overview and an
outline. To show that you are finding out what others have been doing in your
area of interest, you should include annotated bibliography of readings done or
planned. Record the full citations for your sources, including those from the
WWW. I recommend using a bibliographic database--Endnote can be downloaded for
a 30 day trial from http://www.endnote.com
Work-in-progress presentation [pCo]
Preparing presentations, hearing yourself deliver them, and getting feedback
usually leads to self-clarification of the overall direction of your project
and of your priorities for further work. In this spirit, 15 minute
presentations of your work-in-progress are scheduled early in your projects and
are necessarily on work-in-progress. Convey the important features of work you
have already done and, to elicit useful feedback during 3-5 minutes of Q&A,
indicate also where additional investigation or advice are needed and where you
think that might lead you.
Complete draft report
See guidelines for final report. The draft must get to the end to
count, even if some sections along the way are only sketches.
Final report (1500-2500 words, plus bibliography of references cited)
Whether you do a research paper or prepare a set of lesson plans, the report
should Grab readers' attention, Orient them, and move through Steps so that
they appreciate the Position you have led them to and how it matches the
subject of your project. You should also include material that conveys your
process of development during the semester and in the future. The report
should not be directed to the instructor, but conceived as something helpful to
your student colleagues.
For the report to be counted as final, you must have revised in response to
comments from instructor and peers on complete draft. Allow time for the
additional investigation and thinking that may be entailed.
B. Mini-essays [pR]
The goal of mini-essays (200-400 words) is for you to weave the course
material--readings, activities, homework tasks--into your own thinking, and for
this to help you bring your own thinking back into class activities. Provide
sources or support for any views you present. Although I will suggest some
possible topics for the mini-essays, the choice of topic is open as long as it
meets this goal. Mini-essays topics can include lesson plans. Write as if the
audience were other students or colleagues, not only the instructor.
A & B, Dialogue around written work [cM, uA, pR]
I try to create a dialogue with each student around written work,
that is, around your writing, my responses, and your responses in turn.
Central to this teaching/learning interaction are requests to "Revise and
Resubmit." The idea is not that you make changes to please me the teacher or to
meet some unstated standard, but that as a writer you use the eye of others to
develop your own thinking and make it work better on readers. I may continue
to request revision when I judge that the interaction can still yield
significant learning--such a request does not mean your (re)submission was
"bad." Even when a first submissions of a written assignment is excellent,
angles for learning through dialogue are always opened up.
In my comments I try to capture where the writer was taking me and make
suggestions for how to clarify and extend the impact on readers of what was
written. After letting my comments sink in, you may conclude that I have
missed the point. In this case, my misreading should stimulate you to revise
so as to help readers avoid mistaking the intended point. If you do not
understand the directions I saw in your work or those I suggest for the
revision, a face-to-face or phone conversation is the obvious next
step--written comments have definite limitations when writers and readers want
to appreciate and learn from what each other is saying and thinking. Please
talk to me immediately if you do not see how you are benefitting from the
"Revise and resubmit" process. I am still learning how to engage students
in this in ways that take into account your various backgrounds and
dispositions and my own.
Students should submit two copies of all typed assignments because I keep one
plus a carbon copy of my comments to refer back to.
C. Prepared participation and punctual attendance at class meetings is
expected, but allowance is made for other priorities in your life. I do not
require you to give excuses for absence, lateness, or lack of
preparation--Simply make up the 80% of participation items in other ways
D. Personal/Professional Development Workbook [cL, cD, pCo,
In your workbook keep records or products of homework and
preparatory tasks, preparation for assignments, weekly journal-type reflections
on the course and classes, notes on readings, clippings, e-clippings. Explore,
when appropriate, the relationship between, on one hand, your interests and
possible projects and, on the other hand, the readings and activities. I
encourage those of you who find it hard to make space for
journalling/reflection to stay 10 minutes after class and write while your
thoughts are fresh. If you are using the workbook effectively, it should
convey your developing process of preparing to practice the tools and of
critical thinking about course readings, activities, and discussions. When you
first submit the PD workbook for perusal, I will let you know if you need to
show more processing.
PD workbooks will be collected for perusal twice during the semester. Bind
together pages with post-its or otherwise indicate which bits you do not want
me to look at.
Clippings and E-clippings [cL]
To keep up with current developments--and get you into the habit of
this for your lifelong learning-- look for articles related to disputes over
science or perceptions related to environmental issues in newspapers,
magazines, journals, and websites. Write the full citation on each article,
unless it is already included. Use large post-its to add your own reflections
on specific points in the articles you choose. Aim for one/week. Include
these in your PD workbook, including copies of items from the WWW posted to
cct640Clips. For clippings you find on the web submit the URL and brief
annotation to firstname.lastname@example.org. These can be viewed at
http://www.yahoogroups.com/group/ cct640Clips. Use the search box to find
clippings on specific topics.
E. Conferences [pC]
for discussion of comments on assignments (see Dialogue around written
work, above), ideas for course projects, and the course as a whole. They are
important to ensure timely resolution of misunderstandings and to get a
recharge if you get behind.
F. Peer commentary [pCo]
After the draft report is completed, you should comment on another
student's draft. Send me a copy by email and/or include in PD workbook. Keep
Elbow, Writing with Power, chapters 3 & 13 in mind when you decide
what approaches to commenting you ask for as a writer and use as a commentator.
In the past I made lots of specific suggestions for clarification and change in
the margins, but in my experience, such suggestions led only a minority of
students beyond touching up into re-thinking and revising their ideas and
writing. On the other hand, I believe that all writers value comments that
reassure them that they have been listened to and their voice, however
uncertain, has been heard.
G. Assignment Check-list [uA]
Please keep track of your assignments and revisions submitted and when
they are returned marked OK/RNR. To gauge whether you are on track for at
least a B+, simply note whether you have submitted 80% of the assignments by
the dates marked and attended 80% of the classes.
H. Process review [cL, pR]
Identify 4-6 examples that capture the process of development of
your work and thinking about facilitation and evaluation of educational change.
Journaling, freewriting, drafts, etc. may be included, that is, not simply your
best products. Explain your choices in a 250-500 word cover note and through
annotations (large post-its are a good way to do this). Submit with your PD
workbook, or extract into a portfolio.
Other Teaching/Learning Tools
Rationale for the Assessment system [uA]
The rationale for grading the different assignments simply OK or R&R
(revise & resubmit) and granting an automatic B+ for 80% satisfactory
completion is to keep the focus of our teaching/learning interactions on your
developing through the semester. It allows more space for students and
instructor to appreciate and learn from what each other is saying and thinking.
My goal is to work with everyone to achieve the 80% satisfactory completion
level. Students who progress steadily towards that goal during the semester
usually end up producing work that meets the criteria for a higher grade than a
B+ (see rubrics). Use the Assignment Check-list to keep track of
your own progress. Ask for clarification if needed to get clear and
comfortable with this system.
Learning Community and email group/list [cM, pC, pCo]
Individually and as a group, you already know a lot about many more
things than can be covered in the syllabus. You can learn a lot from each
other and from teaching others what you know. In small groups you often review
material, share views, help each other, and undertake other activities with my
guidance, but not under my direct supervision. The email group or list (emails
sent to email@example.com) can be used to help the community
Simulations, other class activities, and tools for group process
Each week introduces different kinds of group activities, which are as
much part of the course as the concepts. Handouts on the activities are
distributed from time to time and linked to the course website when they are
Guided freewriting [pR]
In a freewriting exercise, you should not take your pen off the
paper. Keep writing even if you find yourself stating over and over again, "I
don't know what to say." What you write won't be seen by anyone else, so don't
go back to tidy up sentences, grammar, spelling. You will probably diverge
from the topic, at least for a time while you acknowledge other preoccupations.
That's OK--it's one of the purposes of the exercise to get things off one's
chest. However, if you keep writing for ten minutes, you should expose some
thoughts about the topic that had been below the surface of your
attention--that's another of the aims of the exercise. Reference: Elbow,
Taking stock at end of semester involves multiple angles on course
evaluation (including written evaluations and Process reviews): [uA]
a) to feed into your future learning (and other work), you take stock of your
process(es) over the semester;
b) to feed into my future teaching (and future learning about how students
learn), I take stock of how you, the students, have learned.
Overall course grade. This rubric is simple, but unusual. Read
the Rationale in the Key Teaching/Learning Tools amd ask questions to make sure
you have it clear.
B+ is earned automatically for 80% of Written items (=8 of 10, including Final
Report) marked OK/RNR (=OK/ Revision-reflection-resubmission Not Requested) and
80% of Participation items fulfilled (=16 of 20).
The qualities below will determine whether a higher grade is earned. For each
quality fulfilled very well you get 2 %points or 1 %point if you did an OK job,
but there was room for more development/attention. A total of 8-14 %points,
gets you an A-; 15+% points, an A.
A sequence of assignments paced more or less as in syllabus,
often revised thoroughly and with new thinking in response to comments. [pR]
well planned and carried out with considerable initiative, and
indicates that you can guide others to think critically about the interactions
between environmental, social, and scientific change. [uC,uP]
Project report clear and well structured,
with supporting references and detail, and
professionally presented. [cM]
Active, prepared participation in all classes. [pCo]
Consistent work outside class as evidenced in PD workbook [cL,pR]
Process Review that shows deep reflection on your development through the
maps out the future directions in which you plan to develop [cL,pR]
If you do not reach the B+ level, the grade for Written assignments &
presentations will be pro-rated from B+ down to C for 50% of assignments
OK/RNR. Similarly the Participation & process grade goes down to C for 50%
of participation items.
Converting points to percentages to grades. Count each writing OK/RNR
as 10 points up to a maximum of 80 and each participation item as 5 points up
to a maximum of 80. Combine these points into a % grade = Writing points x2/3
+ Participation points x 1/3. If your combined total is 80%, the rubric above
is used to assign grades of B+, A-, and A. Below 80%, the minimum grade for B
is 72.5%; for B- is 65%; for C+ is 57.5%; and for C is 50%.
Written assignments (10 assignment points each up to maximum of
Each assignment will gain 10 points if marked OK/RNR (=
Revision-reflection-resubmission Not Requested) meaning you have met almost all
of the guidelines described in the section on Key teaching/Learning Tools (and
summarized below), but Revision and Resubmission will be
requested if you have not (0 points). Rationale for the assignments is
conveyed in the Key Teaching/Learning tools section. Comments made as part of
Dialogue around written work (see earlier in syllabus) provide guidance
tailored to each student's specific interests and needs.
In addition to the specific rubric for each assignment, the following
General Expectations apply:
Two copies of all papers must be turned in during class typed on standard 8.5"
x 11" paper, using at least 1" margins, a standard 10- or 12-point font such as
Times or Helvetica, and (preferably) one and half line spacing. Do not submit
work by email unless specifically arranged with the instructor.
The student's name, course number, assignment number, and date of writing or
revising must appear on the first page at the top right. Subsequent pages must
contain the student's name and the page number. Do not use a cover page.
Proofread your work for spelling, grammar, punctuation, and coherence of
paragraphs. (Each paragraph should have one clear topic that is supported
and/or developed by what is in it.) If writing
is difficult for you, arrange assistance from a fellow student, the Graduate
writing center (S-1-03, 287-5708) or a professional editor -- do not expect the
instructor to be your writing teacher.
Recommended: - as a guide to writing and revising: Elbow, Writing with
Power (on reserve)
- as a guide on technical matters of writing scholarly papers: Turabian, A
Manual For Writers
RUBRICS for SPECIFIC ASSIGNMENTS -- Use these as a check-list after you have
digested the guidelines given in the previous section.
i. initial description. OK = Overview conveys 1. subject, 2. audience,
and 3. your reason for working on this project. 4. Subject relates to the
sound use of computers and educational technology. 5. One-two prose paragraphs
ii. notes on research and planning OK = 1. notes on your reading and
your thinking organized to elicit comments; 2. show that you are finding out
what others have been doing in your area of interest; 3. full citations
recorded for your sources, including WWW sources; 4. Updated overview; 5.
Outline and/or annotated bibliography of readings done or planned.
iii. work-in-progress presentation OK= 13-15 minutes incl. 3-5 minutes
of Q&A; 2. conveys the important features of work you have already done; 3.
indicates where additional investigation or advice are needed and where you
think that might lead you.
iv. complete draft. OK= 1. gets to the end to count, even if some
sections along the way are only sketches; 2. not directed to the instructor,
but conceived as something helpful to your fellow students and colleagues; 3.
Grab readers' attention, Orient them, and move through Steps so that they
appreciate the Position you have led them to and how it matches the subject of
v. final report. OK= 1. 1500-2500 words; 2. bibliography of references
cited; 3. revised in response to comments from instructor and peers on complete
draft; 4. time allowed for the additional investigation and thinking that
comments may entail.
B. Mini-essays (5 required). OK = 1. 200-400 words; 2. the course
material--readings, activities, homework tasks--woven into your own thinking;
3. sources or support provided for views presented; 4. written as if the
audience were fellow students and colleagues, not only the instructor.
Participation items (5 participation points for each one fulfilled up to
maximum of 80)
C. Prepared participation and attendance at class meetings. One
item fulfilled for each class attended except NOT if you arrive late and have
been more than 10 minutes late once or more before or if you are clearly
unprepared/un-participating and have been so once before.
D. Professional Development (PD) Workbook. One item fulfilled if you
submit your workbook for perusal week 5 and another if you submit it in week 14
it shows you have been working consistently between classes, making notes and
reflections on readings, class discussions, clippings (including posting items
on cct640Clips), and your individual project, etc.
E. In-office or phone conferences. One item fulfilled for each of two
conferences on your assignments and project, one by week 4 and the other
between then and week 10, except appointments missed without notifying me in
advance count as a participation item not fulfilled.
F. Assignment Check-list. One item fulfilled if check-list is
maintained and is submitted in week 12
G. Peer commentaries. One item fulfilled for commentary on another
student's draft report with copy submitted to PT.
H. Process Review. One item fulfilled if process review with 250-500
word cover note and 4-6 annotated examples that capture the process of
development of your work and thinking is included with your PD Workbook at
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