University of Massachusetts Boston
Graduate College of Education
Critical & Creative Thinking Program

Critical & Creative Thinking in Science & Technology
Spring 2002

Environment, Science & Society


Instructor: Peter Taylor, Critical & Creative Thinking Program
Phone: 617-287-7636
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:
General email: Emails sent to go to everyone in the course.
E-clippings: Clippings from the internet sent to will be archived for all to read at


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 discussed.

DESCRIPTION of the theme for Spring 2002: Environment, Science & Society

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.


CrCrTh601 and 602, or permission of instructor


A set of readings are available on reserve for personal photocopying.
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.)


(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:


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, uP]
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) [pCo]
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, and on-going;
* 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 activism;
* 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 three levels:
* as an opportunity for students to learn science and approaches to interpreting science;
* as models for their own teaching and educational work; and
* as a basis for discussions and reflection about practices and philosophies of education.

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 knowledge;
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 social realms.

See also the italicized Narrative paragraphs in the following Schedule of Classes and the Description of Key Teaching/Learning Tools


**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 2.)
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
Introduction to:
--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 thinking."

"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 Nature
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 (slide show)
*A* Asmt due: Mini-essay 1

Class 3 (2/11) Tensions in people's views of nature, including ecologists'
Readings: Williams, "Ideas of Nature, " Worster, "Scrambling for a place"
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 nature.
Additional readings:
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 by 2/18

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 eugenics.
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 context.

Class 6 (3/11) Systems: Cybernetics and ecology in the atomic age
Reading: Odum, Chaps. 1, part of 2, 11 in Environment, Power & Society.
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 human-nature relations.
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 project

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 the commons
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)
World views
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 Eden"
Contrast a report on global modeling with an alternative analysis and/or favorable vs. critical accounts of local knowledge and peasant/ indigenous rationality.
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 we know"

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 of commodities.

Class 11 (4/29)
Europeans, commodities, and changes in New England; contrasting historical accounts
[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 expansion"
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 problems.
*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 here?
Reading, Taylor, The Limits, chapter 1.
Mini-lecture on larger framework surrounding this course
Historical Scan
Written Course evaluations (CCT form)
*A* Asmt due: Final version of Project Report
*A* Bring PD workbook for perusal, to be picked up after 5/20 from Department of Curriculum & Instruction office, W-2-093
*A* Asmt due: Process Review


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 late work.
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 described below.
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
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-H).

D. Personal/Professional Development Workbook [cL, cD, pCo, pR]
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 These can be viewed at 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 can be used to help the community develop.

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 ready.

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, chapter 2.

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]
Project innovative,
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 semester and
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 80)
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.
A. Project
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 (not bullets).
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 your project.
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 end-of-semester perusal.


(on reserve in Healey unless otherwise noted)
(Additional readings may be recommended for deeper consideration of the issues raised in both environmental sciences and in interpretation and critical thinking).
Begon, M., J. Harper and C. Townsend (1990). "The influence of predation and disturbance on community structure," in Ecology: Individuals, Populations and Communities. Boston, Blackwell, 739-741, 793, 795.

Berger, J. (1980). "Why Look at Animals?," in About Looking. New York, Pantheon Books, 1-26.

Botkin, D. (1990). Chapters 1 & 12 in Discordant Harmonies: A New Ecology for the Twenty-first Century. New York: Oxford University Press, 3-25.

Butler, O. E. (1994, reprint 1999) in Parable of the Sower. New York: Quality Paperback Book Club, 45-77.

Cronon, W. (1983). Changes in the Land. New York, Hill and Wang, 3-15, 159-170.

Elbow, P. (1981). Writing with Power. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

Glantz, M. (Ed.) (1989). Societal Responses to Regional Climatic Change: Forecasting by Analogy. Boulder, CO, Westview Press, 1-7, 407-428.

Haraway, D. J. (1984/1985). "Teddy bear patriarchy: Taxidermy in the garden of Eden, New York City, 1908-1936." Social Text 11: 20-64.

Hardin, G. (1968). "The Tragedy of the Commons." Science 162: 1243-1248.

Lappe, F. M. and J. Collins (1986). "The Green Revolution Is the Answer," in World Hunger Twelve Myths. New York, NY, Grove Press, Inc., 48-66.

Lewontin, R. (1982). "Agricultural Research & the Penetration of Capital." Science for the People(January/February): 12-17.

Meadows, D., D. Meadows, J. Randers and W. W. Behrens (1972). The Limits to Growth. New York: Universe Books, 157-197.

Meffe, G. K., A. H. Ehrlich and D. Ehrenfeld (1993). "Human population control: The missing agenda." Conservation Biology 7(1): 1-3.

Odum, H. T. (1971). "Chaps. 1, part of 2, 11," in Environment, Power & Society. New York: Wiley-Interscience, 1-41, 304-310.

O'Hara, S., F. A. Street-Perrott and T. P. Burt (1993). "Accelerated soil erosion around a Mexican highland lake caused by prehispanic agriculture." Nature 362(4 Mar.): 48-51.

Pearce, D., A. Markandya and E. Barbier (1989). "Prices and incentives," in Blueprint for a Green Economy. London, Earthscan, 154-172.

Pearce, F. (2000). "Inventing Africa." New Scientist(12 August): 30-33.

Peluso, N. (1993). "Coercing conservation: The politics of state resource control." Global environmental change 3(2): 199-217.

Rowling, N. (1987). "Introduction," in Commodities: How the world was taken to market. London, Free Association Books, 7-21.

Schwarz, M. and M. Thompson (1990). Divided We Stand: Redefining Politics, Technology, and Social Choice. London, Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1-13.

Stevens, W. K. (1993). "An Eden in ancient America? Not really." New York Times(31 Mar.).

Taylor, P. J. (1997). "How do we know we have global environmental problems? Undifferentiated science-politics and its potential reconstruction," in P. J. Taylor, S. E. Halfon and P. N. Edwards (Eds.), Changing Life: Genomes, Ecologies, Bodies, Commodities. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 149-174.

Taylor, P. J. (2001). "Critical tensions and non-standard lessons from the "tragedy of the commons"," for M. Maniates (Ed.), Empowering Knowledge: A Primer for Teachers and Students of Global Environmental Politics. New York: Rowman & Littlefield.

Taylor, P. J. (2001). "We know more than we are, at first, prepared to acknowledge: Journeying to develop critical thinking." ms.

Taylor, P. J. "Exploring heuristics about social agency through interpretation of diagrams of nature and society," for Y. Haila and C. Dyke (Eds.), How Does Nature Speak: Dynamic Understandings, ms.

Taylor, P. J. (2002). The Limits of Ecology and the Re/construction of Unruly Complexity. ms.

Toledo, V. (1990). "The ecological rationality of peasant production," in M. Altieri and S. Hecht (Eds.), Agroecology and small farm development. Boca Raton: CRC Press, 53-60.

Turabian, K. L. (1996). A Manual For Writers of Term papers, Theses, and Disertations. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press (in Healey reference section)

Williams, R. (1980). "Ideas of Nature," in Problems in Materialism and Culture. London, Verso, 67-85.

Wolf, E. (1982). "Europe, prelude to expansion," in Europe and the People Without History. Berkeley: University of California Press, 101-125.

Worster, D. (1977). "Science in Arcadia & The empire of reason," in Nature's economy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2-55.

Worster, D. (1979). "Scrambling for a place," in Nature's Economy. New York: Anchor Books, 145-169.