Course: Environment, Science and Society CCT 640

Semester: Spring 2002

Instructor: Peter Taylor

Building on/in your comments from the other side, write out neatly a synthetic statement (1 or 2 paragraphs) evaluating this course. Please make comments both to help me develop the course in the future and to enable some third party appreciate the course’s strengths and weaknesses. (Imagine a reader who may not be willing to wade through all the notes on the other side, but is willing to do more than look at numerical averages.) Among other things you might comment on the overall content and progression of classes, the in-class activities, and the dialogue around written work.

Part II

CCT 640 certainly provides food for thought, if you have an interest or background in the sciences. Peter’s background and interest in ecology, sociology, etc are evident. If unfamiliar with what he is talking about, you can easily be lost. There were always involved discussions and interesting activities planned.

If I could take the course again, I would feel more comfortable having a better grasp on how the class was conducted. I know that I am a more concrete learner, and it is something I need to work on ("thinking outside the box").


I feel that this class was unique in its description, material and content. The format allowed for evaluation and discussion of all aspects introduced, and there was a logical flow throughout the semester. The in-class activities were simplified aspects of the complex readings and really elaborated more and allowed for more understanding of all the concepts introduced.

Overall, I would recommend to future students that they attend all classes to be able to experience all activities and discussions.


Although the writings were informal, I must admit I felt somewhat overwhelmed at times by the amount of work I needed to do. The other issue that may be pertinent is that this class, while stimulating and challenging, has more of an education focus. This focus may be for the experienced educators looking for new and challenging ideas.

Having said this, this course also envelops the rest of this by placing science under a microscope and encouraging us to view it in a more multidimensional way. By questioning our questions and evaluating ourselves it offered us growth on a more personal level.

The diversity of this class and the interesting perspectives that have come with it have opened up a different and more interesting aspect.


I learnt to interpret and reflect on ideas to find more of "why" and "what" about the environment and society.

Tve–the writer assignments were very helpful, especially the feedback. When re-writing using the feedback, it makes one think differently.

The whole dialogue process around the articles, the activities and the written works was engaging and challenging.


This course is what I wanted, based on the description in the catalog. As the course progressed, the readings, activities, writing assignments and project tracked well with my expectation. What worked well were the class and group discussions, which complemented and enhanced the material.

The checklist at first was a nuisance but in the end proved to be a useful gauge on progress in the course. The PD notebook too was a nuisance at first, but that worked out even better than the checklist!


This is a course that is quite different from all the courses I have taken. It introduces you to various ways of looking at things, the importance of history in most case studies. The class activities were also a boost to understanding of the materials. The science aspect of it was very challenging particularly to anyone with little or no scientific background.

The use of intersecting processes diagram is one area that interested me most. The linking of historical events was also awesome. I came out with a lot of new knowledge that I never knew existed.


The key theme developed in the course provided me with both excellent background and useful tools for my own thinking and teaching. I really enjoy the ???? of issues and perspectives introduced especially because it played into my philosophical background. The readings were excellent and opened up new territory for me especially in historical terms. The instructor’s knowledge of environmental science and its practice were a great asset in discussion. All types of educators would benefit from learning the tools employed in the class. The assignment structure has the effect of getting students to write regularly, which is helpful.