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Design Team #2 Cognitive and Communicative Skills. Gen Ed Lunch – 4/30/08. Members of the learning outcome #2 committee: Vince Berdayes, Communication, Theatre and Dance Tom Bonnell, English (writing program) Christopher Cobb, English Karen Chambers, Psychology Natalie Domelle, Math
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Design Team #2Cognitive and Communicative Skills Gen Ed Lunch – 4/30/08
Members of the learning outcome #2 committee: • Vince Berdayes, Communication, Theatre and Dance • Tom Bonnell, English (writing program) • Christopher Cobb, English • Karen Chambers, Psychology • Natalie Domelle, Math • Chris Dunlap, Chemistry • Krista Hoefle, Art • Catherine Pellegrino, Library • Patti Sayre, Philosophy • Jill Vihtelic, Business & Economics
Learning Outcome #2 • Cognitive & Communicative Skills • As a women’s college, Saint Mary’s emphasizes the value of women’s voices and their distinctive contribution to intellectual life. Therefore… • A Saint Mary’s student masters a broad set of sophisticated • intellectual skills, including critical thinking, careful interpretation • of complex texts and artifacts, accurate evaluation of data, • investigative problem solving, quantitative reasoning, historical • analysis, and technological and information literacy. • A Saint Mary's student communicates her ideas, insights, thought • processes, and conclusions with accuracy, competence, and style in • various media and contexts.
Assumptions General Education LO#2 is about establishing skills and exposing students to fields of study. Design Team 3 (yet to be formed) will address breadth of exposure across the disciplines. To a large extent, skills can be discipline neutral.
How Do We See Skills in the Gen Ed Program? Skill Building Sophomore-Senior Fundamental Skills First Year Curriculum Critical Thinking Breadth in Skills Writing Depth in Some Skills
A Saint Mary's student communicates her ideas, insights, thought processes, and conclusions with accuracy, competence, and style in various media and contexts. Writing is a fundamental skill W program is central to Gen Ed Success is due to wide participation
RECOMMENDATION: • Keep W program • Expand department breadth • Increase tandem offerings
What is Critical Thinking? • Critical Thinking is the process of purposeful, self-regulatory judgment. (American Philosophical Association) • Skills involved:
Critical Thinking • Critical thinking is fundamental to a Saint Mary’s graduate • Critical Thinking is the basis for all of the other skills • Proposal: A First-Year Seminar that addresses critical thinking.
Why could this work? The First Year Seminar on critical thinking can be envisioned as similar to the W program. That is: • It is fundamental to many other skills • It appears in all disciplines • It can be taught in a variety of contexts
A Confession • While we, generally, find the FYS an intellectually exciting idea, pragmatically we are unsure of whether it will work. • Two Fundamental Questions: • Will we get enough buy-in by faculty to staff the FYS? • 2. How can we fit it into the curriculum?
Question 1 – Faculty Buy-InWe envision this course: • As discipline neutral (similar to the W) but will explicitly address critical thinking • Would be a seminar class (similar to W) • The topic would be a “passion” of the professor • Earlham • Women and civil rights • Insects and human society • Feasting and fasting: food in the ancient world, • Sweet persuasion • Bubble, bubble toil and trouble (Econ) • MONSTERS AND MARVELS (English) • Gettysburg • Tryin' to Find a Way Back Home: An Introduction to the Literature and Legacy of Homelessness in America, • Samurai and Geisha: Beyond the Stereotypes, • Food: Fuel for Thought and Action, • A Dying Ocean: The Increasing Environmental Challenges to the Marine Ecosystem, • Einstein in Wonderland: Physics, Philosophy, and Other Nonsense
Question 2 – Fit? Possible avenues: • First Year Seminar as 3 credit class with a one credit social responsibility seminar. • Allow the FYS to count as class in the general education curriculum, similar to the W program now. • Others?
What happens after the first year? Breadth (Distribution) & Broad Critical Thinking Skills OR Breadth (Distribution) CT Courses
What we are still working on…. • Communication in other contexts • Technological literacy • E-Portfoilos • Integrating Design Team 1 models • Skill floor and how to build skills
What we need from you… Comment on the usefulness of the skill definitions