The Moon Room

A Community Forum on Guilford College Faculty Life

Challenges with staffing courses under a 12-3 model

February 3rd, 2018

Here’s another logistical issue we’ll need to deal with if we move forward with the 12-3 schedule. It’s a different kind of challenge to staff a three-week course than it is a 15-week course, and with the current low number (at least in recent history) of tenured and tenure-track faculty, it’s likely we’ll need to lean hard on temporary faculty to make a three-week term work. The graph below was part of an analysis I sent to the senior team back in November. I never received a response to that message, although I’ve talked with Frank about parts of it since.

The blue line is just math, 1500 students spread across a variable number of courses. At the right side of the chart, it approaches one class with 1500 students. At the left side, it approaches 1500 classes with one student each. In the area shown, we’re between 150 classes with 10 students each and 37.5 classes with 40 students each. Everywhere on the line, courses times students multiplies out to 1500 total students.

For an intensive semester to work, we are mathematically obligated to be somewhere on the curved blue line, or students won’t be able to graduate in four years/eight semesters (i.e. without summer school or a fifth year). If we find internships or non-Guilford study away opportunities in the 3-week term for 10% of our students (setting aside the cost of administering internships and the potential lost tuition revenue if students took non-Guilford off-campus courses), we might be able to swing the dotted orange line, but that doesn’t change the math much.

The yellow horizontal line reflects the number of tenured and tenure-track faculty we have now, which is around 80. However, in any given year, some of those are on study leave, some are leading study abroad, some are taking family or medical leave, and some have course releases for other work. Also, with our 3-3 teaching load, in a four-course 12/3 setup, we can only count on 75% of faculty to be teaching during the 3-week term, because some faculty will do their three course load as three 12-week courses.

So, we have, at best, tenured and tenure-track faculty able to teach somewhere near the horizontal green line. Everything above the green line will have to be taught through faculty with temporary appointments or with overloads. We may not even have tenured and tenure-track faculty to match the green line, because some faculty meet their load with a combination of lecture and lab courses and won’t have space in their schedule to do a 3-week intensive class, and it’s possible that more tenured and tenure-track faculty may get caught up teaching a full load in the 12-week section to meet departmental or general education needs rather than doing 3-week courses.

The green line crosses the blue line at about an average class size of 28. Most faculty, when they talk about a potential 3-week intensive class, talk about project-based courses, travel courses, special topics, or research opportunities that might engage 5-15 students, like what we saw in January Term, which is shown with the light blue dot. That kind of class is the size that we keep hearing anecdotes about, from Hiram, from Culver-Stockton, and from others who wax poetic about the opportunities of a three-week term. Nobody is talking about the joys and radical benefits of managing a 40-student on-campus intensive course, but for every 10-person class we offer, we’ll have to hire somebody to teach the other 18 students, or add them to another class. The 3-week term just can’t resemble Jan Term. The classes will have to be significantly larger.

So, we either need to have 3-week classes that average 28 students, or we need to add a lot of temporary faculty to the mix. If we go the latter route, I can see a few options to address this math problem, none of which look great. If we want to support a significant number of 3-week courses with 10-15 students, we could:

  1. Have tenured and tenure-track faculty stretch to cover more of these classes after teaching a full semester load during the 12-week, compensated by Guilford’s modest overload pay.
  2. Hire 50-100 full-time adjuncts for a 3-week term to meet student needs. We have about 50 FTE of non-tenure-track faculty now, but more than half of those (and thus well more than half of the people involved) are part time. The 3-week term is supposed to be full-time work.
  3. Change our teaching load to 4-4, mandating the 3-week term for nearly everyone
  4. Create huge (70-120 student) megacourses or other experiences to balance out the small ones.
  5. Hire more tenured and tenure-track faculty

Option 1 is a lot of work. Remember that the 12-week courses, if we do them in a principled and accreditable way, have just as much student contact, just as much graded work, just as much student interaction as a 15-week course. They’re meeting more often per week, for longer classes, with more frequent or longer assignments. That leaves less faculty time for grading, for planning, for preparation, for meeting community partners, and for rounding up resources, and also for service work, research, or professional development and growth. Somebody doing a 3-course load in 12 weeks ought to be way more frantic and burnt out than during a 15-week semester. If three courses over 15 weeks is a 40-hour-per-week job, then doing the same in 12 weeks is 50 hours a week. We’d then be asking faculty to take on an additional full-time 3-week experience after twelve consecutive weeks of overtime.

Options 1 and 2 are expensive. If we pay $4000 per class, either to adjunct faculty or as overload pay for tenured and tenure-track faculty, and we need 50-100 extra classes, then we are spending $200,000-$400,000 for every intensive semester. Some of that we already spend, because we already have temporary faculty and overloads, but given the numbers of courses required, a good chunk of that is new money that we’ll have to find somewhere.

Option 2 also presumes we can find 50-100 qualified instructors in the local job market who are willing or able to take on 3-week full-time jobs which overlap a regular semester period. Some of those folks would presumably be with us for the 12-week and extend to the 3-week, but not all of them would, and even then, there aren’t enough. Frank assures me this kind of recruiting is possible. Even granting that, many of those instructors would not have the benefit of the faculty development work in collaborative learning that we’ll undertake along with this initiative, and those who show up just for a three-week term will likely not have a long-term engagement with our institution and with our majors and programs. Also, if we do this, we would be moving towards, or past, 50% of these showcase courses taught by temporary faculty, which is a far higher percentage than during the regular term and which has associated management, recruiting, and oversight challenges. It also extends Guilford’s reliance on the more exploitative and poorly compensated adjunct faculty market, which I think is a bad thing.

Option 3 is awful, and radically redefines the nature of faculty work at Guilford. If that’s on the table, we should have just done it under the old model and reaped the savings there. It would be better to take on that challenge under a regular model that we know rather than adding that additional burden to a massively disruptive new semester structure, new curriculum, and new pedagogical focus.

Option 4 is a real challenge. It’s hard to imagine what huge courses look like, or how they’d be administered or taught, or how the teachers would be compensated, or how students in such a large course would get the one-on-one contact and guidance we say is our strength and our goal for this program.

Option 5 is the most principled way to do this, with the best likely outcomes, but given that this all is happening in the midst of a budget deficit, I think there’s zero chance it will happen until and unless (and most likely after) the promised enrollment boom occurs.

There may be other options here that I haven’t thought of. I would imagine that each comes with its own challenges. We could also combine these or other approaches. But the fundamental problem here is a mathematical one, and I don’t know the solution.

UPDATE:

Here’s an updated version of the graph that fixes the class sizes and numbers for January term, adds earlier January terms, and explicitly includes current numbers of full-time non-tenure-track faculty, assuming that all would teach a three-course load in a 12/3 semester. This is in response to Rob Whitnell’s comment below. Click to make it bigger.

 

 

 

Adapting our Gen Ed to the proposed Q major

February 1st, 2018

Frank put up a slide at yesterday’s faculty meeting comparing the credit hours in the current curriculum to an implementation of the 12/3 plus the Q major as has been described in recent discussions. I had a chance to look over the numbers, and I found a couple of what seem like minor calculation glitches (or maybe just different assumptions) along with a larger quantitative problem. I shared this with Clerk’s Committee today, but I thought the rest of you might be interested. Here’s the diagram with some edited numbers:

The edits are as follows:

  • The critical perspectives are sometimes taken as double-counts, and sometimes as separate courses, so they should be included as 0-12 credits. They weren’t included in the totals before.
  • The center column in each contains 5 breadth, 3 writing, and a language, and a 1-credit FYE, for a total of 37 credits. Technically, English 101 isn’t a required course, although in practice most folks take it. So, we can set a lower bound of 33 credits. Obviously some students pass out of these requirements with test scores or AP, but for a regular student without special credit, it’s at least 33 credits. The current Gen Ed also has FYS and IDS 400 within that list, which adds 8 more, and there is also the possibility that a student would need to take the 2-credit Quantitative Lit class, although not every student does. That puts the range for the current Gen Ed at 41-47, and for the Q-major plan (which borrows the FYS and IDS for the Q-major part) at 33-39, rather than the ranges shown. Some students take a 4-credit class for Quant Lit, which would add an extra two credits to the total, and may be what the original list included.
  • Currently, we have a required minor. In practice, we have created some minors that include some or all of the courses required for the larger majors. The Integrated Science minor is specifically designed for this purpose, and can include the cognate sciences that are required for B.S. degrees in biology and geology. The Accounting minor and ENVS minors overlap in part with other majors, as well, and there are likely other examples. So, some students do a lot of double-counting and don’t need any additional courses to get a minor, and some take a full set of four (or more) that are all unique to the minor and not double-counted. So, rather than a flat 16 credits, the range here should be more like 0-16.

Looked at in this light, we have a pretty big disconnect in credits (and the accompanying number of courses) if we implement a full 8-course Q major. The current curriculum requires 41-75 credits, or roughly 10-19 courses. The eight-course Q major model requires 65-83 credits, or roughly 16-21 courses, or 2-6 more.

Of course, one of the Breadth requirements can often count towards a major (although not all do, and not all students take them this way). So, that might reduce the higher end of the range by one for some students.

This increase is absolutely not workable at the high end, for students with more courses required for majors (e.g. 82 credits for a B.F.A, 60 credits for a B.S. in Geology, 56 credits for a B.S. in Business administration). 83 credits of Gen Ed is more than 2/3 of 120, the new target for graduation, and even for students who take an eight-course major, they’re barely squeaking by.

So, we’ll need to address this. One way is the way we have been doing, by allowing the Q major to double count with regular majors in the way that minors do now. However, to keep the course totals the same, we’d have to expect that students would double count four Q-major courses (which would likely be 4 of the 6 courses outside FYE and IDS) for either Gen Ed or their majors. That is very hard to reconcile with the Q-major being unique or structured, if it’s a hodgepodge of things that count for something else.

Another way would be to chop a bunch out of the non-Q major part of the Gen Ed. The easiest candidate for this is probably the five Breadth requirements, if we could somehow ensure that each Q major would include at least the components that SACS requires in Gen Ed (humanities/fine arts, social/behavioral sciences, and natural science/mathematics), or perhaps all five of our existing Breadth requirements.

If we were to cut the Breadth requirements from Gen Ed and house them in the Q major, we would be back at a more manageable 45-63 courses, which is comparable to the size of the current Gen Ed.

There are probably other ways to address this as well, such as a full Gen Ed revision (which we’d almost have to do anyway if we pursue the Q major). But we can’t not deal with it and just add things.

Darryl Samsel’s ideas for curriculum changes

April 28th, 2017

In our last meeting, Darryl mentioned a simpler curriculum model he had developed. He sent this to LAGER and to me in March shortly before spring break. Because others have not seen it, and it was discussed, I asked if I could share it here. I’m including the three documents he sent me and his introductory e-mail below.

In Darryl’s e-mail to Kyle, he wrote:

Kyle,

I met with Lavon this week on the curriculum and she encouraged me to send my suggestions to you for the committee’s perusal. Attached are documents for suggested curriculum changes. The suggested curriculum mostly follows the LAGER curriculum (I forget which model) and fixes all of the problems raised so far. This is for the committee but may be modified and shared with the faculty if the committee wants to.

The modifications are to:

1. Make it simpler and more elegant
2. Make it more flexible (ie more choice)
3. Address the difficulty in defining CIPs by suggesting one default or overall CIP as Global Understanding Macro View which allows very important questions/problems to be addressed in a interdisciplinary way. Other “CIPs” could be added.
4. Provide a place (but does not require) for current “Critical Perspective” type courses in the Global Understanding Micro View area
5. Include the learning goals (GELOS) addressed in each area
6. Include the writing QEP assessment places
7. Include the presentation QEP assessment places
8. Include the design principles from Art & Science as communicated by Jane

The documents attached are:
1. Snapshot
2. Condensed Curriculum for Students
3. Curriculum Elements and Course Design for Faculty
I will make myself available for discussion whenever needed.

Best,
Darryl

Curriculum elements and course design for faculty

Condensed Curriculum for Students

Snapshot of Curriculum

Clarification and further development of Jim Hood’s ideas

April 27th, 2017

[From Jim Hood]

I wanted to put my suggestion from yesterday’s meeting in writing along with some other thoughts.  Please feel free to share these ideas on the Moon Room.

Content suggestions

Since a number of faculty are concerned that we be more specific about content before approving the proposed gen ed curriculum, here are some brief thoughts about how we could do that.  Like some others, I’m concerned that distributing the re-envisioned Critical Perspectives into modules across the gen ed would be complicated and difficult to manage, so my suggestions here focus on concentrating critical perspectives in particular curricular locations, essentially blending some of our current breadth with current critical perspectives.

1.  Global and Diverse Perspectives (Gateway) course

Courses satisfying this requirement would focus on non-Western cultures (which seems vital as a gateway experience for our students) and have to include historical perspective (change over time, causality) as a key component.  I’m suggesting this not be primarily a writing course, but that it must also include instruction in research-based writing as a component.  Students can learn much by doing, and by doing historically-informed, research-based writing, they will learn a lot about the culture or history of a non-Western locale.

2.  Nature: Processes and Properties of the Natural World Breadth course

In the context of teaching the processes and properties of the natural world, this course must have a substantial focus on the environmental crisis we face as a planet, identifying key environmental problems and potential solutions.

3.  Society: Social Interaction and Behavior Breadth course

Courses satisfying this requirement must include as a key component analysis of how social, political, and/or cultural structures create and sustain systemic forms of oppression.

4.  Humanity: Human Experiences in Artistic and Cultural Expression Breadth course

Courses satisfying this requirement should include as a key component analysis of the contributions of traditionally under-represented groups to artistic, literary, religious, and/or other forms of cultural expression.

Coalitions (currently CiPs)

I would suggest a somewhat looser structure than implied in the term “chartered communities,” at least initially (following Naadiya Hasan’s suggestion in a faculty forum).  I imagine the credit hours and components being the same as currently proposed, but I like the term “Coalitions” because it suggests a more fluid structure that would allow faculty to collaborate with students in cross-disciplinary fashion around shorter- as well as longer-term issues, similar to the idea behind our current PPSE minors.  I also like the word “coalition” because it has a (now obsolete, from the 17th century) meaning of “Shared growth or development; the action or fact of nurturing or sustaining one another” (OED).

Administrative management of curricular components
A number of faculty, like I, have been concerned about how to manage the proposed curriculum without adequate resources.  As I don’t foresee significant resources forthcoming, I suggest a modest arrangement for managing some of the curricular components.

1.  Gateway Seminar

Administered in a manner similar to current FYS/FYE.

2.  Gateway Communication

Administered by the current Writing Program director in the same manner as is current.

3.  Gateway Global Engagement

Administered by the Foreign Languages department

4.  Breadth courses and Global and Diverse Perspectives

Appoint faculty members as the directors of each of these components, for which they would receive one course release per year.  Report to VPAA/Academic Dean.

5. Coalitions (currently called CiPs)

Each coalition should be managed by a faculty member, for which they would receive one course release per year.  Report to VPAA/Academic Dean.

I hope these suggestions can help move us along in terms of clarifying content locations and simplifying things a bit.

Revising our General Education Curriculum by May, 2017

April 4th, 2017

Dear Colleagues,

We have a challenging second half of the semester. As you know, we’ve been engaged in a curriculum revision process that began several years ago in Curriculum Committee and then moved to our ad hoc committee to determine whether we wanted to pursue a curriculum revision. We approved that committee’s recommendation that we are due for a revision, and we approved the formation of what has become known as LAGER nearly two years ago. Their work has continued since that time.

Our current curriculum (the 1998 curriculum) provides an interdisciplinary introduction (FYS) and capstone (IDS 400) along with a series of distributed requirements in various areas, many of them aligning with particular departments or divisions of the college.  LAGER’s proposal has some topical requirements (e.g. writing, language) but largely takes a different form from this model, creating a less defined, less disciplinary central experience (what is currently called Communities in Practice) including experiential learning, team-based learning, and student projects. We’ve been discussing this model for the past year.

The deadline in LAGER’s charge was to have a new model approved by the end of this year. Recently, we’ve heard the charge from Jane that we not only need to have a new model approved, but that we also need to implement it for the first-year class arriving on campus this coming August. That’s obviously a tall order, but one that we think we can achieve.

In pursuit of that goal, Clerk’s Committee has identified some guiding principles for the remaining months of this semester.  Some of these principles we have heard from the community, and some of them we feel necessary to follow in order to arrive at an approved model in May.

We must respect those many voices who have advocated for a version of our “critical perspectives” curricular components in the new curriculum. It is clear that a significant component of our faculty feels that the academic scholarship, analytical structures, and institutional values represented by our existing “critical perspectives” curricular component should be represented in our new revised curriculum. It is clear that this is not just a few people pushing an agenda, but instead a commitment that many faculty wish us to make, with sincere passion for these issues and concern for our students and for the institution’s identity.

At the same time, there are other precedents, efforts, goals, and desires that compete with holding critical perspectives as a (or the) fundamental driving force in our revised curriculum. LAGER’s model intended fewer specific topic areas and more emphasis on learning communities. The Art and Science research pushes us toward a themed multi-year experience guided by student interests and infused with collaborative work.

Also, though the critical perspectives (CP) have wide and strong support, that support is not universal. If we specify more parts of our general education curriculum with particular content, such as the CPs, the areas not specifically represented (currently quantitative literacy, arts, and nearly the entire BPSS division) may raise a concern about why we are not representing all of the topics we teach here in the general education curriculum. Representation is a much weaker basis for a coherent curriculum than a designed experience.

We must act quickly, and we must incorporate the recommendations from Art and Science. This is the message that Jane presented at our faculty meeting on March 8th. The four main recommendations that the college has chosen to implement are:

  • Collaborative student-led problem-solving
  • Ethical leadership
  • Improved campus spirit
  • Team-based advising

The first of these four seems to be the most critical for the general education curriculum, although ethical leadership could also be incorporated there. This list is not prohibitive – obviously, we can include other components in our curriculum as we see fit, such as writing, public presentations, language, the three SACS-based requirements, and critical perspectives. However, we must be able to offer all students an authentic experience with all four of these in order to achieve the increased enrollment potential indicated by Art and Science. So, student-led collaborative work (the “major plus a passion” idea) should be central to whatever we do, and we should find a home in the curriculum or in other areas for ethical leadership. LAGER has worked hard to make their central experience (the part they’ve been calling Communities in Practice) reflect student-led collaborative experiential learning.

On the flip side, this mandate means that we can’t do as some have suggested and pass just a revision to FYS now, while deferring the curriculum revision to some future date. We can’t have an incoming class enter the school without the major curricular requirements they are expected to meet mapped out in the catalog. If we were just to revise FYS, we would be failing to follow the Art and Science recommendations and failing to meet the charge Jane assigned us, and we would be in effect putting yet another class through our old curriculum.

We must, where possible, maintain open pathways to participation by our colleagues. A successful general education curriculum requires faculty eager to teach it and students eager to participate in it. This is something we should keep in mind as we discuss and design the components of the new curriculum. The more restrictive and specific our demands for particular courses and elements are, the fewer faculty there are on campus who can teach them, much less teach them eagerly, and thus the fewer topics and the fewer choices we will have available for students in those areas. It may sometimes be better for the viability of the curriculum and for the institution (if not for a particular topic or educational principle) to allow more freedom in how we accomplish a curricular goal. Our current critical perspectives requirement, our FYS, our historical perspectives courses, and our IDS courses all reflect that openness to a variety of paths toward teaching a particular requirement. Those courses aren’t all perfect, but HP and our past QEP in writing have shown us that faculty are willing and able to learn and apply best practices to courses of their own design, even if those faculty are not originally trained in a particular discipline or pedagogy. And having a rich diversity of courses and disciplines able to cover the critical perspectives has allowed students more choice and more agency in designing their own course of study than a meager proscribed list of limited possibilities.

We must respect each other, and we must follow our process with good will and efficiency. Quaker tradition places equal value on all voices. Quaker business practice requires us to be open to changing our minds, considering suggestions as they arise, and willing to move toward consensus. We have a short timeframe in which to do difficult work, and we hope that we can remain respectful of each other’s gifts and wisdom while always working towards a positive consensus.

Next Steps

For us to approve a curriculum by May, and to implement the parts of it that need to be in place by Fall 2017 for the incoming class, we will need to reach a compromise on how to reconcile these competing models and interests. We have five regular Wednesday afternoon meeting times as shown in the table below, plus the potential to have additional meetings after the end of classes, which is obviously undesirable but not without precedent, and which may be necessary if we cannot make progress toward consensus.

April 5 – Faculty Meeting
April 12 – Faculty Forum
April 19 – Formerly Faculty Development; now likely to be scheduled instead as a called faculty meeting or other meeting
April 26 – Faculty Meeting
May 3 – Reserved for called Faculty Meeting
May 10 – Reading Day

Clerk’s Committee is committed to providing as much discussion time as we can and as much as we need to reach our goal of May approval. At the open discussion we held on March 15th, we discussed a variety of different models and approaches, but it seemed like we were making some significant progress toward agreement on a model where the critical perspectives were addressed at various touchpoints (in three to five different courses or experiences spanning a student’s career) in the LAGER model. That would allow us to maintain the critical perspectives component in the curriculum while still preserving the designed experience model and student-led collaborative work that are present in the LAGER design, which in turn implement some of the Art and Science recommendations.

Toward the end of that meeting, that harmony fell apart somewhat, as people expressed frustration with the entire process  or prohibitive discomfort with other parts of the LAGER model.  That was a difficult note to end on, but we hope that we can return to the earlier sense of progress that the first hour of the discussion produced surrounding the critical perspectives.

Obviously we also need to return to the issue of the central experience (in the LAGER model, the Community in Practice) and figure out what it should contain, how many credits it should include, how it should be structured, how to make it student-led, collaborative, and experiential while still teachable by our existing faculty, and how to ensure that it provides a positive, passion-based experience as a companion to the major. That’s  a challenge, but not an insurmountable one, and we have the advantage of being able to discuss it further and design it next year while our incoming class takes their first-year courses, language, and writing, and explores potential majors. So, it does not need to be entirely nailed down by May, although we should agree on its form in broad strokes.

There may be other sticky issues remaining as well, and we can address them as we move through the coming weeks.  We hope that we can remember that:

  1. Our 1998 curriculum is far from perfect. We agreed that we wanted a change, and a major change, two years ago when we approved this process.
  2. We need to adopt a framework this spring, but we can refine and revise the details later as we experience it and teach it. We’ve done that a lot with the 1998 curriculum. Many of the concepts in it were new and ill-defined when we approved them, and we designed them and redesigned them and made them better over the subsequent years after approval.

In order to address and include our many goals, we’re going to have to find a compromise position on how these concepts and disciplines fit into our new model. It is 100% likely that what we end up with will not fit any one person’s desire for how it should look, so we’ll all need to be open to a good-faith effort to honor all of these competing priorities as best we can. If we can all get to a model we can live with, with some opportunities for each of us to do some new creative teaching, that also has the potential to provide deeper, personalized student experiences, that’s a success. The perfect is very much the enemy of the good here.

Thanks for the time you’ve already spent on curriculum, the time we’re asking you to spend over the next two months, for your concern for our teaching, for our students, and for the college. We look forward to our ongoing conversations and to building a new, exciting model by the end of the year.

Sincerely,

Clerk’s Committee

Materials and models for Critical Perspectives curriculum discussion on March 15

March 12th, 2017

LAGER has prepared two documents for the Critical Perspectives discussion we are holding March 15th in the Collaboratory space in Hege Library. These are a set of slides that describe their ideas for incorporating Critical Perspectives and a memo summarizing what they are presenting. Note that the model they’re using here is their updated model 4.5, which includes a couple of changes from model 4.0 based on feedback from recent meetings.  These changes include:

  • Adding a third writing course, called XP in the slides, which is parallel to the current HP requirement, but which may include a broader scope in terms of topic.
  • Removing the full-semester first-year Gateway Seminar course (akin to current FYS) in second semester, retaining the two-credit half-semester Gateway Seminar in the first semester.
  • Changing the nature of the first course, and reducing the experiential credits by two, of the central experience courses (what we’ve been calling Communities in Practice)

See the memo below for more details.

With that model (4.5) as a base, LAGER has proposed several different ways in which the Critical Perspectives ideas could be included in the curriculum. They have four models, some of which might have trouble satisfying Jane’s charge to us with regard to the Art and Science findings. If you have a different model to propose, please describe it in the comments section of this post, and we can enter it into our discussion on Wednesday.

Here are the LAGER documents:

Memo for CP models – Google Docs

 

slides only

Discussion on Critical Perspectives – Wednesday, March 15, 3:45 p.m.

March 10th, 2017

LOCATION CHANGE: This event will be in the Collaboratory in Hege Library, NOT in the Gilmer Room.

We will host a discussion during the reserved time on Wednesday, March 15th, at 3:45 pm, centered around the concerns that have been raised recently about the curricular elements we currently house in the Critical Perspectives requirements, namely Social Justice/Environmental Responsibility, Diversity in the U.S., and Intercultural.

NOTE: This meeting is not a called faculty meeting, nor is it even as formal as a forum. We know it’s a very busy time of year with midterm grades due on the 16th, and we realize that this is short notice and that many people have scheduled other events during this time already. We hope that people can come and talk, and that we can make some progress toward resolving these concerns and moving the curricular process forward. If you cannot come, or if you wish to make comments leading up to or following up from the meeting, please feel free to do so here in the comments on this post.

We propose that we have this discussion focus on two questions:

  1. If we were to decide on critical perspectives for 2017, rather than using the ones from 1998, would we retain the same categories and the same names? Are there different concepts, different elements, or different names that we would like to use for the new curriculum?
  2. If we were to combine these to the structure mapped out by the LAGER model, where could we place them? Could we infuse them into the entire curriculum? Could we focus on them in immersive major events rather than courses? Would we replace or modify elements in LAGER 4.0? Would we add something? Would we use a similar method to now, where they are flagged on courses that are part of the rest of the curriculum?

Here is the previous discussion on the page from the March 1 called faculty meeting. It includes some long comments on Critical Perspectives from various faculty members.

March 1 faculty meeting discussion

 

We have asked LAGER to come with a set of various models for Critical Perspectives that we can compare and discuss, so that we can talk about their merits and drawbacks in relation to each other. We will post these as they become available, but feel free to make additional suggestions here as you wish.

If you’re interested, here’s the text of the items used in the Art and Science requirement (Guilford login required). This isn’t directly relevant to the discussion proposed above, but it is important as we move forward.

The documents prepared by LAGER for this meeting are here.

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A Community Forum on Guilford College Faculty Life