The following are a sample of the courses that have been most significant for me as a learner. These courses have reshaped my path as a learner in some form or another.
Created by jahart72 on Apr 5, 2011
Last updated: 04/27/11 at 10:45 PM
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This course employs a feminist perspective to analyze the economic, social, cultural, and political developments shaping women's lives in Latin America from the pre-Columbian era to the present. Emphasis will be placed on the similarities and differences in the lives of women of different racial, economic, and social groups. Themes include gender and the distribution of power in Latin America, mestizaje (racial "mixture"), women and slavery, evolving notions of female sexual honor, women's self-expression through art and literature, and women's participation in popular movements. Because this class was a small seminar of only 13 students, I got a great deal of experience with participation. There was an emphasis on oral presentations, which helped me become more comfortable speaking in front of others, and the course also helped me become more comfortable speaking in informal discussion settings. In addition to learning a great deal about how to interact with historical sources, the course has also helped me become more confident in my speaking skills and has taught me much about the most efficient ways to present information to an audience.
This is a survey course that addresses a variety of topics that include: history of education; diversity of learn- ers; societal changes; educational philosophy; instructional technology; school organization; family and community involvement; cultural diversity; differentiation; lesson planning; and professional development. The course includes a 50-hour supervised field placement in the appropriate content area in a local school. This course fundamentally influenced my understanding of teaching as a career and further reinforced my conviction to become a teacher, especially as a result of the field hours that I spent working with third graders in a local elementary school.
This course involved inquiries into fundamental issues of literary language and textual interpretation. Each section focused on a selected topic in literary studies to consider the ways language functions in the reading process and to explore interrelations among literature, culture, and history. Attention was given to the following goals: 1) practicing the close reading of literary texts; 2) understanding the terminology of literary analysis as well as core concepts 3) introducing a range of genres and historical periods and discussing literature as an evolving cultural phenomenon; 4) increasing skills in writing about literature. This course was another important milestone in my education because it reinforced my specific interest in teaching English and helped me focus on effective ways to lead class discussions about literature.
Required of all first-year students in their first semester, the First-Year Seminar in Critical Inquiry is a small, writing-intensive class of no more than 15 students. Taught by a professor who also serves as their academic adviser, each seminar invites students to engage in a set of issues, questions, or ideas that can be illuminated by the interdisciplinary perspectives of the liberal arts. "Literature and Place: Writing the Land Around You" will embark on an exploration of writing and place, both on and off the page, with close reading of such works as Thoreau’s Walden, Annie Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, William Least Heat-Moon’s Blue Highways, and Bill McKibben’s The End of Nature. In addition, we will experiment with different writing approaches, ranging from the lyrical and descriptive to the analytical and argumentative. As writers and thinkers we will delve not only into “nature” and “travel” writing, but also into environmental issues and a politics of place. Finally, our definition of “land” will be an expanded one, including urban environments as well as rural ones, Chicago neighborhoods as well as Appalachian streams. In my First Year Seminar, which served as a useful introduction to my college education, I gained a great deal of experience participating actively, because it was a small group. I also felt that my writing skills improved a great deal and the course helped reinforce my passion for literature and creative writing.
During my tenth grade US History class, not only did I first become interested in history as a field, but I also began to truly observe and think about teaching methods for the first time. This class was a turning-point for me and helped reinforce my conviction that I wanted to become a teacher. The teaching methods I experienced during this class were extremely innovative and some of my most memorable experiences are taking part in a mock court trial, using poetry to represent eighteenth century women's experiences, and reading books that challenged me to think critically rather than merely to memorize facts.