Course Proposal


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Course Proposal given to Mary Yankelovich Committee and St. Bonaventure University Faculty Senate

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Course Proposal

  1. 1. CLARE 302 – Inquiry in the Natural World COURSE PROPOSAL Sinead Coleman Mary Yankelovich Senior Fellow Effective: Semester TBDThis format was created by Sinead Coleman to be submitted to the Clare College program eanand then to the Academic Vice President. The comments and recommendations of the Dean andVice President will be sent onto the Faculty Senate for approval and evaluated by the ClareCollege Coordinating Committee (CCCC).This proposal fits the requirements for a change in a course which require a change in the cataloglisting for the course.This proposal is open to changes from the Clare College dean as well as the possibleSustainability minor teaching faculty.Outline I. Mary Yankelovich Endowed Fellowship Summary II. Proposal Summary III. Rational IV. Purpose and Need V. Department members consulted VI. Course Proposal VII. Catalog description VIII. List of Service Opportunities 1
  2. 2. I. MARY YANKELOVICH ENDOWED FELLOWSHIPThe Mary Yankelovich Endowed Fellowship program’s mission is to not only recognizeexceptional talent and character, but also promoting and developing it. Those dedicated totransformation of society based on the Franciscan ideals of peace, justice, reconciliation, andservice are granted this endowed fellowship. Mary Yankelovich Fellows, integrating theory and practice, develop and model the corevalues of St. Bonaventure University — discovery, community and respect for the dignity of allpersons — and are prepared to undertake a life of humane service.Mary Yankelovich Fellows participate in a two-year leadership development program under thementorship of a St. Bonaventure University faculty or staff member. This leadershipdevelopment program of courses is designed to: reinforce an appreciation of the University’score values, foster an understanding of the opportunities for social transformation in light of thegoals, values and styles of Franciscan leadership develop training and skills in Franciscanleadership, and develop confidence and courage in one’s capacity to be an agent of change whileat the University and in the future. On the basis of their junior year training and their owninterests, senior year Fellows are responsible for the design and execution of a service project —mentored by an individual authorized by the Mary Yankelovich Fellowship Committee —thereby modeling the qualities of Franciscan leadership for the junior Fellow and for the campuscommunity generally.Fellows receive $1,000 stipends each semester of their senior year. In addition, senior Fellowsare given a $1,000 service project budget as well as the assistance of a junior year Fellow. Uponcompletion of the program, Fellows will receive a framed citation as well as permanentrecognition on a plaque prominently displayed at the University. Mentors of the Fellows receive$250 endowment-funded stipends each semester of the Fellows senior year.Awarded Spring 2011 2
  3. 3. II. PROPOSAL SUMMARYMentors: Dr. Ted Georgian and Dr. David DiMattioProposal/SummaryThe Clare College’s curriculum is a very important core aspect to the lives of the St. Bonaventure studentand the university’s mission. Each course provides a step for the students along their intellectual journeyas they explore the larger context for their personal, professional and civil lives. My project is tocollaborate the natural sciences requirement and the Franciscan values of discovery, community andrespect for dignity which are core to the values of St. Bonaventure University.Franciscan PerspectiveWeaving a thread of the Franciscan values throughout the learning process are the key factors that willhelp the students see the worldwide context of their education. The goal is gaining a sense of value of thesciences so students may see how this field is important to them in everyday life and in their professionalcareers. As stewards for creation, the Franciscan order inspired a vision and living tradition that can helpus respond to pressing environmental and social issues. By revisiting why the natural world should playan important role as a human, the sciences will not seem as scary or mystifying.What I StudiedUnder advisement of Dr. Dave DiMattio, Dr. Ted Georgian, the Yankelovich Fellowship committee as 3
  4. 4. well as the sustainability experts I am studying curriculum techniques such as Franciscan care for creationprograms, differentiated instruction, sustainability topics, social business theories, and service learningmethods.Sustainability is an ever changing process for students where they can learn the foundations behind thefacts and figures of why the world has gotten to how it is today, as well as a adventure into newtechnologies, new issues and concerns as well as new creative ideas for solutions to variousenvironmental and social issues. This course will guide students through the process of inquiry within thenatural science disciplines and enable students to understand and apply basic investigatory skills in aproblem solving contextLocal outreachDuring the research and community outreach portion of the Inquiry into the Natural World course,students gain knowledge of local and/or international issues. From this, students learn how to address thepressing issues of our time. By having students come step outside of the classroom and come face to facewith the people and the places, the science sinks in. The active research and implementation will give lifeto the mode of inquiry which have contributed to the developments in the sciences. From this foundation,students will gain awareness of other cultures and confront humanity’s challenges to address ultimatequestions regarding the nature of God, persons, and the world with particular reference to the Catholicand Franciscan traditions. III. RATIONALClare 302, Inquiry in the Natural World, has long been regarded as an innovative approach tointroducing liberal arts students to the examination of scientific inquiry. However, its popularitywith St. Bonaventure students is less than satisfactory. Multiple attempts to improve the coursecurriculum have expanded the variety of sections offered and also tackled the relevance of thehistorical examples used in the course to understanding the scientific process today.With receiving of the Mary Yankelovich Endowed Fellowship, a student has drawn broadsupport for a revised course format described in this proposal. By working with members ofvarious departments, consulting other universities as well as the Franciscan community thestudent has supported discussion and implementation of potential course improvements.Currently, there are two approaches with teaching Clare 302 that are offered alongside eachother. This was to assess both student learning and student satisfaction with different approachesto the teaching of Clare 302, providing a data-driven approach to future revision of the course.The “classic” Clare 302 outline the rise of our modern scientific understanding of the naturalworld from ancient Egyptian, Persian and Greek civilizations throughout the end of the 20thcentury. A more specialized Clare 302, introduced in 2008 simplifies the topics into 10 topicsthat then considers the practical importance in the second half of the semester. Some examples ofspecialized courses include weather and climate modification, evolutionary biology, astronomy, 4
  5. 5. drugs, and alternative medicine and wellness.This new proposal is designated into two parts, one a more radical change from previous Clare302 than the other. The lecture will be a specialized version of the Clare 302 lecture. Thelaboratory section is more specialized to tailor subjects being taught simultaneously in the lectureas well as expanding the laboratory role outside the classroom into the community. Students whotake the Clare 302 lecture are required to also take the specialized laboratory section.Goals of the new Clare 302 format: 1. Strengthen Franciscan Perspective 2. Encourage Interest in Clare College 3. Expand Environmental Program 4. Design a Research Component 5. Specialized Approach IV. PURPOSE AND NEEDThe present organization of the Clare College ‘Inquiry in the National World’ course has notbeen popular with students on a qualitative and quantitative level. Students do not speak highlyof the course and are therefore unresponsive. Such complaints include: a. Students didn’t see larger picture of the sciences b. ‘What do the sciences matter to me?’ c. No Franciscan link to the Clare College d. Lack of differentiated learning opportunitiesThis is bad public relations for the Clare College program, the natural sciences, the St.Bonaventure University teaching staff and overall, the environment. Students purposefully delay 5
  6. 6. taking this course until their senior year to avoid taking the course. This leads to a decrease ininterest and/or an inability to catch students who may be now interested in the sciences.More seniors take this course than any other collegiate year. Also the grades in these classesseem to be lower in Clare 302 and students can be satisfied with this low grade. This will bringdown the academic repertoire of St. Bonaventure University.Research into Previous AttemptsThere are courses in various departments: political science, biology, environmental science,philosophy and Clare Forum that focus on environmental issues. There is no core Clare 302course available with a focus on the Environment.First Clare Forum class with focus on the Environment: Article from BV Novemeber 2000: Final Clare course proposed By Jessica Keltz News Editor The current proposal for University Forum would strive to educate next years seniors about the environment and help them form a position on the issue. At Mondays open Faculty Senate meeting, Stephen Horan, assistant professor of finance and chair of the senates curriculum committee, said he hopes to have a final proposal for the class, the only Clare College course that has yet to be taught, by early next semester. The first forum would be held in the fall, he said Michael Chiariello, dean of Clare College, said he has discussed making University Forum a two-credit class that would be offered only in the fall semester with department chairmen and chairwomen. All seniors would attend events such as a speaker or movie viewing that would be held once every other week. Then, students would attend a 50-minute seminar each week, with seminar sections capped at 14 students, he said. Chiariello said he prefers to offer the class in the fall to allow students who fail the course another chance to graduate on time, he said. He said he did not yet know how students could make up the class. Having the course only once a year would make scheduling speakers easier, he added. The current course proposal has the title "Environmental Ethics, Law and Justice." It includes discussions on humans responsibility for the environment, global environmental issues, local impacts of environmental problems and the question of nuclear energy. Chiariello said he would also like to include a Franciscan perspective and a 6
  7. 7. discussion of management issues relevant to environmental policy. He said he would like the course to appeal to as many majors as possible. The environment focus fulfills the Clare goal of teaching students to think critically and to present positions on current challenges facing humanity, Chiariello said. The Clare capstone, he added, should assess whether students have learned to present their views both orally and in writing, as this course would require them to do. The current course proposal estimates costs of $36,000 for speakers, overloads, adjuncts and faculty and course development, which would cost the university $30,000 after anticipated grants. The idea to focus on environmental issues came from professors who typically teach in Clare College, Chiariello said, adding he has worked with the curriculum committee to put the course proposal together. Depending on student feedback, later seminars may or may not have the same topic, he said, adding that he welcomes feedback on the proposal. Although Horan said the completed proposal will not be ready for the senates Dec. 1 meeting, he said it should be complete by the time prospective seniors register for Fall 2001 classes.Job opportunitiesOpportunities for those who have training/background in environmental sustainability: • Direct work with environmental issues programs • Positions with federal agencies • Research • Business opportunities • Analysis, planning and policy development V. CONSULTEDDiMattio, David; Bennington, Joel; Georgian Theodore; Mayeaux, Darryl; Vogel, Kevin;Watson, Claire; Kush, Suzanne; Fischer, Anne-Claire; Kriso, Kevin; Spear, Martin; Elliott,Christy; Kaplan, Michael. 7
  8. 8. VI. COURSE PROPOSAL This course is designed to introduce the natural sciences to the students and allow anopportunity for the non-science major to relate environmental issues to their own major/interestusing the ideals of peace, justice, and service. The end goal of the course is to combine theoryand practice to develop the values of discovery, community and respect. Starting with anenvironmental issue and breaking the issue into its basic science concepts, students will beintroduced to the history behind the science, the theories and research. Students will learn aboutthe current events in the sciences, how to use problem based learning, and how to implementresearch into the solutions. Using the scientific method, the students will tackle current issues and understand themode of inquiry. The methodology will be carried on into the lab section in which the studentswill perform research and provide a service to the community.Description: This section of Clare 302 will cover topics identical to those covered in all 302sections. These topics outline the rise of our modern scientific understanding of the naturalworld, from the times of ancient Egyptian, Persian, and Greek civilizations through the20thcentury. The second half of the semester focuses on sustainability topics. Throughout thesemester, student will integrate practical experience into the laboratory.Class hours per week: 3 hours per week, 3 lab hours per week, and 3 creditsRationale: To allow the students to participate in an informative overview and comprehensiveassessment of basic scientific concepts and their application to sustainability issues, problems,and solutions. This connection will be made using the Franciscan values of discovery,community and respect.Target Audience: Those who need to fulfill the natural sciences core curriculum. This course isdesigned for liberal arts students within the Clare College. In future semesters, this course couldalso be used as a foundational course for the upcoming Environmental Studies Major orSustainability Minor.Duration: Semester.Prerequisites: None.Subjects: Biology, chemistry, physics, and computer science.Objectives: At the completion of this course the participant will be able to:1. Students will examine the mode of inquiry of the natural sciences. 8
  9. 9. 2. Students will apply investigatory skills of the natural sciences in a problem-solving context.3. Students will analyze a sequence of discoveries that illustrate the ongoing scientific process. Outcomes: Upon completion of this course, students will have a conceptual framework toassess stresses to environmental sustainability and develop practical solutions in a creative,Franciscan, and scientific manner. More specifically, students will be able to: • Have an awareness of self, others, macro systems issues and dynamics • See opportunities in the world and sensing their potential role • Create a project to transform at the personal & organizational levels. • Become a Catalyst for SustainabilityIdentification of Assignments/activities used to Determine How Well Students attainedLearning Objectives: a. Lecture:ExaminationsThere will be intermediate exams based on the lectures and a final exam. These exams follow thesame schedule as the general Inquiry into the Natural World course curriculumsDiscussionStudents will be asked to join in cooperative learning experiences in the lecture to discuss themode of inquiry to deeper the understanding the natural phenomena, analyzing arguments, reasonsand data, begin to think historically, interpret texts and be creative. b. Laboratory:Presentations:1.) Individual Introductory Media presentationStarting with an introductory individual PowerPoint presentation in which students will learnthe proper PowerPoint presentation setup, students will receive an individual critique of thepresentation and of the presentation of the subject material. Utilizing research papers tounderstand the scientific method will be the focus of this presentation. APA citation needed.Goal: to have students understand the scientific method, understand how scientists follow thismethod, learn the correct PowerPoint presentation rules, and be introduced to an environmentalissue of their choice.Projects: Students will complete an individual projects as well as group community outreach 9
  10. 10. project, each project is chosen from a list of topics. The individual project may be chosen basedon your interest in the topic or from the list provided. However the project idea must be approvedby the professor if it is relevant. The group project will receive a single grade based on theinstructor’s evaluation and peer evaluation.Research Projects:2.) Individual Research Project3.) Group Project – Research and Implementation (part of laboratory grading)In the laboratory credited section of the course, students will be meeting in a laboratoryclassroom setting and also a group work setting documenting hours of group work. The groupwork will follow a peer evaluation model in which the student’s progress will be evaluated overtime by peers and a professor during the lab. 1.) At certain dates, students will be given a chance to approach an Individual Project chosen from a list of topics. Student will integrate what they have learned in the classroom setting with the topic and provide real world examples and possible solutions. Primary research is stressed. This project can be presented in various ways depending on the students strengths (investigative reporting, PowerPoint presentation, financing, hands-on research, taking a political approach (how it affects real world legislation), drawing, video etc.).Goal: the individual project is to allow students with integrate what they have learned in lecturewith current events or with their interests. This project also is differentiated so students withdifferent strengths or backgrounds can provide a unique point of view to a topic. 2.) Throughout the semester a group project will be occurring in which a group of 4 students will implement a change on campus or in the local community to help make the area, building, and/or people more sustainable. This is the community outreach and service component of the course. Students are expected to have a 2 page response as well as documented hours of work.Goal: This group project is designed for the service learning and community outreach portion ofthis course. Students will go beyond the classroom to use the concepts covered in the field.Implementation a. Faculty member to whom the course may be assignedAn undergraduate faculty from one of the contributing departments will be assigned to direct thecourse depending upon their background and interest. Professors that are involved in theEnvironmental Studies major and Sustainability minor development are preferred. These 10
  11. 11. professors include, but are not limited to: Dr. Ted Georgian, Dr. Darryl Mayeaux, and Dr. DavidHilmey. b. Additional costs to studentsThere are no additional costs to students. c. Texts and supplementary materials to be usedAny resources which have a necessary cost are to be supplemented with the Mary YankelovichFellowship budget. This total budget is $1,000. Budgeting details will follow.Such materials may include: Participants’ Handouts, room visuals, internet access, case studies,videos/documentariesEnergy - (HTML book available)Basic concepts - Climate prediction model: VII. LIST OF SERVICE OPPORTUNITIESThis section gives examples of opportunities in which the student may devise a group project tovolunteer on a constant basis, propose a solution to an issue and document efforts. This isincluded under the laboratory section. a. Canticle Farm:MaintenanceFarm Sale StandExpansion of land Bonaventure land or across the riverMoving of compost from Bonaventure to Canticle FarmTesting of soil and waterSeasonal turnoverAddressing biodiversity loss b. Business 11
  12. 12. Are NGOs evading the problem of addressing poverty, environmental issues and hunger?Do businesses around the local area have social responsibility plans or social business plans?In what ways can a local business become more cost effective while also reducing their impact? c. PovertyDetermine how much food is not going towards feeding peopleWhy are agricultural professons the the hungriest people in the world? d. WaterTesting local streams regularlyWhat is the price of water here in comparison to other nations? Do we have cleaner water?Compare and contrast two nations water supplies.Examine Coca Cola vs. Indian Farmers and compare and contrast this with the people ofPennsylvania and hydrofracking companies. e. EnergyWorking with FacilitiesPerform an analysis of energy efficiency on a local home, business or a campus building f. Armark (Dining Services)Work on their “ Green Thread” Program Track this programHelp with the composting transitionHealthiest of foodAddress the limitations of variety g. PlasticsRecycling program expansion h. PollutionTesting water, soil and airBrownfield areas 12
  13. 13. Hydrofracking locations in PA and test areas in NY 13