General Education Courses

raised fists logo with title "Critical Consciousness: learning for equity and justice theme"

FDN 2350 - Unlearning Racism: Racial Literacy for Responsible Citizenship

(Satisfies Social Science Designator Requirement)

Understanding and developing racial literacy is at the core of this course and is particularly important in an increasingly multicultural and global world. In this course, students will acquire the tools and the abilities to critically analyze racial/racist ideologies, racial norms, and racial patterns embedded in society and in institutions. The goal of this course is to produce racially literate citizens capable of problematizing the constructions of race and racist practices. Consequently, this course requires a commitment to break the taboos of talking about race by grappling with and appreciating diverse and unfamiliar experiences and recognizing that there is much to learn. The content and major modes of inquiry that guide this course are highly interdisciplinary and include sociology, social psychology, and Critical Race Theory.

FDN 2150 - Policy on Lived Experience

Why does policy look different in real life than it does when policymakers and politicians talk about it? An example of this disconnect between policy discourse, policy, and educational realities can be seen when politicians and policies perpetually set out to change education while many perceive that education is still "failing." In this course, we will consider the ways policy looks different depending on your perspective – how the building and understanding of policy knowledge is influenced by power. We will engage with the ideas, the concepts of democracy that we use - to understand how our thinking frameworks impact both how we understand an issue and how we then formulate responses. To root our collective understanding of 'policy problems,' the course will begin with a brief introduction to the policy world – considering educational as well as social, economic, and environmental issues. We will continue to think about the frameworks or discourses surrounding them, considering the policy documents and processes, but also the lived experiences of those affected to critically examine how policy and our frameworks for understanding policy can be a major driver in the reproduction of inequality. This course will focus on students developing a sense of how they fit into the discourses of democracy and what that means for their everyday practice to offer just and sustainable solutions.

FDN 2250 - Why Read? The Literature of Love, Learning and Liberation

(Satisfies Literary Designator Requirement)

(3SH) S. This course will focus on the genre of novels, short stories, and works of narrative non-fiction (including philosophical works) that explore the act of reading itself. A rich and intriguing body of novels and short stories explores and examines through characters and human relationships the question of Why Read? Through our encounters with these books and stories, both in silently reading alone and in conversations with others, we will begin to see how stories about reading and learning to read reveal to us answers to the questions of what is the value and purpose of reading and its relationship to critical consciousness. In surprising and fascinating ways this engagement will also begin to show us the value of a liberal education in our lives and its relationship to liberation from the limiting consequences of oppressive socialization.

CI 2350 - Education as the Practice of Freedom

F;SS. In the public imagination, education is often reduced to teaching and schooling, while educators, politicians and philosophers for centuries have linked education with personal and political freedom. Engaging directly with this tension, this course will explore educational traditions that have focused on emancipation, social justice, and equity. Students will reflect on their own educative experiences and explore approaches to education that recognize individual experiences as being central to meaningful learning. In particular, the course will consider how aspects of identity like race, class, gender, ability, and sexual orientation intersect with education and the realization of freedom.

CI 2350 - Critical Media Literacy and/as Civic Engagement

Course examines how issues of diversity and difference exist in popular culture through both analyses of examples of contemporary popular culture. Based on place-based education, civic engagement, and critical media literacy, by exploring examples of popular culture and media, students will experience a range of media texts created and distributed globally, nationally, and even more importantly, locally. Students will move beyond analysis in this course through producing their own popular culture and/or media artifacts that represent their own lived experiences with media within their own lives and/or communities as the students learn to think critically and creatively. Moreover, in fitting with the Critical Consciousness: Learning for Equity and Justice Theme, this course will focus on students developing a sense of how they fit into our media-saturated world as "academically skilled and engaged citizens" as they learn to "reflect on ethical issues and to make reasoned, intelligent judgments about complex moral problems" presented in media.