On the first day of class we gave our students a printed copy of our abbreviated 1-pager class syllabus. Online a lengthier, more detailed version of the syllabus with university resources and requests for student input was available. In order to review the syllabus together on the first day of class we shortened the Google Docs URL using bit.ly to and projected it onto the pulldown screen in the front of the room. Chairs were arranged around the perimeter of the room to help facilitate dynamic discussion and collaboration between students. Throughout the semester the syllabus remained editable to students who were invited to post recommendations for art, readings, videos, and other media that they found inspiring and related to our class topics. Students also edited the sections of the syllabus that corresponded to their team taught classes.
During in-person classes the first half of the semester, we would craft an agenda for each class and have a print out for each student. Each agenda would state that week’s topic, the day’s assigned readings, and a proposed schedule for the class. Each activity and discussion was broken down by time, so we could ensure a balance between student-centered contributions and class content. Breaking down each classroom activity by time also democratized our accountability process for staying on task— everyone was privy to the day’s plan and if we ran too long on one section— anyone could interject to move us along or suggest that time be redistributed. If we reached momentum in discussion around a certain topic or conversation, we were able to communally decide a course of action to take.
Lastly, choosing our schedule in advance ensured that we allocated appropriate time for students to meet in their groups for their team-taught lesson plans. It was very important that students had class time allocated to work on lesson planning so we could give support and feedback as needed.
Each class we brought with us a set of participatory learning aids. Each student was given a blank table tent where they put their preferred name, pronouns, and decorate it as they saw fit! Each class we provided color-coded stickers so students could announce their level of participation that day. Green was for a fully active day. Yellow or red might mean a student was having a tough or strenuous day. A red sticker didn’t mean the student was excused from all class doings— just that they would participate on their own terms and that we acknowledged, respected, and would adjust our classroom procedure to give space to that student.
Printed copies of our agenda and a sign-in sheet were available at a station near the door with the aforementioned learning aids. They would be left for the entirety of class, so any late comer could grab their materials and situate themselves, checking the agenda to see what they’ve missed and where we were now, before integrating themselves into class.
Initially these materials might seem cumbersome to include, but the pay off in classroom participation, our dynamic and flow, and our transition from a classroom to learning community remains unmatched. In this chapter we’ve reproduced our abbreviated copy of the syllabus. You can also find a link to our full syllabus on HASTAC.org.
Introduction to Engaged Teaching and
Transformative Learning in the
Humanities and Social Sciences
Student (Office) Hours: By appointment— And welcomed!
What does it mean to “introduce” a field? This course is intended for any graduate student in the humanities or social sciences who is thinking seriously about the deepest “why” and “how” questions about their discipline and how those apply to their own research, teaching, and work experiences in and outside the classroom. We will be discussing theoretical issues, practicing transformative pedagogies, and always thinking in the context of inclusion, social justice, and engagement. In each class and in final projects, we encourage students to transform critique into engaged practice. Students will work together on designing the last part of the course. Our aim is to work toward “research with a transformative activist agenda” and teaching and mentoring as a “collaborative learning community project.”
- The New Education: How to Revolutionize the University to Prepare Students for a World in Flux (Basic Books, 2017)
Audre Lorde: "I teach myself in outline,” Notes, Journals, Syllabi, & an Excerpt from Deotha, Editors: Miriam Atkin and Iemanjá Brown. CUNY Lost and Found at the Center for the Humanities.
- PDFs and website URLs for other readings.
Welcome, Collaborative Annotated Syllabus, Active Participation, Class Structure & Logistics
Overview of progressive pedagogy as social justice; culturally-relevant pedagogies
Active Learning/Radical Pedagogy Activity Method: Entry Ticket/Resource Crowdsourcing
Entry Tickets: Collaborative Resource Building.
Industrial/Indigenous Pedagogy. Historical Framing: inequality was structured into industrial age higher ed, which we inherited. Simultaneously, indigenous populations are systematically exterminated and/or forcibly educated in boarding and reservation schools.
Active Learning/Radical Pedagogy Activity: Collaborative Annotation
Theoretical Framing: “Vygotskian and Post-Vygotskian approaches: theoretical concepts as efficient (higher-order) cultural tools”
TAS-based critical-theoretical pedagogy
Audre Lorde and Participatory Learning and Democracy
Every Group must add their reading/viewing/listening assignment to the syllabus by class time today.
Group 1 Topic: Decoloniality
Anjelica Enaje, Francisco Alejandro Verdiza Medina, Lucien Baskin, Nik Valdez
Transformative Learning in a Time of Crisis
Suggested/Optional/Not-Required/For Another Time Reading
Student & Group Check-Ins
Opening Inventory Exercise: Transformative Learning in a Time of Crisis
Group 2 Topic: Mindfulness and Experiential Learning
Dree-el Simmons, Offer Egozy, Nathalie Zarisfi, Yaneth M. Lombana
All reading is only suggested:
Topic: “College for Everyone”: Undergraduates invited to join us today.
Hour 1: Google Doc. Write out 2-3 inspiring “learning outcomes” based on the ideas in these readings as well as for our changed situation of learning online and during a health crisis. Hour 2: Virtual discussion.
Guest Visitor, Dr. Alex Polish Universal/Accessible Design
Open Class— Online Student Hours, workshopping final projects.
Group 3 Topic: Critical Data and Data Stories
Elizabeth S. Che, Jessica Brodsky, Kendra Sullivan, Raoul Roberts, Zach Muhlbauer
Successful completion of this course means fulfilling the four basic course requirements at a fully professional (graduate student) level, with original work, respect for one another, attention to the seriousness of the topic, and innovation in pedagogical approach. Each of the five requirements are worth 20% of the grade.
For those taking the class for 2 credits, you can adjust the final paper/project accordingly. Please inform the instructors of the adjustments you want to make and make sure, when you hand in your paper/project to remind us this is for a 2 credit assignment.
(1) Class participation
(2) Group Class Presentation
- Every student will be contributing their particular set of skills to a group presentation. Each class will give the class an assignment (reading or activity), will present the material in class in a rich and engaged way
- The Group will then post a public synopsis/recap of the whole presentation to our HASTAC Group
(3) One public “Comment” to each of the three Group posts on HASTAC.org
- After a Group posts summary/recap on our HASTAC.org course group, other students will leave a brief comment/response in the post’s “Comments” section. (50-250 words)
(4) Final Project: research/pedagogy/creative project— including public confirmation to knowledge.
- Please send your final project to all three instructors by email.
- Upload your final project to HASTAC.org website.
A. Research paper [no required length unless you request one]
A research paper that grows out of the topic of this course, with bibliography. If you are a doctoral student, this might be a part of a dissertation chapter, a prospectus, or other work re-shaped as a stand-alone paper for this course. For those pursuing a doctorate, we strongly urge that your final project be all or part of a piece you will or will plan to submit for publication. To fulfill the online publication requirement, you can post an abstract of your paper rather than the full paper in our public HASTAC Group
B. Syllabus and Reflection Essay
For those interested in pedagogy, an alternative assignment would be to write a syllabus for your own course on “Transformative Learning and Teaching” or to make a syllabus using principles of engaged, student-centered active learning for any course of your choosing and then a reflection (approx 800-1000 words) on why you made the choices you made. Feel free to propose a different course on a relevant topic (make sure to ask us and discuss your proposed idea).
- To fulfill the online publication requirement, you can post your syllabus and an abstract of your paper rather than the full paper in our public Group on HASTAC.org.
- As an example of a syllabus by a recent GC CUNY PhD student, now an assistant professor at SUNY Cortland, check out Danica Savonick’s seminar on Audre Lorde. There are lots of ideas here!
C. Creative Project
You may also create an artistic project (video essay, media “remix,” multimedia presentation, etc.) on a topic of your choice that engages with the themes of the course. For the creative project, you must also submit a 500-800 word essay and a bibliography that explains how the form and content of your project address your topic and course themes.
D. Write Your Own Proposal
What else? Make us a proposal!
E. Options for Certain Ph.D. Students We have agreed to make available final project options that are relevant to our course topic but that also might fulfill portfolio requirements for students but have very little information. It is still required that you post your final project to HASTAC, even if you do this option. It is your responsibility to check and confirm that this "counts" for your program.
COURSE WEBSITE & TECHNOLOGY
Our course syllabus, readings, deadlines, and other information is posted to and will be updated on a Google Doc on Google Drive
- HASTAC Group: Project blogs, comments, wrap-up summaries of class presentations, resources, and other information will be posted to the Group we have created on HASTAC.org (Humanities, Arts, Sciences, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory), the world’s first and oldest academic social network. HASTAC is older than Facebook or its predecessor, MySpace.
- WebEx for COVID-19 Remote Learning Classes
HASTAC is a network of over 17,500 students, professors, authors, activists, technology developers, and educators committed to “changing the way we teach and learn.” Another motto: “Difference is our operating system.” When one posts on HASTAC, the goal is to present information in a way that will be useful and meaningful to students and educators beyond our classroom.
- Membership is free but requires registration and approval (typically this takes 2-3 business days).
- If you wish to use a pseudonym for your posts, you will have that option when you register. You won’t be able to change later.
- There are many reasons to post using your own name on HASTAC, including translating your work to a larger public audience for the public good; having a respectable digital citation for your resume (for some, this will be a first academic publication and a real bonus for your resume); being part of a larger user community, etc.
- The reasons to post using a pseudonym include: your comfort with online identity; your concern that future employers might be concerned about your political/social ideas; an array of personal issues that prompt anonymity for security issues.
- We will discuss this in class but you are responsible for thinking through the issues and your own comfort level online when you register.
- HASTAC is known as the “ethical Facebook” because it never misuses or sells user data.
- It’s a DRUPAL-powered (ie. community created) site. You need to add tags to your post and you need to make sure to check whether you want your post private to our Group or seen by the public and you have to designate which Group you wish to post to.
- HASTAC is a dynamic social network to which any HASTAC member can post, as long as their post stays roughly within topic, is not commercial, and is never insulting to other members.
Accommodation of disabilities: As part of CUNY’s commitment to a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment, we strive to provide students with disabilities with equal access to all courses. If you believe you will require accommodations in this course, please let us know as soon as possible.
At the GC, the provision of student disability services is a function of the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs (the Student Affairs Office). The 504 / ADA Compliance Coordinator for persons with disabilities is Mr. Matthew G. Schoengood, Vice President for Student Affairs, Room 7301; Telephone: 1-212-817-7400. The Vice President for Student Affairs also serves as the chair of the 504 / ADA Committee for Persons with Disabilities.
Academic Integrity Policies
Plagiarism, cheating, and any other form of academic dishonesty will not be tolerated and may result in failure or other sanctions. For more information, please refer to the CUNY Academic Integrity Policy: http://www2.cuny.edu/about/administration/offices/legal-affairs/policies-procedures/academic-integrity-policy/
We will be discussing various assessment methods throughout the course and ongoing, careful feedback will be part of each Group’s collaborative process and presentation.
For Class 1o, we will work together on generating transformative learning outcomes.
USEFUL OFFICES & SERVICES
Graduate Center Teaching and Learning Center, 3300.20-3300.22.
Career Center Writing Services, Room 3300.10
Graduate Center Digital Fellows, Room 7414
Health & Wellness Center, Room 6422 The Graduate Center’s Wellness Center for Student Counseling Services, in Room 6422 (firstname.lastname@example.org), is available to support the psychological, educational, and social well-being of GC students. Services are confidential and free of charge. Appointments and walk-in consultations are available. Visit the center for hours and procedures.
Field Notes for 21st Century Literacies: Appendices https://www.hastac.org/collections/field-notes-21st-century-literacies
- Team Member Name
- Problem Solver
- Good Spirit
- Film Editor
- Firestarter (ideas)
- Implementer (gets stuff done)
- Artistic Design
- Learning Design
- Creative Listener
- Web Uploader/Designer
- Overall Great Collaborative Partner
PLEASE ADD YOUR FAVORITE RESOURCES HERE
- “Active learning boosts performance in STEM courses,” Scott Freeman, Sarah L. Eddy, Miles McDonough, Michelle K. Smith, Nnadozie Okoroafor, Hannah Jordt, Mary Pat Wenderoth
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Jun 2014, 111 (23) 8410-8415; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1319030111
This 2019 meta analysis of 225 studies, published in the Proceeds of the National Academy of Sciences, concludes that active learning supports the dramatic improvement in everything from test scores to retention and the ability to apply classroom learning to new situations.
- Annotated bibliography of twenty-five major indigenous books: https://kaitlincurtice.com/2018/09/06/25-books-by-indigenous-authors-you-should-be-reading/
- Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States (Beacon Press, 2014). "We Wish To Continue To Exist"
- Tressie McMillan Cottom, Thick
- Short Film by Sky Hopinka, decolonial intervention on Whitman’s “Pioneers! O Pioneers!”
- Presumed Incompetent: The Intersections of Race and Class for Women in Academia, edited by Gabriella Gutiérrez y Muhs, Yolanda Flores Niemann, Carmen G. González, Angela P. Harris.
- How the Index Card Cataloged the World Carl Linnaeus, the father of biological taxonomy, also had a hand in inventing this tool for categorizing anything
- Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Threatens Inequality and Threatens Democracy, Cathy O’Neil
- The Tyranny of Meritocracy: Democratizing Higher Education in America, Lani Guinier
- The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning & Black Study, Fred Moten
- Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code, Ruha Benjamin
- From Park Bench to Lab Bench— What Kind of Future are we Designing, TEDx Video with Ruha Benjamin [Tati]
- Making Marvels: Science and Splendor in the Courts of Europe exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Nov. 25th–March 1st. [Prof. Vianna & Jessica]
- Afterword: Orchestrating a Student Centered Classroom: A How-To Guide, Danica Savonick on HASTAC
- Emergent Strategy, Adrienne Maree Brown
- Pleasure Activism, Adirienne Maree Brown
- How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
- “Timekeeping as Feminist Pedagogy” by Danica Savonick https://www.insidehighered.com/advice/2017/06/27/how-social-hierarchies-influence-who-gets-most-time-speak-classrooms-essay