Guidelines for Integrative Core Curriculum Themes and Perspectives Designations

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1 Guidelines for Integrative Core Curriculum Themes and Perspectives Designations The purpose of this document is to provide guidelines for faculty wishing to have new or existing courses carry Themes and Perspectives designations in the Integrative Core Curriculum (ICC). Paperwork 1. For existing courses applying for designation without significant course revisions that would require an APC revised course form, the following process should be used: a. Read this guidelines document and complete the Theme and Perspective designation request form available on the CCR Website. Questions about completing the forms can be addressed to the Director of the Integrative Core Curriculum or any CCR member. b. Submit the completed Theme and Perspective designation form to This submission must be made by the department chair. c. Themes and Perspectives designation requests will be reviewed by CCR Designation groups composed of CCR members plus additional faculty representing the relevant Theme and Perspective areas. Proposers will be notified and approved designations will be forwarded to APC on an ROA form (notifying proposers and completing this form is the responsibility of the Director of the ICC) for information purposes and distribution. 2. For substantially revised courses or new courses that are also applying for designation, the following process should be used: a. Complete the relevant APC paperwork (Revised Course or New Course form) and submit using School procedures. b. Once the revision or new course is approved by the School, follow the guidelines for existing courses above. Designations To receive an ICC Themes and Perspectives designation, proposers must present evidence that the course provides opportunities for students to achieve the learning outcomes for the Themes overall and for the specific Perspective(s) being addressed in the course. Themes and Perspectives courses may not fulfill requirements in the student s major or minor program. All Themes and Perspectives courses must be designated Liberal Arts (LA). Courses may be designated with a maximum of two Themes and a maximum of two Perspectives. A course with dual designations may be used by students to meet one or the other requirement, but not both. Keep in mind that a Themes and Perspectives course is more than an introduction to an academic subject or an introduction to skills and aptitudes used in a particular discipline. These courses must build on course content by explicitly addressing the focus of the perspective and the contributions of that perspective to exploring the Theme that the course aligns with.

2 THEMES A Theme in the Ithaca College Integrative Core Curriculum (ICC) is a topic, issue, problem area, or human challenge that invites interdisciplinary, critical, or analytical investigation through a focused set of inquiries. At the completion of a Theme, through a multi-perspective approach (HU, SS, NS, CA), students are able to: 1. Identify, formulate and/or evaluate significant questions for exploration within a Theme; 2. Communicate and advocate for their positions or conclusions; and 3. Propose new ideas, positions, solutions, or techniques in response to significant questions within a Theme The present set of Themes includes: a. Identities: Who are we and how do we distinguish ourselves from others? The theme of Identities encompasses topics and analyses that range in level from the individual to various types of groups to large collectivities. It includes issues such as race, ethnicity, social class, gender, sexuality, religion, and the body. Courses that align with this theme will lead students to explore and trace the causes for, and sources of individual and group values, beliefs, and behaviors. One can examine identities through multiple frameworks including those of nature, nurture, and the intersection of nature and nurture. Identities also can be explored in multiple cultures and at different historical times. Potential Inquiries: 1) How do communities and individuals form identities? 2) What is the political nature of collective identities? 3) What causes individual and collective identities to change over time? 4) How do individuals and groups express their identities? 5) How are people and groups with particular identities viewed and treated by others? b. Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation: How do we know what we know? From scientists to artists, there are a variety of ways to explore the natural, social, and aesthetic worlds in which we live. Courses that align with this theme will give students the tools to discover, transform, interpret, integrate, and evaluate the varied ways of knowing the world. Students will learn both by looking at examples from the past, but also by actively using these tools themselves. Through this, students will come to realize how imagination plays a role in all of these endeavors. Ultimately, this theme is about discovering and using the truth, in all of its complexity, in one s own personal, professional, and civic life and as a global society. Potential Inquiries: 1) How is new knowledge discovered? How is it transformed into new technology and institutions?

3 2) How do artists discover and transform the world into creative works such as visual art, drama, or dance? 3) How do we interpret visual, sound, and other media [including graphs] in meaningful ways? 4) How can we integrate knowledge from different perspectives to create a more holistic and useful way of understanding our world? c. Mind, Body, Spirit: What does it mean to be a balanced person? The exploration of the mind, the body, and the spirit is a lifelong endeavor in understanding others and ourselves. Learning, becoming aware of, and understanding the interaction of these phenomena is a process that begins in infancy and continues throughout life. Striving for balance among them is integral in the construction and makeup of the healthy self and is a challenge that allows us to nurture and explore the potential for growth in all areas. Understanding their differences is essential as well. For example, when one thinks of the spirit, does one include the soul, and is the soul separate from the mind? Courses that align with this theme will address the role that the mind, the body and the spirit each play, individually and as an integrated whole, in our growth throughout life. Potential Inquiries 1) How does the mind work? How does one maintain a well-exercised mind? 2) How does the body work? 3) What is the spirit? Is it distinct from spirituality? How is it connected to other parts of life? 4) What are the challenges to creating healthy communities? And how do these challenges affect other social outcomes? 5) How does one or a community foster harmony among the mind, body, and the spirit? d. The Quest for a Sustainable Future: How do we sustain a growing population in a world of limited resources? According to most definitions, a sustainable future means that human communities meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Sustainability proponents argue that we need to better balance social needs, resource consumption, and economic growth. Courses that align with this theme will examine the idea of sustainability from many different perspectives from biological to political, physical to spiritual, human communities to biotic communities. This theme also encourages perspectives that call into question the very premises of sustainability both the idea itself and the goals of its adherents are contested. Potential Inquiries: 1) What does it mean to live sustainably? Is sustainability a meaningful goal? 2) How do we tell stories (in literature, in film, in media new and old) about consumerism, economic inequality and affluence, environmental change and degradation, and a host of other issues associated with sustainability? 3) In what ways will the quest for sustainability define the coming century? 4) How have values systems in different times and places shaped our economic, social, and ecological behavior and how can we borrow from others now? 5) What are some meaningful metrics for assessing sustainability? 6) To what extent is sustainability a scientific problem/issue?

4 e. A World of Systems: How do people make sense of and navigate complexity? Every aspect of our daily lives occurs within a host of systems: physical, political, economic, technological, social, and creative at both local and global levels. Some are visible, but most are not, at least not without prompts that bring them into focus. And once they come into focus, it often becomes clear that the boundaries of a system are in the eye of the beholder. There is no question, however, that becoming familiar with the many overlapping systems that define our existence is going to be crucially important for navigating the 21st century. Courses that align with this theme will explore systems and systems thinking through a variety of disciplinary perspectives, developing both an awareness of systems and the ability to recognize which systems most influence their personal and professional aspirations. Potential Inquiries 1) What is systems thinking and how is it relevant to every discipline at Ithaca College? 2) How have different systems of philosophical, literary, religious, and historical thought shaped the values we live by? 3) What are the key social, political, and economic systems that affect our lives and how do we recognize them? 4) How do our systems of communicating and organizing information affect our lives? 5) How do technology and the development of technology fit into the world of systems? 6) What are the key systems that support life on this planet? How have systems of scientific methodology, and the knowledge we have obtained by them, changed over time? f. Power and Justice: How are they related and how can they be balanced? The pursuit of justice often entails direct engagement with structures of power. Power plays a central role in our physical, cultural, and individual existence, governing our production of knowledge, social relations, institutions and distribution of material resources. Courses that align with this theme will examine power structures and issues of justice that are deeply connected to both conflict and resolution. These courses will encourage students to critically examine the world as we know it, and to imagine alternative modes of living. Potential inquiries 1) How have power and justice been theorized, described, and explained within different disciplines? 2) How is power generated, distributed, transformed and mobilized, be it physically, culturally, or psychologically? 3) How do sexualities, class, race, ethnicity, sustainability affect and reflect structures of power and notions of justice? 4) How does a historical understanding of power or fights for justice help us understand our contemporary conflicts? 5) How does cultural and aesthetic production manifest, mobilize, resist and/or subvert power? 6) How are struggles over energy production and environmental justice tied to structures of power? PERSPECTIVES Courses designated from each of the perspectives below focus on general ways humans interact with the world and provide students with multiple approaches to the thematic questions, which

5 facilitates integrative learning. For each perspective, the first student outcome listed focuses on the methods or processes used in the perspective, the second outcome addresses how examining the world from this perspective contributes to the student s own life or intellectual development, and the third outcome concerns how understanding the perspective contributes to an understanding of broader social, cultural, and/or historical issues. a. Humanities Perspective (HU) Courses taught from a Humanities perspective seek to understand the human experience through analysis, interpretation, and reflection, engaging students in the particulars of individual experiences, texts, or other artifacts. Upon completion of an HU course, students are able to: 1. Understand and analyze human expression (such as language, texts, or images) through the lens of the humanities; 2. Recognize and begin to appraise existing arguments and articulate arguments of their own; and 3. Describe and interpret the values, beliefs, and behaviors of self and others in the context of historical and/or contemporary cultural institutions. b. Social Sciences Perspective (SS) Courses taught from a Social Sciences perspective seek to understand how particular human experiences can be seen as general characteristics and patterns. The focus is on how social forces shape and determine human action. Courses in this perspective apply theoretical, analytical, and empirical tools in the study of individuals, groups, and institutions. Upon completion of an SS course, students are able to: 1. Understand how social science methods are used to analyze, investigate, or predict human individual or group behavior; 2. Articulate their own values, beliefs, and behaviors, and trace the possible forces that shape their values, beliefs, and behaviors; and 3. Explain how diverse cultures and institutions help shape, and in turn are shaped by, the lives and decisions of their members. c. Creative Arts Perspective (CA) Courses taught from a Creative Arts perspective focus on the methods and materials used to create performances, literary texts, visual works, or built forms and the understanding of the aesthetic conventions and theoretical, social, historical, political, or economic contexts surrounding these works. Upon completion of a CA course, students are able to: 1. Recognize and explain the forms, techniques, and processes used in at least one area of creative arts; 2. Analyze, in themselves and others, how performances or creative works stimulate emotions, provoke thoughts, or guide actions and beliefs; and 3. Articulate the role of the creative arts in the construction of historical and/or contemporary cultures. d. Natural Sciences Perspective (NS)

6 Courses taught from a Natural Sciences perspective focus on scientific theories that explain experimentally verifiable physical or biological phenomena and the methodological processes used to conduct these observations as epitomized by scientific methods. Upon completion of an NS course, students are able to: 1. Understand basic scientific principles and facts as well as the methods that natural scientists use to study the physical world; 2. Recognize the impact of natural science on self and society; and 3. Explain how humans interact with and understand the natural and physical world.

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