INT431

INT 431 - Senior Seminar

Credits
3   

Session
Fall   

Description

This Senior Seminar uses maps to explore intersections between people and place.  How do maps frame the way we see the world?  How, in turn, do we interpret maps that we use?  These questions lie at the heart of our examination of such themes as maps as story, maps as mathematical models, maps as art, and maps as ideology.  Students will think critically about how these themes play out in their fields of study, currently, historically, and across cultures.  As a seminar, discussion is pivotal to this course, facilitated alternately by faculty and students.  Students will also pursue individual research projects, which they will present to the class.  Resources include historic and contemporary maps, atlases, and geography textbooks; online map collections; academic articles and other readings about maps and cartography; guest speakers; and (possibly) field trips.




Senior SeminarMaps: People and Place

Spring 2013

 

Instructors: Farley Anne Brown & Carol Dickson

Email: fbrown@sterlingcollege.edu, cdickson@sterlingcollege.edu

 

Course Description:

This Senior Seminar uses maps to explore intersections between people and place.  How do maps frame the way we see the world?  How, in turn, do we interpret maps that we use?  These questions lie at the heart of our examination of such themes as maps as story, maps as mathematical models, maps as art, and maps as ideology.  Students will think critically about how these themes play out in their fields of study, currently, historically, and across cultures.  As a seminar, discussion is pivotal to this course, facilitated alternately by faculty and students.  Students will also pursue individual research projects, which they will present to the class.  Resources include historic and contemporary maps, atlases, and geography textbooks; online map collections; academic articles and other readings about maps and cartography; guest speakers; and (possibly) field trips.

 

Course Goals & Objectives:

  • to consider the role maps play in human understandings of the world around us (including how this can differ across cultures and through history)
  • to consider how maps engage with environmental and agricultural issues (current and historical)--as well as social and political
  • to consider the role that maps play in each of our areas of study, and lives
  • to develop leadership in classroom discussions
  • to strengthen writing, speaking, and self-expression skills
  • to strengthen analytical and critical thinking skills
  • to strengthen research skills.

 

Course Structure:

This course will be primarily a discussion-based seminar, in which students discuss and apply their knowledge in partnership with their peers and faculty.  Discussions will be alternately led by the instructors and students; generally, the instructors will lead discussions on Mondays and students will lead discussions on Thursdays (according to a schedule to be determined in class).  Readings will be chosen by the discussion leaders, according to a weekly schedule of topics, and will be explored through an interdisciplinary lens.  It is essential that every student come to class prepared to participate actively in class discussions.

 

 Assignments (see attached):

•Leading class discussion twice during the semester (one individually and one with a partner).

•Weekly one-page reflection papers that respond to and synthesize ideas from the week’s discussion.

•Weekly questions, posted on the class Google site before each class meeting.

•Final project: A research-based poster and presentation on a focused topic of your choosing.  (This might be a group project or projects.)

 

Required Readings:

Reading packet (to be distributed in class)

Readings chosen and assigned by members of the class.

 

Evaluation:

Your grade for the class will be based on the extent and quality of your participation in class discussion, combined with the quality, thoroughness, and thoughtfulness of your written and spoken work.  (Unexcused absences, habitual lateness, or late work will affect your grade; if you cannot attend a class, you are expected to make up the work you miss.)

Active participation in discussions:         50%

Response Papers:                                            25%

Final Project:                                                     25%

 

Academic Honesty

You are expected to be familiar with Sterling’s Academic Honesty Policy, found on pages 44-45 of your student handbook.  It reads, in part, “all students are expected to exhibit honesty in completing classroom and laboratory work.”  In addition, “plagiarism will not be tolerated.”  If the concept or words you are using are “borrowed or copied from any source, whether electronic, print, recorded, or spoken word, the original source must be acknowledged.”  If you are ever unsure about when and how to cite another’s ideas or words, please ask one of us.

 

A Note on Learning Styles

Students bring a variety of learning styles to class.  We do our best to support different learning modes by mixing lecture, discussion, hands-on work, and visual information.  Please feel free to let us know which modes work best for you—we will do our best to accommodate your learning style.   If you have a learning challenge or documented disability, please let one of us know and check in with Leland Peterson, Learning Support Coordinator.  Leland can help you determine accommodations that can be helpful in this course.  For more information about learning support resources on campus, see pages 58-59 in the Student Handbook. 

   
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