By Carolyn Hoessler
What image of our discipline are we sharing with students or with colleagues as we start a new term? Are we sharing glimpses of the beauty that intrigue and motivate us?
Just as lecture is a piece of the course, each course is embedded within a program, and each program within the ongoing history of a discipline. The transformative concepts and essential knowledge, skills, or values of the discipline are embodied within the program, enacted within the course, seen within the lecture activities, readings and assessments.
These central features thus appear as more than just a single layer of foundational ideas. Instead, our programs and courses appear nearly fractal – complex organic growing entities comprised of many instances of the same fundamental pattern of ideas, approaches, assumptions and beliefs that are apparent in the whole.
The essential skills and transformative ways of asking questions and pursing answers of a discipline become reflected at each curricular and scholarly level. How is your discipline reflected in the courses and opportunities your students complete, the course(s) you are teaching, and the project/paper/lab report your students will write?
Photo courtesy of Soler97 through Wikimedia Commons.