NRS 563 Syllabus


Points will be distributed as follows:

  1. Participation in discussions and in-class projects (10 points possible) (ongoing, check-in at mid-term)
  2. Reflection / Reaction pieces (40 points possible, 10 points each x 4 entries) (due weekly)
  3. Concept map of course concepts (20 points)
  4. Curriculum revision (30 points possible) (due week of November 7/14)

Participation in discussion and in-class projects (10 points possible) (ongoing)

I believe very strongly that you will learn as much if not more from your peers than you will from me and the formal class readings and assignments.   As such, your participation is critical to the success of this class.  Think about how you can contribute in meaningful ways without dominating the discussion.  Please bring your best teaching strategies to every presentation and assignment that you are given.

Reflection/Reaction journals (40 points possible – 4 entries x 10 points each)

Each week of class you will be expected to prepare a Reflection/Reaction, due the following class week. This is a piece of work that conveys your thoughts and ideas on the readings, course discussion and experiences in class. You may wish to bring in an article that relates to our discussion, a piece of popular media, a written journal reflection, a recorded reflection or a creative piece. You will share this with a partner in class and then turn it in to me.

Reflection/Reaction Journal Assessment criteria:

  • Depth of reflection (4 points): convey to us that you have thought and wrestled with ideas presented in class. This may include the messiness of not being sure what you think but should show us that you are doing the work of sorting out your perspective.
  • Connection of your reflection to course content (4 points): the link does not need to be explicit but you need to be able to articulate how your reaction / piece / find is related to our discussion (4 points).
  • Clarity of expression (2 points): I am not looking for perfect writing but I do appreciate writing that is largely free of typos, clear, concise and meaningful. Please work to make sure you are doing your best to convey your thoughts. If you choose a medium other than writing, please prepare a written explanation of the artifact that you are turning in.

Concept map of course concepts (20 points)

This should be a visual representation of the way that you have integrated concepts from across the entirety of the course. I would like to see you represent philosophical concepts as well as tools, and importantly, the way that various tools can support programs built on particular philosophies.

Grading criteria TBD

Curriculum revision (30 points)

The goal of this assignment is to engage you in a curriculum creation process based what you have learned about place-based education and for the purpose of generating new ideas about how you may wish to approach new teaching and learning opportunities. The assignment is as follows:

  • Identify a program that you would like to create. Who is your audience? What general goals would you like to achieve? What is the need for such a program? Reference literature to support the need for this kind of program, or best-practices in serving the needs of your audience.
  • Develop a plan for your program. Articulate the philosophy of education that you will use to guide program development. Define outcomes, essential questions and big ideas to be covered. Describe a sequence of learning activities that uses some of the tools we have discussed in class.

Curriculum revision Assessment criteria:

  • Description of overall goals, audience and need (5 points): be specific about who your program will serve; how long will the program last? Is it residential, school-based, after-school, Wilderness-based? A college course? Reference literature to support the need for this kind of program, or best-practices in serving the needs of your audience.
  • Description of philosophy of education (5 points): a clear articulation of a philosophy including purpose of education and approaches appropriate to support this purpose.
  • Defined goals, essential questions and big ideas (5 points): a clear articulation of the program goals, big ideas and essential questions that will guide your program.
  • Defined assessment activities (5 points): clearly articulated assessment that makes sense with the goals and philosophy of your program.
  • Description of learning activities (10 points): a logical sequence of learning activities that supports teaching and learning through the lens of the philosophy you have described. The learning activities should clearly relate to the goals, questions and big ideas. Depending on the length of your course I may ask you to just describe up to four days in detail.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *