SPRING 2017 DISCOVERY CORE 5-CREDIT OPTIONS
Individual and Societies (I&S) Options:
Hack the Classroom! Learning in the Digital World (50% Hybrid)
(B CORE 118A, I&S, W)
Instructor: Andreas Brockhaus
Monday 11:00AM - 1:00PM
Technology is having a radical effect on learning and teaching. From MOOCs to flipped classrooms, YouTube to social networks, technology is changing learning and educational institutes. So what is the learner’s role in this evolving and hyper-connected digital world? What impact is technology having on how, where and how well students learn? In this course we’ll examine definitions and theories of learning. We’ll study how the concept of a learner is changing, what impact that’s having on the student, why it matters, and its effects on higher education and society. We'll explore students' learning styles and examine various arguments on how technology may help or hinder learning as well as look at what the future of learning may look like.
Democratization and Civic Engagement: Using Social Media for International Collaboration
(B CORE 118B, I&S)
Instructor: Tasha Buttler
Tuesday/Thursday 11:00AM - 1:00PM
This course develops skills employers currently look for: problem-solving with experience collaborating across cultures and in virtual teams. Students will examine real-world challenges that are hard to learn in traditional classrooms by working with peers in Cuba via Skype and Facebook on 5 group projects that teach us to research and work through cultural, logistical, and technical challenges
Students will conceptualize and articulate aspects of their own cultural belief systems and practices, and study those of foreign students. Research indicates that hands-on collaboration improves retention and leads to greater political and social engagement. Virtual teamwork helps students adapt to new technology and new pedagogical strategies.
Red Riding Hood on the Rapid Ride: Folklore, Fairy Tale, and Fantastical Stories
(B CORE 118C, I&S)
Instructor: Louise Spiegler
Why do traditional tales excite, frighten and inspire us? How do they startle us into deep insights about psychology, power and the nature of life? We’ll explore how these old tales reflected and shaped the imaginative universe of people in cultures around the world and how they have been reinterpreted and used afresh in modern times. From creation stories to trickster and transformation tales, stories of ghosts and monsters, love and hate, slavery and freedom, life and death, we’ll plunge into a strange and fascinating universe, and through it, come to understand our own a bit better. Students will read, analyze, and engage in creative writing and performance, while connecting the material to their own challenges and life journeys.
The Meaning of Life
(B CORE 118D, I&S)
Instructor: David Nixon
The core question we'll address in this course is: What is the Meaning of Life? In other words: What aspects make one life a more worthwhile, well-lived, and meaningful life than another? And conversely: what aspects would tend to make a life more likely to be a meaningless, pointless, waste of a life? We'll consider various traditional Western philosophical perspectives (including Mill, Kant, and Aristotle), a few eastern religious perspectives (including Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam) and some contemporary approaches.
Reflection in Diary : Study and Practice of Self Reflection
(B CORE 118E, I&S)
Instructor: Loren Redwood
This course will use autobiographic texts written in the form of diaries in order to examine the process of reflection. The course will provide multiple opportunities for students to examine methods and practices of reflection as they prepare to reflect upon their own writing, progress, and complete the required capstone project for the year. Examining diaries from multiple sources allows students to gain insight into the authors who are reflecting on their professions, social relationships, and the time in which they lived; while making connections between these aspects of their lives
Theories of Democratic Freedom
(B CORE 118F, I&S)
Instructor: Jason Lambacher
"Freedom is a central value in democratic theory and practice. Yet ""freedom"" is also an essentially contested concept in both the social sciences and humanistic studies. This course will endeavor to understand aspirations toward freedom, and what are perceived to be the threats to it, from a range of perspectives, including liberalism, existentialism, communitarianism, Marxism, postcolonial theory, cosmopolitanism, feminist theory, and green theory. In doing so we will seek to understand various visions of freedom, and their particular critiques of domination and oppression, as they relate to individual liberation, ideas of equality, the role of government, and the qualities of social life and group cohesion.
Taking it Global: The Great Debates around the World
(B CORE 118G, I&S)
Instructor: Greg Tuke
Through readings, research, discussions and debate, students will study and engage with Egyptian students as Future University on key issues that impact both Egypt and the US. Compelling issues like “the limitations of freedom of speech”, “the politics of religion and government”, and “the rights and responsibilities of developed nations to developing nations”, will be discussed and debated as students develop their interpersonal and intercultural communication skills. Students will learn how to increase their ability to reflect upon these big social issues, gaining an increased understanding of the issues across other cultures. A core list of assigned readings will be read by students at both universities.
Natural World (NW) Options:
Habits, Addiction and the Brain
(B CORE 119A, NW)
Instructor: Susan McNabb
Tuesday/Thursday 11:00AM - 1:00PM
Good habits help us keep moving in the right direction. Bad habits can be a distraction or even derail us from a positive lifestyle. How do habits form? How can we change them? What distinguishes a habit from an addiction? Addiction is a major feature of contemporary life. Easy access to addictive substances and habit-forming activities cause a range of problems for individuals, their families, and society. How can we see the causes and effects of addiction in the brain? This course takes up the study of human habit from the neurobiological perspective. We will examine how the brain works, from the neuron to neural circuits, addictive behavior and recovery, including the protective role of positive habit formation.
Combatting Climate Change... Conversation as a Tool?
(B CORE 119B, NW)
Instructor: Maura Shelton
Monday/Wednesday 11:00AM - 1:00PM
How does a changing climate effect you? What can you do about it? How does conservation fit into this picture? What are the controversies? This course will focus on examining current Pacific Northwest actions in the form of UWB/UW projects relating to climate change and conservation. Students will work with a community partner, Friends of N. Creek Forest to develop relevant educational curriculum (K-8) regarding conservation and the impacts on climate. Field trips to the forest and UW Bothell wetlands will be required. The course will utilize lessons learned from societies in times of crisis from “Collapse” by Jared Diamond. Assignments will be designed to help students develop skills in reflection, analysis, evaluation in order to synthesize their own experiences and information over their first year of university study. Products produced by students will include maps and infographics of climate solutions and conservation as well as creating personal maps and infographics as a compliment to a comprehensive written narrative in preparation for the DC ePortfolio Showcase.
Chronic Toxicity and Health
(B CORE 119C, NW)
Instructor: Grace Lasker
This course investigates chronic toxicity and human health in the context of major scientific disciplines: physiology, biochemistry, toxicology, and sustainability. Students will view their environment through a critical lens supported by course content and inquiry-based activities.
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA) Options:
The Cultural Work of Stereotypes
(B CORE 120A, VLPA, W)
Instructor: Jason Morse
This course will engage culture as a site of struggle over the signifying practices we use to represent others, and ourselves. The stereotype will be a conceptual path through which we will explore the ways that social categories such as race and gender intersect to define people’s lives and delimit their opportunities. We will explore how stereotypes are structures of knowledge that become embedded into social formations as the salient way of knowing and determining the actions, attitudes, and behaviors of the figures they represent. This class will unpack the role of cultural texts (including primarily American literature and film, but also visual culture) in negotiating, reinforcing, and challenging stereotypical representation.
(B CORE 120B, VLPA)
Instructor: Howard Hsu
This DC III course is structured around photography as a means of personal expression. Students will look introspectively at their past, present, and future and incorporate aspects of themselves into their photography. Applying photographic concepts and techniques, students will engage in self-portraiture, experimentation with different formats or processes, and discussions among classmates on personal identity, cultural perspectives, and ideological views of the world. The course will culminate with the creation of the DC III portfolio incorporating past work and new work into a cohesive theme that is an insight into the photographer’s personality, history, aspirations, and unique way of seeing the world around themselves.
Practicing the Good Life: A Rhetorical Inquiry
(B CORE 120D, VLPA)
Instructor: Ian Porter
What makes a good life? We all answer this question for ourselves, perhaps unconsciously, as we make decisions about what we do for work and leisure, where we live, what we consume, and how we spend our time. Of course, these decisions are constrained by the material, social, political, economic, and cultural worlds we inhabit. Some people have more power than others to choose how they live. In addition, the cultural worlds we inhabit send us messages about what makes a good life, such as when advertisements show us images of the good life. In this class, we will examine various ways of thinking about, talking about, and practicing the good life. To clarify our work, we will focus on discourses that link everyday life, labor, work, and consumption with values such as autonomy, community, sustainability, and justice. We will focus on contemporary popular understandings of the good life and the values they uphold: luxury and consumer goods, sustainability and simple living, artisanal goods and DIY culture, and others, including ideas and practices chosen by students. By reflecting on and refining your own understanding of the good life at the end of your first year of college, you will be better prepared to imagine the kind of life you want to live and therefore to articulate your short- and long-term personal, academic, and professional goals. In addition, such reflections will be useful as you complete your Discovery Core portfolio and reflection essay.
The Creative Spirit: Exploring Outside the Box
(B CORE 120E, VLPA)
Instructor: Gavin Doyle
What does it mean to be creative? Or, original? In this course, students explore artistic interpretations of themes through different media.
Each week a theme is raised by a small group that leads a discussion on the theme (ranging from the general: love, death, freedom; to the more specific: immigration, homelessness, cancer). Readings and artistic work created on those themes are discussed with focus on the artistic choices made to convey meaning and provoke thought.
Students present personal artistic work on the prior week’s topic in media ranging from poems to photographs to song (students choose a new medium each week). The class culminates in an artistic portfolio showing and a reflective essay on their own artistic spirit.
Academic Literacy: Building Community, Talent, and Cultural Competency Skills for Globalized Cooperation Through Literature and Film
(B CORE 120F, VLPA)
Instructor: Tasha Buttler
This course explores adventurous and traditional ways to broaden our fields of thinking, feeling, and representation of ideas and notions. We begin by rigorous vocabulary building, starting with Latin and Greek roots, prefixes, and suffixes, and then move into integrated applications using poetry, short story, and film. We will build on this cognitive enrichment throughout the quarter using strategies, such as summary, analysis , synthesis, and reflection to write well-structured, academic texts. We will review basic learning strategies such as note-taking, close reading, time-management, and stress reduction. Students will be using campus resources such as the library databases, librarian support, the WACC, the Student Success Center, Student Engagement and Activities, and the QSC. This is a DCIII course that helps students organize a portfolio that can provide a reflection of what they have gained at a major university, as well as a piece of their application package to future jobs.
Quests, Goals, and Inspiration: Exploring Questions of Happiness and Meaning?
(B CORE 120G, VLPA)
Instructor: Katrina Harack
How do you define happiness, and how is it related to questions of meaning in life? What are the predictors of happiness? Is it possible to set concrete goals for achieving happiness? Why are we so obsessed with the idea of perfect happiness in American culture? How do people in other cultures conceive of happiness? These questions and more will be raised and explored in this interdisciplinary course where we will engage with research and literature focusing on subjective well being (more commonly known as happiness) and questions of meaning. Students will read about goal-setting, personal quests, and what research shows are the most important contributors to happiness in life. You will be asked to reflect on your own constructions of meaning and happiness, create goals for yourself and your academic career, and form some plans for achieving those goals. Course readings will likely include excerpts from Chris Guillebeau’s The Happiness of Pursuit, Eric Weiner’s The Geography of Bliss, and Sonja Lyubomirsky’s Myths of Happiness, and we will also watch the documentary Happy and view the film Hector and the Search for Happiness. In addition to these primary texts, we will apply some academic research to our discussions. What is fascinating is that this research shows that there are actions that people can take to increase their own “set point” of happiness. While depression rates are skyrocketing, the self-help industry is booming, materialism is on the rise, and people often struggle to determine what career path(s) to follow, it is worth examining how scholars have approached the topic of happiness and what this might mean to our own lives. This course does not presume that there is only one definition of happiness, nor that any one approach to the topic has all the answers. Instead, you will need to engage in some serious self-reflection and learn to read and analyze scholarship on happiness in relation to your own personal and academic goals, in order to investigate how it has been theorized and defined, and how it might possibly be achieved in your own life.