We Choose What to Believe
Multidisciplinary Coordinated Studies Program
North Seattle Community College
Spring Quarter 2007
(This syllabus is subject to change. Please check often and read
all announcements in order to note any changes we make.)
As Thomas Aquinas, Jacques Maritain, and others have noted, the
world’s great mix of realities can be known in a variety
of different ways. These various realities, such as human nature,
human cultures, the physical universe and the spiritual world,
have traditionally been explored through the lenses of philosophy,
history, the natural and social sciences, mathematics, the arts,
myths, storytelling and the intuitive nature of religious encounter.
In this team-taught coordinated studies program combining literature,
philosophy, history, and tradition, you will have the opportunity
to explore some of these ‘great realities’ as you are
introduced to various ways of knowing.
A coordinated studies program is different from regular courses.
We emphasize a sense of community where students and faculty learn
together. Students are encouraged to cooperate with each other and
be more responsible for their own learning. You will learn how to
read, write about, and discuss important works from classic philosophy,
drama, modern science and postmodern criticism that question or
support different claims to knowing the truth.
In small seminars
you will examine personal and cultural assumptions and beliefs in
light of several opposing worldviews and ways of knowing. You will
develop more complex critical thinking skills so you can more confidently
affirm that which you believe to be true. The faculty team will
provide traditional lectures, facilitate the development of your
academic skills, and participate as co-learners so as to create
a productive learning community. You will also learn how to interact
with others in online discussion groups.
Nutting, The Free City (available online)
Trial and Death of Socrates, Hackett
"the story of the cave," from The Republic
- Sophocles, The
Bacon, Idols that Beset Men's Minds,
(from Novum Organum, available online)
Brecht, Galileo, Grove Press,
S. Pierce, The Fixation of Belief (available
Pinter, The Collection
Kerns, Epistemology Lectures (available
- Wilson, The
Abbott, Flatland (available online or
in the Dover edition)
Smith, Forgotten Truth, Harper
These are the
required books listed in approximately the order in which they will
be read. Those in yellow will be made available to you online (or
some could be purchased from an online bookstore, details in the
classroom). Those in red are available for purchase in your campus
bookstore (or some may be purchasable from one of the online bookstores).
REQUIREMENTS AND EVALUATION:
We explore our
topic by reading the texts and discussing them in seminars.
Active participation in these book seminars is an essential part
of this program. You will be taught the necessary seminar skills
and expected to demonstrate development in this area. You will need
to complete all reading assignments on time and attend all seminars
online. These seminars are donducted asynchronously (not in real
time) but your prompt posting is essential.
in the online discussions and seminars is expected every week.
This will probably mean logging in to the online classroom and seminar
group at least 6 days each week. You are expected to read 100% of
all postings in the main classroom discussion forum and 100% of
all postings in your own seminar group. It is expected that each
student will post to discussion and study question areas several
times each week. The more you respond, the more you will learn.
Posting of your
discussion contributions for the online discussion will need to
be completed by Tuesday and Friday at 9:00pm each week. Students
are encouraged to post contributions as early as possible each week
so that others will have an opportunity to respond to ideas before
theTuesday and Friday evening deadlines.
to Seminar: Please see these for helpful explanations
and information about class and online seminars(discussions).
in a seminar
papers will be produced, with the help of peer and faculty feedback,
in a process that includes multiple drafts. All drafts must be ready
and posted by the due date. Late papers will not be tolerated.
You will be asked to reflect on the program objectives and requirements
and to assess how you are performing and developing at mid-quarterand
at the end of the quarter. See midterm and final self-evaluation
guidelines for specific details.
in all components of the course is your responsibility as part
of a commitment to the rest of the group and will be reflected in
your evaluation. For you to be successful you must arrange to meet
all deadlines for assigned reading, , drafts of papers, and group
work. In an emergency email faculty.
Former students report that when they include studying together
in small informal groups they are much more successful. You may
find that your research group will work well as a study group. Online
study group rooms can be arranged for you (ask one of the instructors
to set one up for you), or use the "student lounge" portion
of the online classroom discussion.
receive the same grade for all 12 credits based on:
Online discussion and seminars..................................
all assignments is required for a passing grade. We see learning
as a developmental process so for your evaluation we will be looking
for on going development in your writing, seminar participation,
and in the other requirement areas.
click here to see the criteria used for final grades.
2 of the following:
102.C1 Composition 5 credits
133.C1 Introduction to Dramatic Literature- 5 Credits
100.C1 Introduction to Philosophy 5 credits
one of the following:
201.C1 SpecialStudies in Drama 2 credits (VLPA requirement
298.C1 Special Topics in Philosophy 2 credits
299. C5 - Special Topics in English
a total of 12 credits
objective of this course is to help you develop a solid foundation
in academic knowledge, skills and attitudes that will aid you throughout
your college experience. NSCC has identified some general education
goals that we think are important to work towards.
the knowledge area, by the end of the quarter you should
of the major ideas, values, beliefs, that have shaped human history.
expression as an essential human and cultural phenomenon
and ethical principles and theories that are integral to personal
and interpersonal development.
nature of the individual and the relationship between the self and
understand fundamental terminology and concepts of dramatic literature.
the area of attitudes, we hope you will
value of intellectual inquiry, personal responsibility and ethical
interdisciplinary nature of knowledge.
in your own ability to judge, analyze, and come to your own conclusions.
a willingness to learn from many cultures, persons, methods, and
forms of written expression, intellectually emotionally, and aesthetically.
the skill area you will learn how to
ability to think critically and clearly communicate ideas orally
and in writing and on-line.
essays that communicate your unique perceptions and demonstrate
unity, coherence, adequate evidence, and a logical organization.
speaking and listening and problems-solving skills, your verbal
and non-verbal skills in both group discussions/seminars and group
Access and evaluate
information from a variety of electronic sources.
own and others' oral and written work.
between your own ideas and those that come from other sources.
reasoning processes to understand, analyze, interpret, and solve
Work and communicate
effectively in groups.
RESPONSIBILITY AND FACULTY COMMITMENT
click here for course policies.
here for grading policies
Your cooperative spirit will enhance the personal and academic
experience for all of us in this community of learners. We consider
it your responsibility to be prepared, to find out what you missed
if you are absent, and to contact us about problems. Please dont
We want to help each of you to succeed. Call us or stop by during
our office hours or make an appointment to discuss a problem before
it overwhelms youor us. We can usually help you work out a
solution. We are aware of and have services available to accommodate
those with special needs including learning and physical disabilities.
The faculty are open to suggestions for improvement in all aspects
of the program. We will be asking for your feedback throughout the