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Postsecondary Teaching & Learning
206 Burton Hall
178 Pillsbury Dr. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Voice: 612-626-8705

Spring 2013 Learning Communities

Learning Communities are linked classes that enable students to create greater coherence in their studies and enhance intellectual interaction with faculty and fellow students. The courses are designed to fulfill liberal education requirements and prerequisites for the majors in CEHD. In Spring 2013 PsTL will offer eleven Learning Communities (LC). Descriptions for the LCs are below.

Exploring the “American Dream:” Fact? Fiction? Forgotten?

PsTL 1004 taught by Suzanne Loch and PsTL 1231 taught by Bob Poch

The “American Dream” is a phrase often used but not thought about deeply. Using statistical and historical tools, this Learning Community explores the “American Dream” and how this idea may change or remain the same given environmental circumstances, the historical time period and who is asked. We will consider how different people have thought about the American Dream (from 1865 to the present) and the power of the idea in creating or preventing opportunities in the United States.

Stories by the Numbers

PsTL 1006 taught by Janet Stottlemyer and PsTL 1368 taught by Barbara Hodne

We all know that literature tells stories, but we might not recognize that numbers tell stories, too. In fact, both literature and mathematics offer ways to understand and interpret what surrounds us in the real world. In this Learning Community, students will develop their ability to read and interpret contemporary international literature while developing their ability to read and interpret real-world data. Students will gather and interpret data in PSTL 1006 about the countries represented in the literature assigned in PSTL 1368.

Rights, Community, and Identity: Reflections in Law and Literature

PsTL 1246 taught by Gary Peter and PsTL 1366 taught by KC Harrison

This Learning Community will explore intersections of American literature with the American legal system. Students will consider important concepts in constitutional law, including the freedom of speech, the right to an attorney, and equal protection. Poetry, novels, and plays reflect the ways these rights have been challenged in a variety of contexts, from the Japanese internment during World War II to the Crown Heights riots in 1991. Expect to participate in an active classroom that requires sharing your opinions, observations, and insight, as well as listening and responding to others. One joint project will incorporate content from both courses. 

Scientifically Speaking

PsTL 1131 taught by Jay Hatch and PsTL 1461 taught by Tina Frederickson

We are connected in an intricate web of life and its cycles; one woven by nature, shaped by personal and public discourse, dependent on collaboration. We will explore the threads of this web—their creation, alteration, destruction, and reinvention—through the disciplines of biology and communication. Throughout the term, students in 1461 will participate in civic forums on issues presented in 1131. Through researched debates on topics like Genetically Modified Organisms, Evolution and Race, or Premature Extinction of Wild Species, students will add their biological knowledge to discussions in Public Speaking. Students will develop and articulate their perspectives on the pressing ethical questions many scientific discoveries bring that impact all of life.

Telling Stories!

PsTL 1366 taught by Molly Collins and PsTL 1461 taught by Heather Dorsey

For centuries, people have told stories to entertain, inform and keep their cultures alive. Today, our stories take many different forms. But what makes effective story telling? How can we communicate to an audience in a way that will get us heard? In this Learning Community, students will integrate ideas and work with literature and speech to learn how to engage an audience and tell a good story. Both courses have a multicultural focus. In 1366 students will be introduced to multicultural literature from the United States. In 1461 students will examine and apply communication and rhetorical strategies from a variety of perspectives while focusing on ethical practices. Students will demonstrate what they have learned in a shared project that involves both disciplines.

Imagining our Nation through Literature and History

PsTL 1366 taught by Ezra Hyland and PsTL 1231 taught by Jason Stahl

In this Learning Community we will raise a range of questions about American identity within broad social, historical, political, and literary contexts while highlighting the diversity of form, perspective, and style in U.S. literature. Through close reading of texts, class discussion, and formal and informal writing assignments, students will practice literary analysis and analysis of historical argumentation. Students will think critically about the past and then use that critical analysis towards the interpretation of literature. Students will read primary and secondary sources in order to engage the following questions: How is identity constructed through and against nationalism? How have history and literature played a part in this process?

Connections: Human Performance and Human Behavior

PsTL 1281 taught by Cathy Wambach and KIN 1871 taught by Jennifer Bhalla

Are you interested in a career in fitness, sports or recreation? Can you see yourself as a coach, trainer, manager of a fitness club, or a director of a recreation program? If the answer is yes, then Introduction to Kinesiology will help you decide if this career is right for you. Kinesiology is the study of the biological, developmental, social, and behavioral bases of physical activity, recreation, sport and human performance. It is closely related to the field of Psychology, the study of human behavior and mental processes. In this learning community you will find connections between Kinesiology and Psychology while you get to know students who share your interest in the Kinesiology major.

Multicultural Perspections on Family and Citizenship

PsTL 1246 taught by Karen Miksch and FSoS 2101 taught by William Goodman

In this Learning Community learners will have opportunities to explore more about themselves as citizens and how their personal, family, cultural, political histories and lives interface with the role of being a helper. Learners will examine the nature of personal and family responsibility, public and private ethics, and civil rights. In addition, learners will define and explore compelling arguments towards becoming engaged, global citizens in the context of democracy. Learning opportunities including a mock jury trial will be provided to foster growth in becoming an informed and productive member of a family, community, and society. Race, class, and gender, are a few of the topics that will be explored in efforts to define the intersection of the act of helping others in a democratic state and citizenship development.

Communicating in the Sports Industry

PsTL 1461 taught by Jill Trites and SMGT 1701 taught by Tiffany Richardson

In this Learning Community, students develop effective communication skills that are in great demand in the world of sports. In SMGT 1701, students are introduced to issues in the sports industry and have the opportunity to meet and network with industry professionals from the Twin Cities. Guest speakers in previous semesters have included Joel Maturi, former director of University of Minnesota athletics; Chris Wright, current President of the Minnesota Timberwolves; and Patrick Klinger, current VP of Marketing for the Minnesota Twins. In PSTL 1461, students apply communication strategies such that the speaker acts ethically while making a difference in a variety of public contexts, including those related to the business of sports.

Crossing Borders:  Deepening Our Perspectives

PsTL 1368 taught by Rashne Jehangir and YOST 1001 taught by Ross VeLure Roholt

What “borders” shape and influence our lives? What does it mean to cross borders? How might we cross borders both literally and metaphorically and take action for the greater good? Drawing on theories of youth development and stories from around the world, this Learning Community explores these questions and considers how young people from around the world make sense of their everyday lived experience and their place in their world. We will examine how different cultural contexts impact individual identity and power. As we engage with these narratives, we will also consider how our own stories shape our identity and how engaging with multiple perspectives deepens our understanding of self and expands the ways we can make a difference in the world.

Equity, Equality and Inquiry in School Literacy and Mathematics

PsTL 1006 taught by Susan Staats and CI 1001 taught by Shelley Berken

Students in this learning community examine issues of teaching mathematics and literacy with multicultural awareness. Several experiential activities (elementary school class visits, teaching practice, and an option to gain class credit through service learning) allow students to understand the role of teachers to promote equity, equality and inquiry in the classroom in both subject areas. Assignments throughout the semester encourage students to become reflective educational professionals.


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Last modified on 4/25/2012