March 27, 2015 at 11:26 am #3892Orla HazraParticipant
Last semester I co taught a course on ‘be the change: awakening to cosmic compassion’ under the umbrella of the dept of interreligious studies (DIRS). My colleague, the new director of DIRS, has the opportunity of teaching two ‘proper’ semester long courses starting in June. Currently the instructors and instruction for each is totally anthropocentric and we would like to take the courses in other directions.
The first course is ‘Environment’
The second is ‘Giving Voice to Values’
My tactic would be to ground each first in an evolutionary universe (ie BH) and then to engage with the the nuts and bolts of ‘environment or values (in the contect of an evolutionary universe).
I need feedback from the network with
1. How you wiggled the Story aspect into a mandatory curriculum course, operating under the radar and how you tweaked the sylabus
2. What would you suggest for us based on lessons learned?
March 29, 2015 at 10:59 pm #3894Stephan MartinKeymaster
What terrific courses you are teaching and involved with! Since I teach college astronomy primarily, it’s relatively easy to organize the course around an evolutionary cosmic perspective, and I often show “Journey of the Universe” early on to give the students the context and direction we’re moving. With your environment course, a big picture perspective seems natural as you zoom out to show that all environmental discussions take place in an interrelated global or cosmic context. A course on values brings to mind Thomas Berry’s writings on the ecozoic vision for education and also Joanna Macy and John Seed’s work on the Council of All Beings, showing that value systems are also embedded in an ecological and global context with the views and values of many of the non-human stakeholders not usually being represented in values discussions. All of these sources have “proper” academic credentials and should be no problem passing standards for academic courses. Thanks for your work in bringing a much needed perspective to these academic fields!
March 30, 2015 at 2:07 am #3895Orla HazraParticipant
Thank you very much Steve!
I am aware it is being done and it is great to see ‘how’ it is being done. My usual site for sharing the story has been at retreats or to teachers in seminars encouraging them to engage with the material….never in a regular semester length course with the institutional requirements. It will be a challenge at the beginning because i do not get back to India from vacation until 4 august and the courses begin late june so my colleague will need to begin on his own but we are meeting tomorrow to start working on how to pace the courses to accomodate that. Unfortunatly the students don’t even want to hear the word ‘environment’ anymore, don’t buy the book and only cram at the end for the exams……In a way that is good- we will offer them something completly new and different and fun- but the word is out that the course is ‘bad’!
The values one will surely be deepened by what strategy we did with the other course, and like you said, the Earth Democracy/Council of all Beings takes ‘rights and justice’ and topics of ‘ownership and makes current understandings redundant and evokes others.
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