The rationale behind the development of a team-taught interdisciplinary (political science and psychology) course was a belief that such students cannot learn to confront and resolve contemporary social problems without engaging in serious self-reflection common in humanities courses. Based on humanities literature, a model to facilitate student progress in being critically self-reflective was developed. 1.) Recitation – state known facts or opinions.
A critical component of this step is to acknowledge what aspect(s) of what is being stated is factual and what is based on opinion. 2.) Exploration – analyze the roots of those opinions or facts.
This step requires digging below the surface of what is believed and working to discover the elements that have combined to result in that fact or that opinion. 3.) Understanding – involves an awareness of other views and a comprehension of the difference(s) between one’s own opinion (and the basis of that opinion) and the opinions of others. 4.) Appreciation – means a full awareness of the differences between our views and opinions and those of others. A course objective was: "Educated persons should have the ability to develop informed opinions, to comprehend, formulate, and critically evaluate ideas, and to identify problems and find solutions to those problems." On end of semester evaluations students assessed all course objectives and provided a rationale for each rating. On a 5-point Likert scale (5 = strongly agree the course facilitated progress), the average rating on this objective was 5. Comments include: 1.) "weekly postings allowed thought from all views, helped (me) to problem solve on a more universal basis, not just personal" 2.) "we had to look for solutions to hate, not just recognize the problem" 3.) "course caused me to become more open to others’ views, not to share necessarily, but to try to understand them".
|Keywords:||Humanities Model, Critical Thinking, Social Sciences, Self-reflection, Recitation, Exploration, Understanding, Appreciation|
Department Chair, Psychology, College of Liberal Arts, Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos, Texas, USA
Teaching Assistant, Psychology, Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos, Texas, USA
Associate Professor, Political Science, Indiana University East, Richmond, IN, USA
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