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The Greatest Good for the Greatest Number “The Tragedy of the Commons” Integrative Learning Model.

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Presentation on theme: "The Greatest Good for the Greatest Number “The Tragedy of the Commons” Integrative Learning Model."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Greatest Good for the Greatest Number “The Tragedy of the Commons” Integrative Learning Model

2 Key Objectives from Our Action Plan Integrate Instruction and Student Services Expand and maintain course offerings and increase faculty participation

3 Accepting Some Limitations No capstone No semester abroad No real curricular changes No way to target groups such as entering freshmen Little coherence or predictability in students’ progress No common transfer curriculum for all students Rigid requirements for transfer

4 But Challenging Others The problems of marketing and filling hard-linked classes The problem of pairing interested instructors The small numbers of students benefiting from the integrative learning in the linked classes

5 A Solution: The Confluence Model The success of Movie Night with an hour-by-arrangement add-on The potential of “The Tragedy of the Commons” with a shared class hour

6 “The Tragedy of the Commons” Learning Community Students enrolled in this course will participate, during special meetings scheduled during regular class hours, in "The Tragedy of the Commons” Learning Community, an exciting opportunity to meet with other classes, hear a variety of speakers, discuss different viewpoints, and gain interdisciplinary perspectives on important questions of our times.


8 “At the end of a thoughtful article on the future of nuclear war, Wiesner and York concluded that : “Both sides in the arms race are... confronted by the dilemma of steadily increasing military power and steadily decreasing national security. It is our considered professional judgment that this dilemma has no technical solution. If the great powers continue to look for solutions in the area of science and technology only, the result will be to worsen the situation.” “Specifically, can Bentham’s goal of “the greatest good for the greatest number” be realized? No--for two reasons, each sufficient by itself... It is not mathematically possible to maximize for two (or more) variables at the same time...The second reason springs directly from biological facts...” “We can make little progress in working toward optimum population size until we explicitly exorcize the spirit of Adam Smith in the field of practical demography. In economic affairs, The Wealth of Nations (1776) popularized the ‘invisible hand’….”

9 “We may well call it “the tragedy of the commons,” using the word “tragedy” as the philosopher Whitehead used it: ‘The essence of dramatic tragedy is not unhappiness. It resides in the solemnity of the remorseless working of things.’” “The National Parks present another instance of the working out of the tragedy of the commons.” “Analysis of the pollution problem as a function of population density uncovers a not generally recognized principle of morality, namely: the morality of an act is a function of the state of the system at the time it is performed.... That morality is system- sensitive escaped the attention of most codifiers of ethics in the past.”

10 The Structure Classes participating for Spring Semester, 2006 Math 251 Calculus Philosophy 244 Contemporary Social and Moral Issues Sociology 105 Social Problems English 100 Freshman Composition (2 sections) English 165 Advanced Composition (2 sections) Photography (?) Economics (?) 10 Instructors are collaborating on this project, with approximately 200 + students to be involved

11 Scheduling and Technological Aspects All classes meet during a common time slot (MWF or M-F 12-1) On Fridays, we will have use of the CSM theater Some classes will be scheduled in SMART classrooms or will be able to use class sets of laptop computers We hope to have digital cameras for students to document their perception of “the commons.”

12 Student Support Strategies Reading needs Solution: Our floating reading instructor Counseling needs Solution: Our designated counselor

13 The Curriculum & Teaching Strategies Main reading: Garrett Hardin “The Tragedy of the Commons” Ancillary readings: –Wendell Berry “Private Property and the Common Good” –Thomas Malthus “An Essay on the Principle of Population” –Aldo Leopold “The Land Ethic” –Jonathan Rowe “The Common Good” (Sierra Magazine) –Pierre Loiselle “Looting the Commons” –Peter Barnes “Sharing the Wealth of the Commons”

14 More Curriculum and Teaching Strategies Friday mini-lectures: –Jeremy: Programs vs. Visions –Mike: Exponential Growth and Carrying Capacity –Minu: Prostitution –Anne: The Commons of Yosemite –Jean: The Meanings of Tragedy –John: Adam Smith –Richard: Visual Perception President’s Lecture Series: Paul Ehrlich Common Assignment

15 The Commons of Yosemite

16 The Benefits We Expect Students will see instructors making disciplinary connections with a common text Students will collaborate with students from other disciplines in fulfilling an integrative assignment Students will participate in a significant intellectual challenge with adequate support Instructors will have a ball (they already are)

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