Syllabus You should read every word of it before our next class. Go to http://faculty.winthrop.edu/fikem to retrieve the syllabus and course calendar.http://faculty.winthrop.edu/fikem We will begin our next session with your questions about the course. Also have a look at the many links on our course home page. You are responsible for the information that they provide.
Course Description The course teaches you the nuts and bolts of critical thinking (Nosich’s circle of elements + standards). We will place special emphasis on working with assumptions. A special feature of this course: –Process component –Final portfolio
More Description The course teaches skills that you will use for the rest of your college career and beyond. The course challenges you, in particular, to improve your reading, writing, and thinking— skills that are intertwined. For example, it is often said that you do not know what you think about something until you have written about it. And the course challenges you to move out of your comfort zone by looking at material from multiple perspectives.
Goals The syllabus includes the Department of English’s set of goals for CRTW 201. But the main goal that unifies all that we will do is to think more deeply about your thinking than you did during your freshman year.
My Starting Assumption While you may have learned some things about writing in WRIT 101 and GNED 102, you did not retain the ability to implement any of them in your writing. Therefore, we will start at the beginning. We will spend a whole day (our next session) reviewing the fundamentals of good writing.
One Text Instead of Two CRTW 201’s original design called for two book- length nonfiction texts. It now calls for one, and I have chosen Francis Fukuyama’s Our Posthuman Future. The result is that we will be able to spend much more time on writing instruction in class. The other text that I used last year is on reserve at the library: Matt Ridley’s Genome. Some of our course materials refer to this book.
What Does This Course Require? Process (55%) –Two exercises –Three short essays –Revisions of two of these –A research paper –A group presentation (on Fukuyama) –Two conferences Portfolio (45%) –Cover letter –Revision of one of your short essays –Revision of your research paper –Final examination
Notes The syllabus includes various notes on these requirements. Have a look at these. The most important is that you have to get 70% (C-) on both process and portfolio in order to avoid retaking the course. As in WRIT 101 and GNED 102, you can pass with a D, but you will have to retake the course. Winthrop’s policy is that you must get a C- in CRTW 201 to avoid retaking it. The course home page includes a Grade Estimation Sheet to help you keep track of your work in progress. Please do not ask me to calculate your grade for you.
Rubrics The syllabus includes rubrics for all of the following types of assignments: –Process papers –In-class presentations –Conferences –Portfolio
Important Policies You must submit your four papers to turnitin.com. The system is set so that you can get feedback ahead of time and resubmit your paper if there is anything problematic in it. See the syllabus for our course I.D. and password. If you miss 25% or more of the class sessions (7 absences), you will have to leave the class. If you hit 7 absences after the date for dropping with an automatic “N,” you will receive an F. Note well: There is no such thing as an excused absence or tardiness in CRTW 201. Being absent more than 3 times will lower your course grade. Three tardies equal a full absence. Being 5 minutes late or leaving 5 minutes early equals a full absence.
Tardiness If you come in late, you must see me after class so that I change your absence mark to a tardy mark. If you do not see me after class, your tardiness will count as an absence.
Athletes Your athletic-trip-related absences are still absences. You do not get three "free" absences on top of your trip- related absences.
“N” Winthrop has a new policy on this grade: the deadline for dropping with an automatic “N” is now much later than it used to be. It is now Friday, October 20 th. After that, you have to appeal for an “N” to the Registrar. Faculty members no longer have the authority to give you an “N.” The point is that you should not expect to talk your way to an “N” later in the semester if your grades are low. The “N” is for students who have unexpected catastrophes. Apply for the “N” in the Registrar’s office.
Format for Papers I require Courier New 12-point as your font for all of your assignments. This is what it looks like. If you use any other font, I will ask you to reprint your work. The syllabus includes a paragraph describing the required format for papers.
Next Time We will begin with your questions about the course. Read the syllabus carefully before our next class. For next time, you should read or skim Prentice Hall 1-48 and bring your handbook to class. Read Nosich’s Chapter One and bring your book to class. You may want to get a copy of the slide show and bring it to class as well. Reading it ahead of time would not hurt.
In-class Writing Exercise Spend 5 minutes writing about “critical thinking.” Use the following format: S.E.E.I.: –State definition (_________ is...) –Elaborate (In other words...) –Exemplify (For example...) –Illustrate (It's like...)
What Points Do I Want You To Get? Critical thinking is thinking about thinking. Critical thinking leads to deep learning. Deep learning promotes transformation—of the self and of the community. Deep learning also involves practical application—real-life situations. This course is not about giving you tools to help you argue for your preconceived notions. It instead gives you tools in hopes that you will open your minds to alternatives that you might eventually embrace. That is what I mean by “transformation.”
A Caveat If you think that you have to take MY position on every issue, you have missed the point. Remember: Whatever position you take, you have to be able to reply to the opposition, and my job is to make you more fully aware of it. Challenging you to think more deeply is my job.
Caveat from Chair of the Department of English “See if students can finish the course without knowing [the professor’s] views.” In other words, just as this course is not about furthering YOUR political agenda, neither is it about furthering MINE. During our third unit, there is one issue on which I will make my own position clear; otherwise, I hope to remain neutral or transparent. The key things to remember are these: –You/we will analyze arguments using the elements and standards in Nosich’s book. –Only then will we evaluate—make judgments.
Bottom Line At its most fundamental, this course is about the “nuts and bolts” of critical thinking.
An Exercise Adapted from Nosich, page 2 Now that you have some idea of what critical thinking is, write down an example of three things: –A situation in which you thought through something critically. –A situation in which you did not think something through critically. –What was the difference? In other words, why did you think critically in one case but not the other? Does anyone want to share one of his/her examples?
Something from GNED 102: A Taste of Things To Come What different positions do you find in each of the following quotations? http://faculty.winthrop.edu/fikem/Courses/ CRTW%20201/CRTW%20201%20Gore.ht mhttp://faculty.winthrop.edu/fikem/Courses/ CRTW%20201/CRTW%20201%20Gore.ht m