UNIV112-Syllabus-Fall2019.docx - UNIV 112 Focused Inquiry II Fall 2019 Instructor Michael McIntyre Email [email protected] Office Location Harris 5174

UNIV112-Syllabus-Fall2019.docx - UNIV 112 Focused Inquiry...

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UNIV 112 Focused Inquiry II: Fall 2019 Instructor: Michael McIntyre Email: [email protected] Office Location: Harris 5174 Office Hours: Monday 10:30-12:00, Wednesday 1:00-2:30, and by appointment What is Focused Inquiry? Focused Inquiry is about asking questions. Good questions. Thoughtful questions. Probing questions. And all kinds of questions: What is the meaning of justice? What makes for a good citizen? Why is there a decline in the global birth rate? What is the cultural function of cosplay? As the second part of a two-semester course sequence, UNIV 112 (Focused Inquiry II) continues to build the foundational skills essential for success in your chosen field of study at VCU and in your professional and civic life. We think about what makes a good question. We think hard about the meanings of the questions we ask and about what kinds of evidence might answer those questions, whichever way the evidence leads ( critical thinking ). We ask ethical questions—questions about what we should or should not do—and we contextualize our claims for people with different beliefs ( ethical reasoning ). We find credible evidence in reliable sources and critically interpret that evidence ( information fluency ). We analyze statistics in those sources, considering the meaning behind those numbers and how they help us understand and answer our questions ( quantitative literacy ). We work with others to formulate good questions, to seek answers, and to present our findings ( collaborative work ). And we present, individually and collectively, the answers to questions, both in writing and in speech and in a variety of contexts ( written communication and spoken communication ). What we’ve just described are the seven core skills of Focused Inquiry: 1. Critical Thinking 2. Ethical Reasoning 3. Information Fluency 4. Quantitative Literacy 5. Collaborative Work 6. Written Communication 7. Spoken Communication None of these skills can stand alone; they depend on one another. Thought without expression is inert. Evidence without data is guesswork. Evidence without responsibility is dangerous. And so on. Taken together, these seven 1
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skills are the foundation not only of academic work but also of the intellectual skepticism and rigor required of engaged and responsible citizens. That’s you! Inclusive Classrooms VCU and the University College value inclusive classrooms in which all participants collaborate to maintain an environment where we can think critically about a wide variety of perspectives, backgrounds, and identities. Inclusive classrooms promote a thoughtful exchange of ideas and insights and support the VCU Mission of developing “a climate of trust, honesty and integrity where all people are valued and differences are recognized as an asset." To this end: Official documents may not reflect the name you would like to use in this classroom; I invite you to tell me your name and discuss with me any other related issues, such as what pronouns you use, etc.
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