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Sociology/SYG 2430 Sec# 9321 Non-Gordon Rule (Explanation Below)* Room# L005 Periods 8-9 Tuesday/ 9 Thursday Head Guide/Facilitator/Coach/Mentor—John Scanzoni Phone: 392-0265-x248. Graduate Intern Supervisor & Chief Assistant Coach: Kelly Dever Researcher in Residence: Sarah Ferguson Interns/Assistant Coaches: TBA I. THE DISTINCTIVE PERSPECTIVE OF THIS CLASS “Few processes have proved more resistant to fundamental change than the basic function of higher education. Most faculty members today teach as they were taught—they stand in the front of a classroom providing lectures intended to supply the basic knowledge students need. Yet people in higher education who envision a changed, more-responsive learning environment have argued that the classroom works best when it is participatory. Students become effective problem solvers only when they have mastered the art of critical thinking and have acquired the discipline necessary to be self-paced learners. Constant assessment and feedback are critical, so that both student and instructor can determine, before it is too late, whether the student is mastering the necessary material.” Robert Zemsky & William F. Massey, “Why the E-Learning Boom Went Bust.” The Chronicle of Higher Education 9 July 2004: Page B7. This class is based on what Z&M and others describe as “active” (as opposed to “passive”) learning. Self-directed learning derives from the wisdom of the ages, and from a large body of recent research showing “that the more one is involved in the learning experience, the more one learns. One such study found that only 5 percent of information conveyed by a lecture [passive learning] is retained. …In contrast, when students learn by doing, they retain 75 percent. When they teach others, they retain 90 percent!” (J. Duderstadt et al, 2002, Higher Education in the Digital Age, p. 64.) Self-directed learning is how most parts of post-K-12 will (it is hoped) be organized in the not-too-distant future. Furthermore, a large body of recent research shows that, very often, self-directed learning is most effective within a collaborative setting. For our class, this means that every student will belong to a team of 5 persons. Each team is responsible to prepare several different, though interrelated, papers described below. Team collaboration is, of course, a basic organizational feature of the increasingly competitive 21 st century global marketplace. Collaboration is also requisite to function as an effective citizen in an increasingly complex, democratic society. The team experience is the incubator for the “constant assessment and feedback” that Z&M (and others) say are essential for developing the “art of critical thinking” that is the basis for becoming - 1 -
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an effective “problem-solver.” Critical thinking and problem solving are the timeless, as well as
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This note was uploaded on 04/09/2008 for the course SYG 2430 taught by Professor Scanzoni during the Spring '05 term at University of Florida.

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