Community-Based Learning (CBL)Community Based Learning (CBL) courses connect students and faculty directly with local communities and their members as part of the content of the course. This pedagogical approach is based on the premise that the most profound learning often comes from experience that is supported by guidance, context-providing, foundational knowledge, and intellectual analysis.The opportunity for students to bring thoughtful knowledge and ideas based on personal observation and social interaction to a course's themes and scholarly arguments brings depth to the learning experience for individuals and to the content of the course. The communities of which we are a part can benefit from the resources of our faculty and students, while the courses can be educationally transformative in powerful ways. more [pdf]
Fall 2013 CBL Courses
Education 014 Introduction to Education
This course provides a survey of issues in education within an interdisciplinary framework. In addition to considering the theories of individuals such as Dewey, Skinner, and Bruner, the course explores some major economic, historical, psychological, and sociological questions in American education and discusses alternative policies and programs. Topics are examined through readings, software, writing, discussion, and hands-on activity. Fieldwork is required. This course provides an opportunity for students to explore their interests in educational policy, student learning, and teaching. This course, or the first-year seminar EDUC 014F, is required for students pursuing teacher certification. 1 credit, W
Education 014F Introduction to Education (First Year Seminar)
This seminar will draw on materials from the disciplines of psychology, sociology, philosophy, history, and political science to address questions about American education. Topics are examined through readings, software, writing, discussion, and hands-on activity. Fieldwork is required. This course fulfills the prerequisite for further coursework in educational studies and provides an opportunity for students to explore their interests in educational policy, student learning, and teaching. This seminar, or the EDUC 014 course, is required for students pursuing teacher certification. 1 credit, W
Education 016 Practice Teaching
This course involves supervised full-time teaching in either secondary or elementary schools for students pursuing teacher certification. Students pursuing certification must take EDUC 017 concurrently. (Single-credit practice teaching may be arranged for individuals not seeking certification.) 2 credits.
Education 021 Educational Psychology (Cross-listed as PSYC 021)
This course focuses on issues in learning and development that have particular relevance to understanding student thinking. Research and theoretical work on student learning and development provide the core readings for the course. In addition, students participate in a laboratory section that involves consideration of learning and motivation in an alternative public school classroom and provides an introduction to research methods. Required for students pursuing teacher certification. 1 credit.
Education 026 Special Education: Issues and Practice (Cross-listed as PSYC 026) This course is designed to provide students with a critical overview of special education, including its history, the classification and description of exceptionalities, and its legal regulation. Major issues related to identification, assessment, educational and therapeutic interventions, psychosocial aspects, and inclusion are examined. Course includes a field placement. Required for students pursuing teacher certification. 1 credit.
Education 045 Literacies and Social Identities
This course explores the intersections of literacy practices and identities of gender, race, class, religion, ethnicity, and sexual orientation within communities of practice. It includes but is not limited to school settings. Students will work with diverse theory and analytical tools that draw on educational, anthropological, historical, sociological, linguistic, fictional, visual, popular readings and "scenes of literacy" from everyday practice. Fieldwork includes a Learning for Life partnership, tutoring, or community service in a literacy program. 1 credit. W
Education 065 Classroom Research for Social Change In this course, students work with classroom teachers to explore the potential for classroom, school and educational change through research. Students will become part of an ongoing "professional community" of Philadelphia teachers who are exploring what constitutes teacher leadership, how teacher networks can contribute to indivdiual and institutional development and renewal, and how locally based educational research can play a part in student, teacher, school and educational development. 1 credit.
Education 153 Latinos and Education Allard, 1 credit.
Linguistics 003 What Gay Sounds Like: Linguistics of LGBTQ Communities (FYS)
This seminar provides a grounding in several subfields of Linguistics (for example, Anthrolopological, Sociophonetics, Lexical Semantics, Discourse Analysis, Language and Gender Theory, Performativity Theory, Ethnography of Speaking, ASL Studies). We will use these models to explore Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer ways of speaking, identities, discourses, and communities, in a variety of cross-cultural settings. Community involvement and social action will be a key component of the course. Harrison, 1 credit.
Linguistics 063 Supporting Literacy Among Deaf Children
We will develop ebooks for young deaf children. Adults can "read" these books with the children regardless of their knowledge of ASL (or lack thereof). Working from beloved picture books, we will add video clips of actors signing the stories as well as voice-overs and questions about sign language that the interested reader can click on to find information. Students must have a rudimentary knowledge of ASL or concurrently take an attachment in ASL language.A background in linguistics, theater, film, early childhood development, or education would be helpful. Students from Gallaudet University will join Swarthmore students in this jointly taught course by Profs. Gene Mirus and Donna Jo Napoli.We will travel to Gallaudet three times over the semester and students from Gallaudet will travel to Swarthmore three times over the semester.The class will meet on Friday afternoons, however, because of the three weeks involving travel away from campus, students should keep all day Friday available for this course.
Peace and Conflict Studies 071B. Security & Defense (Cross-listed as SOAN 071B)
The focus of this research seminar will be the development of a web-based database that will contain crucial information on campaigns for human rights, democracy, environmental sustainability, economic justice, national and ethnic identity, and peace. The Global Nonviolent Action Database will serve activists and scholars worldwide. The seminar will include research/writing methods and theories of the field. 1 credit. W
Political Science 019. Democratic Theory and Practice What is democracy, and what does it require?
Students of this course read classic and recent texts in normative political theory and empirical political science-addressing what democracy should do and how well the U.S. is doing it augmented by a participatory component that requires several hours per week outside of class. Students engage with civic leaders and activists in the strikingly different communities of Swarthmore and Chester, and participate in a variety of community projects. The goal is to understand better the ways in which social, economic, educational and political resources can affect how citizens experience democracy. 1 credit.
Political Science 043B Environmental Justice: Theory and Practice
Examines historical, political, and activist roots of the field of environmental justice. Using interdisciplinary approaches from political ecology, environmental science, history, geography, cultural studies, and social movement theory, we analyze diverse environmental justice struggles and community activism in contemporary environmental issues such as: air quality and health, toxic contamination and reproductive issues, sustainable agriculture and food security, fossil energy-coal, oil, hydro-fracking-and livelihoods, climate change and climate justice. Course incorporates a community-based learning component. Di Chiro, 1 credit.
Political Science 070B Politics of Punishment
The question of why the United States has become a vastly more punitive society-some 2.3 million Americans are held in jails and prisons throughout this country, at last count-is the subject of this upper-level division seminar. The aim of the seminar is to provide both a critical and in-depth exploration of the interplay among American electoral politics, public concerns regarding crime, and criminal justice policy. Among the central questions we will examine are: How is it that so many Americans are either locked up behind bars or under the supervision of the criminal justice system? And where did the idea of using "jails" and "prisons" as instruments of social and crime control come from? What explains the racial and class differences in criminal behavior and incarceration rates? What does it mean to be poor, a person of color-and in "jail" or "prison?" How and why does criminal justice policy in this country have its roots in both the media culture and political campaigns? And how might "politics" underpin what is known as "felon disenfranchisement" or "prison-based gerrymandering?" What are the implications of such political practices for broader questions of racial, economic, and social justice? And importantly, what are the prospects for reform of America's incarceration complex? Eligible for BLST or PPOL credit. 1.5 credit. Enrollment only by permission of the instructor, Keith Reeves.
Political Science 112. Democratic Theory and Civic Engagement in America
This course begins with the questions: What is democracy, and what does it require? In addition to theoretical questions, we will investigate one of the hottest debates in contemporary political science: whether political participation, social connectedness, and general cooperation have declined in the United States over the past half-century. We will consider the potential civic impact of economic and social marginalization in inner-city areas, the role of education in promoting civic engagement, the problem of civic and political disengagement among America's youth, and the potential for the Internet and other communications technology to resuscitate democratic engagement among the citizenry. We will close by considering some lessons from successful community activists, politicians, and political mobilizers. 2 credits.
Religion 027: Radical Jesus
Who was the real Jesus? What was his central message? What is the relevance of Jesus for today? Images of Jesus through time will be tackled: Jewish rabbi, political revolutionary, apocalyptic prophet, Gnostic lover, desert mystic, Black messiah, Asian Christ, and Indian trickster. This course includes a community-based learning component, through which students will participate in after-school tutoring and other community-engaged programs and be led in reflection sessions by community members.
For decades the City of Philadelphia has been plagued by problems of population loss, violent crime, poverty, racial segregation, failing public schools and environmental pollution. While serious problems remain, parts of Philadelphia are experiencing a remarkable rebirth and the city has reversed its decades-long trend of population loss. This class will look at the historical development of such problems and some efforts to address them in South Philly, a largely poor and working-class area undergoing some of the most dramatic social change in the city. For over a century South Philly has been among the city's most diverse and culturally vibrant areas and a gateway for immigrants from across the globe - most recently from the Mexican region of Puebla. The class will travel to South Philly and see the neighborhood firsthand in walking tours. The course also has a significant community-based learning component in which students will contribute to an on-going project at one of city's most diverse public schools: Andrew Jackson Elementary. The project will transform a large parking lot that regularly floods Jackson's cafeteria, auditorium, and gym with stormwater runoff into a playground, rain gardens and a solar greenhouse where students will learn the science and math of environmental sustainability by growing their own food. Viscelli, 1 credit.
Sociology-Anthropology 036D Qualitative Methods: Into the Field
This course will introduce students to participation observation and interviewing as research methods. We will read and discuss a range of sociological studies employing these methods. Throughout the semester students will gain firsthand experience using field methods and design a research project of their choosing. Viscelli, 1 credit.Sociology 040I 01 Race and Place: A Philadelphia Story Johnson, 1 credit.
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The Maurice G. Eldridge Faculty Fellowship
This award was established in 2011 by Eugene M. Lang '38 to honor the service of Maurice G. Eldridge '61, Vice President for College and Community Relations, to the College and its commitment to academic excellence linked to socially responsible civic engagement.
This fund supports a fellowship for a member of the faculty whose scholarship and teaching contributes significantly to community service and civic engagement, linking teaching and scholarship to real-world community-based engagement. It is to be awarded to a tenured member of the faculty through an application process administered by the Provost.
The fellowship is held for a four year period, and during that time the Fellow is expected to design and implement curricular initiatives and commit to a program of scholarship that support the goal of addressing real-world problems through community engagement.
The fellowship provides a second semester leave, two course releases for the Fellow during the academic year(s) when the design and implementation of the curricular initiatives are underway, and a budget of $15,000 for project and dissemination projects.
The Fellow may work in close collaboration with The Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility. The project is expected to include a dissemination component which might, for example, include a conference among colleagues at other institutions engaged in similar work.
Tenured faculty will apply for the Fellowship with a long-term project in mind that combines both teaching and scholarship. The fellow will be selected by the Provost in consultation with the President, division chairs and the Executive Director of the Lang Center.
An application consists of (1) a narrative proposal of not more than 5 pages describing the project, addressing both the scholarly and curricular components; (2) a timeline for the work to be accomplished, including the leave schedule of the applicant and the likely timing of course releases; (3) a budget for project and dissemination costs; (4) a current curriculum vita; (5) a letter of support from the department chair acknowledging that the schedule of course releases is consistent with the department's future course offerings.
Applications are due to the Provost, in electronic form, no later than Friday, March 23. The anticipated start for the fellowship will be September 2012. A later start for the four year fellowship is possible, if the circumstances surrounding a compelling proposal dictate.