2017 Emerging Landscapes in SoTL Award Winners
Melissa Scott Kozak
The focus of this project will be about utilizing archival documents from the University of Georgia's Special Collections Library to teach Family Policy. In Family Policy, the learning objectives include student knowledge of content (policy process and concepts), student analysis of policy issues using a family impact lens, and student communication about policy issues. By integrating archival documents across the course, students will also be able to identify the role Georgia has played in family policy issues (education, healthcare, marriage, etc.) that are relevant to their personal and professional lives. Pedagogically, I am interested in how the utilization of archival documents impacts student knowledge of and confidence in the policy arena. When they are allowed to tangibly connect the past to present and future, does that impact their learning and the ways in which they see and engage in policy?
Reading as Conversation: Connecting Critical Reading to Complex Thinking in the Classroom
This project will be carried out in the course Christianity and Colonialism in Africa. A humanities and social science course such as this one can provide practice in complex reasoning, as students are asked to work with nuance and different perspectives. The disciplinary habit of mind that yields this reasoning is often a type of questioning, engaged reading. However, the potential link between reading and reasoning is lost if students do not read, or do read but take the reading as “the last word.” I wish, therefore, not just to motivate students to read, but also to facilitate their engagement with a particular threshold concept – “reading as conversation.” The focus of the project will be a series of active learning exercises that intend to both make visible and scaffold student reading practices, with an emphasis on connecting individual reading logs to group work with readings in the classroom. I will work with students as co-inquirers to conceptualize the moves they already make, could make, and would like to make to connect reading to thinking.