By January 10, 2012
This will be a series of posts about the process of course creation, using my “Religions in America” course as a case study. I’m thinking about it this week because this is my university’s faculty “Winter Institute” and as part of it, there’s a two-day syllabus development workshop.
Course creation and syllabus design were not something that was covered in any great depth during my graduate education. I used syllabi I like as a model and tried to imitate the teachers I thought were exemplary, but as a general rule: pedagogy was a taboo topic. I don’t know if it seemed beneath us, or too self-evident to merit comment, or irrelevant to the research-and-dissertation-writing process… but you know, when I write those out that way, it seems so obvious that in real life it is NONE of those things, and that it is not only a worthwhile topic for us to talk about, but in fact a NECESSARY one.