On Designing the Syllabus

One of my favorite classes was one I took in undergrad on Shakespeare (a topic about which I was less than thrilled to be studying – says the English teacher) where we designed our own syllabus. As a teacher, one of my favorite things was designing my classes. With these experiences in mind, I have been excited to once again go through the process of designing a class. Of course, the process by which we are designing Designing for Change is very different than any process I have engaged in, and the challenge is exciting. By engaging in prototyping, our group has tossed around many ideas for the structure of the class as a whole and the parts that make it up, and those ideas have been challenged and refined. The resulting proposal encompasses the values and elements that we feel are important to this class, held together by the thread of Understanding, Engaging, and Theorizing about Design.

I have become very comfortable working independently and writing out my thoughts to think through and flesh them out. This hands-on group process has forced me to think and work differently, and while I’m still getting into a comfortable place using a medium other than words to create and design, as I reflect on the process I realize that I like the different perspective it has presented.

Looking forward and taking into account all of the ideas from each of the proposals, it is clear that we are a group of people after similar goals to understand, engage in, and theorize about design for educational and other spaces, and I am confident that our resulting class will be productive, informative, and will challenge our existing ideas and processes of design.



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