TEACHING METHODS & EVALUATION

TEACHING METHODS: There will be three teaching formats:

(1) LECTURE:
Presentations by myself and by Guest Lecturers with time for questions at the end.

(2) DISCUSSION:

Students will come to class with two copies of a one-page typed summary of key issues in the reading material. This will include questions that they would like to have answered and or issues to be discussed.

At the beginning of the class, they will give me one copy of their paper. The other copy, they will share with their classmates in groups of about four people. Each group will select a spokesperson to summarize their discussion. We will use these summaries as the basis of our class discussions.

(3) STUDENT 4-WAY DIALOGUE:

DIALOGUE: Instead of a written book report, four students may pick a topic for a 5-minute-per-student dialogue. The resource book for this is SCIENCE AND RELIGION: From Conflict to Conversation. (Haught). Each chapter of this book gives four answers to questions such as "Does Science Rule out a Personal God?" or "Is religion responsible for the environmental crisis?". The four answers correspond to the ways of relating science and religion: Conflict, Contrast, Contact, and Confirmation.

Each student will first prepare a "talking paper" and then present one of these four viewpoints.
 
 

2001 DEADLINES:

September 27 Select Book for Report/ or Choose a 4-Way-Dialogue or Debate

October 18 QUIZ

November 13 Book Report due and turned in

November 27 Essay summary, outline, & bibliography

December 6 Essay complete and turned in (No Final Examination)
 
 

EVALUATION

(30%) Participation in class discussions, attendance, punctuality, and submission of a one-page summary of assigned reading material. During the course, we will develop a learning community, the success of which is your presence and full participation in every class session. Attendance is crucial: your are expected to be here on every class day, unless you have a serious written excuse from a competent authority. Three unexcused absences will result in lowering your grade by one letter: B to C. This is not negotiable. If you cannot make this attendance commitment, this is not a class for you.

(20%) Written report (3-4 pg.) on a book from the reading list or a dialogue/debate. 13 Nov 2001

(15%) Mid-term quiz.

(35%) A critical, comprehensive essay (4 - 6 pg.), which traces themes from your readings and class discussions on the relation between science and religion. You must first submit a proposal, declaring your choice of subject and its bibliography. 27 Nov 2001

A possible topic could be the comparison of R. J. Russsellís Essay (Templeton 1994):
Cosmology: Evidence for God or a Partner for Theology?, with H. Rossí short book:
The Creator and the Cosmos: How the greatest scientific discoveries of the century reveal God. The first is not an argument for God, for design or for purpose, based on science. The second expresses the opposite point of view.
 

Another possible topic could be comparing E. O. Wilson's Consilience, which calls for the uniting of the arts and sciences on the basis of a scientific understanding of the world, with Wendell Berry's Life is a Miracle: An Essay Against Modern Superstition. Berry accuses Wilson of an arrogant and futile attempt to subjugate the humanities to science.
 

  EVALUATION CRITERIA

Both of the written reports will be punctual, neatly typed, well organized and avoiding filler; have correct syntax and elegant style throughout; and be free of errors in punctuation and spelling. Significant deficiency in any of these areas constitutes grounds for a grade below a "C." Please review university policy on academic honesty; plagiarism is a very serious matter. Details regarding how to acknowledge sources are found in any standard writing manual.

BOOK REPORT AND DEBATE:

(1) Ability to summarize and perceive key issues

a. Favorite quotes or ideas

(2) Evaluation and critique of the main issues

(3) Debate only: ability to answer questions from the class.
 
 

ESSAY:

(1) Originality and uniqueness of ideas,

(2) Ability to relate science and religion with a logical flow of arguments and references,

(3) Does the essay support its conclusions?

Brief Course SummarySRcourse.html

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