WGST 201: Women in American Culture
Dr. Diane Pecknold
As a result of participating in the Fall Faculty Learning Community on Critical Thinking (FLC-CT), Dr. Pecknold incorporated the Elements of Thought into WGST 201: Women in American Culture. She focused on this introductory course, where she believes it is especially important to incorporate critical and disciplinary-specific tools.
Critical thinking will help students recognize the difference between feminism (as a social movement with historical ties to specific political groups) and feminist theory (as a disciplinary approach).
Dr. Pecknold introduced the Paul-Elder approach to critical thinking to her students as a way to analyze various parts of thinking. Specifically, alterations were made to the course syllabus in order to introduce the Paul-Elder Guide to Critical Thinking into the classroom. The grading rubric was also altered in order to use the vocabulary offered by the Universal Intellectual Standards. In addition, Dr. Pecknold utilized in-class exercises [PDF] and homework assignments [PDF] to guide students in learning to identify the Elements of Thought, as well as successfully apply the SEE-I format to feminist theory concepts. The course's final project, an issue reflection assignment [PDF], tasked students with approaching a research project or policy decision on an issue of concern to them using the Elements of Thought.
I want students to recognize the difference between feminism (as a social movement with historical ties to specific political groups) and feminist theory (as a disciplinary approach), and to be able to keep their 'background stories' about feminism to one side so they can understand what feminist analysis can do, regardless of their political beliefs.