Thursday, August 22, 2013

ARC Honors faculty retreat

The first day of class at ARC is approaching fast, and before students fill our classrooms again, it's time for FLEX! I spent several hours at the Honors faculty retreat, which was held at the Shriners Hospital near the UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento. 

Various faculty presented some excellent projects to engage students and teachers in reaching across different disciplines. Creative thinking is really happening.

Christian Kiefer (ARC English) introduced the Honors Read for the fall: John Steinbeck's The Log from the Sea of Cortez

Rick Topinka (ARC Biology) and I had some time to discuss our non-majors biology course still in the planning stages. One important issue: We're working on how to give students authentic hands-on experience with the scientific process. Can students do investigative laboratory research to experience science first-hand? We're developing some possible projects.

And we were fortunate to have English Prof. Marcy Alancraig from Cabrillo College give a talk about her Honors English course that integrates writing and science. She led a fascinating presentation and discussion on "the science of writing and the writing of science." I wish I took her English course when I was an undergraduate. 

To close the retreat, Kathy Rodgers (ARC English) and Andy Halseth (ARC Math) discussed how they have created a student learning community to pursue real-world issues that integrate English and math. Andy showed how even the life ritual of buying a car involves English and math skills. 

I tried brainstorming integrative learning.

A special thanks to Kathy Rodgers (ARC English and Honors program coordinator) for letting me attend this retreat.

Some resources from the Honors Retreat: 

Honors retreat agenda
Coordinator report fall 2013
Faculty events fall 2013
Update on Survey of Biology honors course proposal
Some ideas for independent research Biology projects
Integrative learning handouts
Reaching across the disciplines - brainstorming activity

From Marcy Alancraig (Cabrillo College, Honors English)
Marcy Alancraig's faculty website
English 2H website
English 2H syllabus (from spring 2011)

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