DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

To give an idea of how I have taught my courses (and what I taught in them), here are sample syllabi from four courses I designed. 


At Stonehill I taught many sections of the introductory religion course, "Critical Encounters: Religious Studies", that was required of all incoming undergraduates. Professors had a great deal of flexibility in deciding what to teach and how to teach it. By my final semester there, I took advantage of that flexibility to tailor the course to the abilities and interests of that semester's group of students. When I handed out a syllabus at the beginning of the semester, I left much of the content blank, and filled it in as the semester went on


My "signature" course, the one that came most directly out of my own scholarly interests, was a course entitled The Good Life in Cross-Cultural Perspective. The course was an experiment in teaching cross-cultural ethics, examining thinkers from a wide variety of times and places and their ideas on how to live well. I adjusted the list of thinkers each semester that I taught it; the final time, I saw the necessity of beginning with Western thinkers who would be closest to the ways students already thought, and proceeded to more unusual thinkers from there.


In a different mode, at Colorado College (on the unusual "block plan" where students take a single course each month), I taught a more sociological course on Hindu-Muslim Relations in South Asia. It included role-playing exercises where students would play the parts of medieval Arabian Muslims hearing al-Biruni's reports from India, and of various factions in a reconciliation commission after the partition of India.


Finally, my course on Indian philosophy at BU has given me a great opportunity to reflect on pedagogy. The course is structured above all around student term papers, in order to give students maximum flexibility to explore their interests, and scaffolds those papers with structure to help walk the students through, including group collaboration to comment on papers and support each other's research. It uses a number of educational technologies, including a weekly WordPress blog assignment to keep students current on the reading, and Google Drive for collaboration on papers.


DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.