Core Education Syllabus Statements
The value of core education is often not obvious to students. Faculty are critical for making the goals and value of core education transparent for students. You can help students embrace the value of exploration, intellectual growth, and practicing broadly applicable skills that underpin core education courses.
Specifically, instructors can highlight core education goals in syllabi, assignment prompts, and feedback to students. Below you will find examples of language to include on core education course syllabi.
Areas of Inquiry
TEP recommends including a short statement describing how your core education course helps students develop and practice the core education methods of inquiry (Critical Thinking, Ethical Reflection, Creative Thinking, and Written Communication). For example,
This course is designated as a [Arts & Letters, Social Science, or Natural Science] Core Education course. At UO, core education is designed to provide a broad, interdisciplinary education that helps students, think critically and creatively, communicate clearly, and reflect ethically. Specifically, in this class, you will learn and practice [Method of inquiry 1] through a [assignment, activity, exam, quiz…] and [Method of inquiry 2] through a [assignment, activity, exam, quiz…].
For Critical Thinking
In this class, you will learn and practice critical thinking about physiology concepts in exams, quizzes, and lab reports. You will explore physiological concepts through creating and analyzing models, you will develop logical explanations for physiological phenomenon using evidence and reasoning, and you will make predictions about physiological outcomes in different contexts.
For Written Communication
In this class, you will have iterative experiences to practice written communication in lab reports and short explanations in exams. You will practice making concise arguments about physiological concepts to different audiences including writing formal scientific reports appropriate for our field.
As part of senate legislation, syllabi statements are required for UO Cultural Literacy courses.
US: Difference, Inequality, and Agency
This course fulfills the United States: Difference, Inequality, and Agency category of the Cultural Literacy Core Education requirement, a requirement informed by UO student activism. It is meant to develop students’ analytical and reflective capacities to help them understand and ethically engage with the ongoing (cultural, economic, political, social, etc.) power imbalances that have shaped and continue to shape the United States. In addition to considering the scholarship, cultural production, perspectives, and voices from members of historically marginalized communities, students in DIA courses:
- Inquire into intersecting aspects of identity such as race, gender, sexuality, socioeconomic status, indigeneity, national origin, religion, or ability.
- Analyze uses of power to marginalize on the basis of identity, as well as responses and agency on the part of marginalized groups.
- Examine historical and contemporary structures, forms of knowledge, cultural practices, or ideologies that perpetuate or change the distribution of power in society.
and undertake one or more of the following:
- Reflect on one's own individual identifications and how these are connected to systems of power.
- Practice respectful listening and ethical dialogue around deeply felt or controversial issues.
This course fulfills the Global Perspectives category of the Cultural Literacy Core Education requirement. A Global Perspectives course aims to foster student encounter with and critical reflection upon cultures, identities, and ways of being in global contexts beyond the United States. Students will consider substantial scholarship, cultural production, perspectives, and voices from members of communities under study, as sources permit.
Global Perspectives courses, students will do one or more of the following:
- Engage texts, literature, art, testimonies, practices or other cultural products that reflect systems of meaning or beliefs beyond the U.S. context.
- Analyze power relations involving different nations, peoples and identity groups or world regions.
- Examine hierarchy, marginality or discrimination based on race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, nationality or ability (or some combination of these).
and undertake one or more of the following:
- Discuss possibly unfamiliar topics using critical vocabulary and concepts.
- Practice respectful listening and civil dialogue around controversial issues.