I am very happy to read Ruth's comments. For quite some time the idea of sample syllabi and course outlines has floated around our meetings, but nothing has been done. My college, and many others, are in the midst of a nightmare titled "Student Learning Outcomes," or some variant of this, driven by our accreditation organization. The tragedy is that each college is going through their own process of coming up with SLOs, the majority of which, I suspect, are very much the same. Talk about reinventing the wheel over and over. I think it's time for SACC to take a leadership role in this arena. Several years down the road I would like to see a booklet with a page or two for each anthropology course taught with a minimum course description, course outline, and student learning outcomes. (The emphasis is on "minimum" since we all need the latitude to do our own thing.) This would not only aid us in filling our Curriculum forms, but would provide ideas for the expansion of course
offerings and provide some written material that could aid in our battles with administration over new course development.
The CAN project Ruth talks about has resulted in rather minimal course descriptions agreed on by all segments of California public higher education, including 108 community colleges and the many campuses of the California State University system and the University California. It can be done! And it's really not that difficult if it is conceived of as a minimum.
I would very much like to see a small task force meet in Montreal to discuss a panel discussion for the AAA meeting--a group not to come up any specific proposals, but to chart a path for doing so.
I'm looking forward to seeing everyone once again in Montreal.
"Rebecca L. Stein" <rls@...> wrote:
Hi, everyone. The deadline for submitting invited sessions to the AAA for
the 2004 conference is April 1. Bob Muckle is handling the usual Five
Fields panel and I will email their names and abstracts when I have them.
We do have another session allotted to us.
To refresh everyone's memory, last year we did two co-sponsored sessions
with NASA. And the following is from the AAA 2003 meeting minutes in
1. Program Chair Report: In absence of Rebecca Stein-Frankle, Tony and
Dianne reported on the second Invited Session cosponsored with the National
Anthropology Students Association (NASA). Unlike the first cosponsored
Invited Session with NASA, which was superb, there were questions on the
professional quality of the second Invited Session and the absence of SACC
input. For 2004, Dianne spoke on the great potential to collaborate
Karl Heider and the General Anthropology Division (GAD) as well as with
NASA. Ellen called for a standing Invited Session(s) to be prefaced
"Teaching About Current Issues," and others added that the topic in San
Francisco should be "race." Jonathan Marks and Yolanda Moses were suggested
to be invited discussants.
Motion: All SACC cosponsored sessions will include a co-organizer and a
co-chair who are SACC members. Move Ellenbaum, Second Lewine, Pass
So far I have heard nothing from anyone about any NASA or GAD
co-sponsorships. I have, however, been approached by Ruth Laird about
sponsoring a session on Learner Outcomes (a huge accreditation nightmare
issue here in California - coming soon to a school near you!). I have
included more detailed information below that Ruth sent me (I have more
information from her if anyone is interested). I personally think this is a
great idea (I am on my college's curriculum
committee!) - and best of all
she has offered to organize it!
What I need from you all is feedback. Do you like this idea? If not, do
you have others (and someone to actually do the work of organizing it!)?
Here is some info from Ruth:
Learner Outcomes in Anthropology is the generic working title of the panel.
I am thinking of a discussion panel, with the following mini presentations
briefly made and then opening to discussion.
- what are "Learner Outcomes"--brief history here
- why they are here to stay, and therefore, we, anthropologists, need to
be composing our own general outcomes, and supporting teaching departments
as they work on this in the context of specific departments and
classes--having a general statement(s) of Learner Outcomes--perhaps in
California, to go with the CAN ANTHRO descriptors, could be very helpful to
dept chairs and instructors who are having some Learner Outcomes imposed on
them by administration
or division chairs or deans.
-the power and control factors of Learner Outcomes and who benefits or
loses credibility in this process
-the effects of the process and the determination of SLO's on students
-the projected "benefits" for faculty and their teaching, according to
the Learner Outcome model and theory
-the creative and diverse understandings of learning and teaching that
anthropologists can bring to bear on this issue
Thanks in advance for your input,