Date: Thu, 18 Apr 1996 15:54:59 MST From: Renee Buchanan [RBUCHAN@ssb1.saff.utah.edu]
University of Utah
Dr. Ken JAMESON
GENERAL INTRODUCTION TO ECONOMICS AS A SOCIAL SCIENCE
(You can contact me readily by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; I also have a site on the Economics web: WWW.econ.utah.edu which we will use for the course).
'The role of economics in understanding social problems. The course is designed as a general information course for persons not majoring in economics. Specific content and emphasis will vary from quarter to quarter depending on the interests and expertise of the instructor."
We will deal with "contemporary social issues," and dealing with them through actual direct service will be an integral part of the course. I also hope that the students can use our "information resource development" process to work with their agency and to provide something that will be of use to the agency in its work.
SERVICE-LEARNING CLASS CRITERIA
GENERAL INTRODUCTION TO ECONOMICS AS A SOCIAL SCIENCE We will jointly explore "the role of economics in understanding social problems.,, I have designed the course to introduce you to economics and its way of thinking, to examine contemporary approaches to a number of public policy issues, and to allow active engagement with the issues and the collection and use of information on them. We will also be engaged in the process of "making knowledge,, jointly.
The following paperback materials are required:
Schiller,_ Essentials of Economics_, 2nd ];,d Swartz-Bonello, _Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Controversial Economic Issues, _7th Ed.
The course grade will be based on the following elements:
Two Exams 40%
Group Issue Preparation
And Presentation 25% Group Service Project 25% Individual Service Contribution 10%,
This is a five credit class which by university regulations should correspond to about 15 hours of total dedication per week. I think the actual time commitment for most students will be less. We will follow the schedule below and the due dates for presentations and the exam dates will not be changed; the required reading assignments will fall approximately on the dates listed.(NOTE: I WILL DO THIS AT A LATER DATE)
CLASS ORGANIZATION AND RHYTHM
We will meet together two times per week for approximately two hours. In addition, since this is a service-learning class, students will spend time at and working with community organizations. The classes will combine lecture, group work, and student presentations. we will be doing a variety of things over the course of the quarter, organized roughly as follows:
Economics Content: a portion of each week will be spent on the content of Economics, based on the Schiller book. This will be most heavy in the initial weeks but will continue throughout to ensure coverage of "the essentials of economics.' The coverage will not be highly technical and will orient toward practical applications.
Information Resources: we will learn how to gather, and use, information, starting with printed works, going through organized electronic search resources and ending with the unorganized hyper-space of the Internet. All will have some familiarity with all resource areas, but the groups will have specializations within them as they work on their projects. We will learn about information resources early in the quarter, and each student will have a student computer account; then we will use this knowledge in group presentations and projects with local agencies.
Social Issues: as an entire class, we will do several of the issues in the Taking Sides book midway through the quarter. Then each student group will lead our work on the issue which is most directly related to the service agency they are working with. We will work through the economics of the issue and the different perspectives one can bring. And the group will provide us with a resource guide to information on the issue.
Service-Learning: each student will be assigned to a local agency for service learning. This will initially be working as a volunteer in the agency for four hours per week. By mid-quarter the students in the group and the agency will also develop a project built around information collection which will serve the needs of the agency. The project will be presented to the full class and will be delivered to the agency by the end of the quarter. By the end of the quarter, this will be the main service activity for the students in each group.