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Requirements

What follows are all the things you are required to do as part of this course.

1. Attendance I expect you to attend each session. This is especially important once we start traveling to MLKCSE. You absolutely cannot miss one of those sessions except for dire circumstances. You will need to give me a note from a professional if you miss any of those sessions and you MUST let me know in advance. The children and teachers at MLKCSE are relying on you! Your absence directly impacts them and the Philosophy for Children program. Any other unexcused absences will result in your final grade being lowered one step, e.g. from an A- to a B+

2. Reflective journal This is an experiential course. You will be doing things and learning skills as well as reading. To get the maximum benefit out of this feature of the course, you will need to keep a journal in which you reflect upon your ideas and experiences DURING the course. You need to post your journal entries into your drop box each Friday by midnight, so that we can get them back to you by the following Tuesday. You should include comments on the class sessions as well as the readings. They do not need to be long, but you will find that having this record will help you with your final paper as well. You need to upload it into the assignments folder in your ella site.

3. Lesson Plan and Transcript You will be put into pairs of two students for your visits to MLKCSE. Each time that you go into MLKCSE, your team will need to prepare a lesson plan. This will involve your modifying the question set for each book in a way that you think will work for you. The plan will give you a framework for the discussion that you will be leading. Make sure to use the form provided for this purpose. The Lesson Plan is due on the Wednesday prior to your teaching session by noon.

Your team will also have to make a transcript of the discussion that you have lead using the audio tape as a basis. The transcript must be uploaded to your ella site by 10 p.m. on the Sunday following your session so that we can evaluate them in a timely fashion. These will be valuable resources for your final papers. Upload each to your ella assignment folder.

4. Book Module As part of the course, you will have the opportunity to create a book module that will remain on the teaching children philosophy website. There are a number of steps to do this. It is a good idea to start looking for books early, since it may take you a while to find one that is really suitable for a philosophical discussion. For help in figuring out what these should look like, see the instructions on this website. Note that you will have to build your book module on this website, so you may want to generate the the various elements of your book module in a format that will allow you to do this easily. For formatting information click on the editing help link.

(a) Choose a book Although any children's book can be used to teach philosophy, there are some books that are particularly suited to doing so. You will have a chance to read some of these and can use them as guides for your own choice of a book. Generally speaking, books that have clear morals such as Aesop's Fables are not well-suited since our goal is to find issues on which children can disagree. That's hard to do with a book that tells you its moral, but not impossible. It just means that the questions have to be especially well-designed. Three places where you can find children's books are the MHC library, the Gaylord library across from the college, and the Odyssey Bookshop. Rebecca at the Odyssey is a children's books specialist and is familiar with the course. You should also consult the list in The Read-Aloud Handbook. But remember that new books are being published all the time, so your own investigations can reveal great books. You must submit your choice (author's name and book title) together with a 50-word summary of the book. When you have found a book you think is suitable, make sure it is in print by doing a search on amazon.com.

Your choice must be uploaded to the Book Module folder on your ella site drop box by Nov. 1 at 5 p.m. Save the file as YOURLASTNAME.bookchoice.doc.

Once your book choice is approved, you may begin to build your book module for the website. To do so click on the "How to Add a Book Module" Link and follow the instructions there.

(b) Write a question set: You need to develop a question set consisting of at least three or four sets of questions. How many you need depends on your book. The idea is that this will allow others who want to teach the book but have no philosophical background to do so. These are modeled for you on this site.

Your draft is due on Nov 6 at 5 p.m. To turn in your draft, paste the question set into the appropriate place on your book module page. Make sure to save your changes.

Once your question set is looked over, you will receive feedback right on your book module page in the form of reviewer notes. These notes will help you to revise and strengthen your question set.

(c) Prepare a philosophical introduction The idea here is to give a parent or teacher some background in the philosophical issues that you raise in your questions about your book. You need to be concise and very clear, using no jargon that will be off-putting to the general public. Again, consult the book modules on this site for guidance.

Your draft is due on Nov. 13 at 5 p.m. Submit your draft by pasting it into the appropriate place on your book module page.

Like with the question set, you will get reviewer notes with feedback to help you revise and strengthen your philosophical introduction.

(d) Scan the cover of your book and 4 images. More detailed instructions for doing this can be found on the Scanning Images page on this site. Once you the images saved as jpeg files, you can upload them directly onto your book module page. For placement ideas, consult with the other book modules. For instructions on uploading the images, see the "How to Add a Book Module" page. For detail instructions concerning formatting, etc. click on the Editing Help link, and then on "Images."

Images should be uploaded to the site and added to your book module page by 5 p.m. on Nov. 22.

(e) A revised version of the entire book module is due on Dec.11 at 5 p.m.

Make your changes directly to your book module page, and save them. You will get one last round of feedback before your final module is due.

(f) Your Book Module is Due All final changes to your book module in terms of both content and aesthetic should be complete by Dec. 20 at 5 p.m.

For all of this, Hina, Anarkalee and I are prepared to help you. DO NOT HESITATE to get assistance if you need it!!

Policies

Confidentiality

It is important to respect the privacy of the students with whom you are working. That means that you should not reveal their identities as individuals in any way that might cause them harm or embarrassment. Your transcripts should list their actual names, but any other references you make to them, such as in your term papers, must disguise their actual identities. Please abide by this rule. It is very important.

Late Policy:

Late work will be graded downwards, and the penalty will increase each day. In cases of emergency, of course, this penalty will be waived, but you must either notify me in advance, if possible, or else as soon as you can afterwards. In these cases, we will work out some reasonable arrangement so that you can get the work to me by a later date.

For Students with Disabilities:

Reasonable accommodations will be provided for students with disabilities. Talk to me at the beginning of the course to work out details of accommodations (which may include alternative grading arrangements). I am happy to help however I can.

Academic Honesty:

Remember that Mount Holyoke has an honor code. You are expected to hand in your own work for this course -- though you can consult with others, all written assignments must consist of your own words. Do not quote without citation; never represent another person’s ideas or words as your own. Failure to comply with this policy will result, at a minimum, in a failing grade for the course, and it may result in more serious consequences. If you have any questions about it, please come and talk to me.

NOTE 1: Whenever you use the words of another author, you must provide a reference for the quote. Failing to do so is plagiarism. Even if you do not intend to cheat or deceive, you must use your own words or else acknowledge that the words in your paper are borrowed from someone else!

NOTE 2: Laptops must have all internet connections turned off. They may only be used to take notes in class. You will be penalized if I find your laptop is connected. It goes without saying that you cannot use cellphones in any way during class.

Your final grade will be computed as follows:

  1. Lesson Plans 10%
  2. Transcripts 10%
  3. MLKCSE Sessions 15%
  4. Reflective Journal 20%
  5. Book Module 15%
  6. Class Participation 15%
  7. Attendance 5%
  8. Final Journal Entry 10%
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