Submissions should consist of a statement or syllabus that outlines and illustrates how the course fits a Way in spirit and in practice. The Way should be a major focus of the course, not a byproduct.
In general, it is helpful for the syllabus or supporting documentation to:
AII courses provide a significant experience in the use of interpretive or philosophical modes of inquiry to explore and understand cultural objects (e.g., art, literature, theatrical works, etc.) or the means of their apprehension (e.g., the mind, beliefs, etc.) as appropriate. By “significant experience,” we mean one that is more than incidental—an experience sufficient for students to begin to understand both the method and meaning of such inquiry, and the role it plays in human culture.
AII is sometimes confused with CE. AII is the "study of" (aesthetic and interpretive inquiry), or learning through reflection, of the arts and culture. CE is the learning through the "practice of" creative expression (doing) such as dance, art, acting, writing, designing, etc. Also, it is sometimes confused with SI, which sometimes deals with the study of culture as a social phenomenon, whereas AII specifically works with artifacts, humanistic texts, objects, media and their particular aesthetic interpretation.
AQR courses complement FR courses, providing a focused experience in inferential and inductive reasoning. Students actively apply these methods of reasoning through direct manipulation of data, models, software, or other quantitative tools.
Courses that study decision-making under uncertainty, best practices in quantitative sciences, or explain that correlation is not causation are not appropriate unless the students themselves are analyzing many data sets themselves (for example, using software). Courses that discuss or interpret the results of such analyses but without active involvement in the performance of the analysis itself are not suitable.
Evidence that a substantial part of the work assigned requires students to use quantitative tools (e.g., software). Several assignments should focus on statistical and numerical computations.
Through a combination of instruction and mentoring, CE courses offer students significant opportunities to study the creative process and at the same time acquire the requisite skills to "practice" creative expression themselves.
Simply asking students to undertake a creative presentation or project at the course's end does not meet the CE criteria. CE courses require students to engage with a specific creative medium repeatedly and progressively throughout the quarter while providing active mentorship by an individual who is well-versed in that practice. CE can sometimes be confused with AII and vice-versa, although the two can overlap. CE focuses primarily on the kinds of practical creative skills that are acquired through the actual "doing" of creative expression (e.g., dance, art, acting, writing, designing, musical performance, etc.). AII focuses on the critical "study of" creative works and humanistic texts with the aim of learning about and engaging in the critical interpretation of them.
Examples of how progress is monitored and active mentorship is provided.
ED courses must have, as a central focus, a rigorous analysis of diversity as a constituent element across social and cultural domains. ED courses show how diversity is produced, understood, and enacted in the context of power relationships. Courses for which diversity in this regard is an ancillary theme, or where the student's experience of diversity is anecdotal, are not sufficient.
Diversity should be understood as attached to issues of power and identity--it is a socially, culturally, and often politically differentiating force. It is not simply "latent" difference, or variety. Courses that deal with non-western cultures do not qualify as ED courses unless they treat diversity within those cultures.
Brief description of how assignments approach diversity as an organizing principle.
ER courses spend a majority of course time understanding ethical theories or frameworks and, in some cases, applying such frameworks to particular policy domains or cases. Whatever the approach, ER courses must present one or more frameworks within which students can analyze ethical questions or dilemmas.
Addressing an issue or topic that has a value component or is ethically important is not sufficient to be an ER course. The majority of the course must be devoted to meeting the key essential feature of ER, namely, enabling students to reason about ethical problems and issues. Courses that include ethics as a part, but not the main focus, do not meet the ER requirement. Analysis of cases, or discussion of ethical questions in the absence of explicit presentation of one or more frameworks, is not sufficient for ER.
Explain how the assignments teach students how to understand or apply ethical frameworks.
FR courses spend a majority of course time on instruction in rigorous logical and deductive reasoning. Active and frequent use of deductive reasoning by students is expected, typically involving symbolic manipulations.
Courses which survey work related to formal reasoning, but not actually requiring students to work in that direction, are not appropriate. FR courses are not historical overviews of scientific or mathematical topics. Courses which primarily focus on the application of mathematical tools to large complex problems, via techniques such as modeling, statistical analysis, or probabilistic thinking, will be more appropriate for AQR.
manipulate a system of symbols logically and consistently so as to derive or prove new results of particular interest or utility
study complex processes or systems using theoretical models to predict their outcomes
solve equations or optimization problems through translation to a standardized formalism
Demonstrate the rigor of formal reasoning instruction, and the student’s active use of deductive and logical thinking, by describing the course topics and homework assignments.
SI courses focus on probing questions that are of a social nature (i.e. pertaining to social arrangements, human behavior and forms of social, political and economic organization). SI encompasses a broad range of disciplinary and methodological approaches; in each case students must use engage with social practices, social processes and/or their history.
Courses which contain limited exploration of social, political, or historical themes will not reach the threshold of intensive inquiry stipulated by SI. Some courses explore social themes, but focus chiefly on the analysis of aesthetic objects or on detailed interpretation of texts,and may be more appropriate for AII.
Sufficient information on assignments and projects to demonstrate intensive, sustained SI analysis.
SMA courses focus on the physical world, how we understand it, and how we gain that understanding. They encompass a wide range of studies and scientific approaches and components of the scientific method. The overall goal is to for students to learn how to formulate hypotheses, design experiments to test hypotheses, and understand when evidence can verify or dismiss hypotheses.
While many SMA courses consider the social context, historical development, and/or ethical implications of science, a focus on the actual use of scientific methods or analyses is essential, as well as engagement of natural science principles. SMA is sometimes confused with SI. For SMA, the methods and analyses focus on energy, or on matter (e.g., chemicals, rocks, neurons, genes, atoms). SI is the appropriate Way for social sciences focusing on social interactions and human behavior.
apply conceptual thinking to solve certain problems, bypassing calculations or rote learning and relying on the fundamental meaning behind laws of nature
assess and synthesize scientific evidence, concepts, theories, and experimental data relating to the natural or physical world
extend students' knowledge of the natural or physical world beyond that obtained from secondary education
refine their powers of scientific observation, the essential process by which data is gained for subsequent analysis
understand and utilize the scientific method in formulating hypotheses and designing experiments to test hypotheses
understand the distinction between scientific evidence and theory, and the role of each in scientific inquiry
utilize inductive and deductive reasoning, and understand the role of each in scientific inquiry