Course Number: WMS 150
Course Title: Introduction to Women's Studies
Check the general education core area for this course:*
Department(s) in which course will be taught: Women's Studies Program
Faculty member(s) responsible for course: Stephen D. Grubman-Black; Donna Hughes
Office: 314 Roosevelt Hall
Office Phone: 874-7066
Will non-tenure track faculty teach this course?
_X_ Yes ___ No
If yes, approximately what percentage of sections will be taught by non tenure-track faculty?
The integrated skills** that this course will focus on are:
Course description (as would be found in catalog):
WMS 150 Introduction to Women's Studies (3)
Images of women across cultures, the theories and processes of socialization, historical perspectives, and implications for social change.
Faculty member's signature: ____________________________________________
Chairperson's signature: _______________________________________________
Dean's signature: ______________________________________________________
The purpose of this application is to assure that the proposed course meets explicit goals established for the general education program. These are:
This part consists of six questions designed to highlight fundamental aspects of the general education program. Only answer question 5 if it is relevant to your course.
The primary learning objective(s) of WMS 150:
• the ability to think critically in order to solve problems and question the nature and sources of authority
WMS 150 asks students to examine critically many of the assumptions about the lives of women and girls. These include but are not limited to, assumptions about what it means to be gendered or raced; how socioeconomic class functions in society; sexuality. Students are required to judge the merits of arguments presented regarding the lives and status of women.
• the ability to use the methods and materials characteristic of each knowledge area with an understanding of the interrelationship among and the interconnectedness of the core areas
WMS 150 provides students with the opportunity to explore aspects of human behavior through the examination of socio-cultural development of gender and sexual relationships through feminist theoretical models.
• a commitment to intellectual curiosity and lifelong learning
WMS 150 allows women and men to reflect upon their personal experiences as they interact with course materials. Students are expected to make explicit links between their lives and course readings. Students are challenged to make sense of their lives in connection with the questions that are being raised in readings and class discussions. Students are taught to offer informed opinions. They are expected to demonstrate their ability to engage in constructive critical dialog; they learn how to support their observations with evidence from the text and how to affirm, challenge, and even disagree with each other, and with instructors, in a way that promotes learning for all students. The desired classroom environment is both mutually respectful and sharply analytic.
• an openness to new ideas with the social skills necessary for both teamwork and leadership
Feminist perspectives are often new approaches to social issues and problems. We use rhetorical skills in dyads, small group and large group discussions. Students are provided with role-models, for example, from videotapes, guest speakers and readings.
• the ability to think independently and be self-directed; to make informed choices and take initiative
Students work independently, in small groups, and in whole group discussion. They are expected to contribute to discussions in all formats and to develop appropriate listening skills. The instructor models reflective listening skills. Students are encouraged to use course assignments to explore areas of specific interest to them, which allows for both student autonomy and student responsibility in terms of choices about their own educational processes and experiences.
• advance the understanding of human behavior and/or human development
This course helps students develop and refine their abilities to note the social and cultural forces at work in their lives and the lives of others-- including those who are similar to them and those who are different.
• apply social science theoretical perspectives and/or social science concepts to contemporary societal issues in order to expand the knowledge base in the social sciences
Students in WMS 150 learn how the lives of girls and women are influenced by social, political, and economic factors. Feminist perspectives in the social sciences are examined and evaluated by the students.
• provide assignments or opportunities which involve the interpretation of data and/or the evaluation of evidence
Students are referred to various web sites and articles which offer alternative and additional descriptions and explanations of conditions confronting and challenging to the lives of girls and women. See Syllabus for specific assignments.
Read complex texts: Students are expected to read materials which are often challenging in terms of vocabulary and in terms of conceptual understanding and mastery. "Reading" is a skill students are expected to apply to both print and visual texts, to essays and articles as well as cultural products such as advertisements, films, television and other media.
Write effectively: Students are expected to write frequently throughout the semester. Assignments include but are not limited to, responses to discussion questions generated by the instructor, short reaction papers, personal essays and more formal/traditional research papers. All writing is expected to meet college-level standards; students are given the opportunity to revise working drafts, based on instructor feedback. Students are encouraged to use the services of the Writing Center
Students are given a handout that includes concrete requirements and criteria for grading. Students must refer to a Checklist for Writing before submitting written work. Self-assessment is included on each submission. Students are expected to revise work in order to earn credit for assignment.
Examine human differences: The Introduction to women's studies course by its very nature centers on examining human differences. These differences are not limited to gender, but include race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, (dis)ability, (trans)national identification and cultural differences on a global scale. The work of the course goes beyond pointing out the existence of difference, but asks students to consider how notions of difference are culturally constructed, and with what results.
Only if an individual continuing faculty member so chooses.
The instructor developing this proposal believes that this course has been successfully taught in large sections. Students are provided with ample opportunity to work in small groups. (See above)
The Director of the Women's Studies Program will serve as coordinator, or will appoint a coordinator, and the coordinator will provide each instructor with this document and sample syllabus as a guide for individual instructors. The coordinator will meet regularly with instructors to assure that the goals for the course and the opportunities for practicing the skills are maintained.
Please provide documentation of the means by which your course attempts to reach the goals of the general education program courses described above. Please attach a syllabus(mandatory) and all relevant course materials (e.g., exams, homework and laboratory assignments, classroom exercises) that will demonstrate how your course does this. In addition, please feel free to include any explanation(s) necessary showing how the course materials are/inked to both the goals of general education program and specifically to the integrated skills.