Archive for the ‘Standard 1.A’ Category

Standard 1.A

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

“Synthesize, analyze, reflect upon, and write with clarity

and structure about ideas, information, and data

from a general and liberal education, and the relationships

between the various disciplines.”


As a student at a liberal arts college, most of my coursework has been writing-intensive. I have been able to approach many issues relevant to today from several angles because of my variety of classes through Albion’s liberal arts requirements. Throughout the past four years, I feel as though I have grown as a learner in my ability to deeply understand specific content areas, as well as synthesize information across disciplines.


In my English coursework, I have had to analyze literature in different contexts, such as social, historical, and cultural implications. This has helped me to be able to look deeper into literature, as well as thematic messages that authors may be conveying through their art. In my Political Science and Ford Institute coursework, I have connected historical and present-day events and theory to their implications to current events and policy issues. My liberal arts classes (such as “Earth Resources and Environment”) have lent different perspectives on current-day issues like climate change. Overall, I have learned about individual disciplines, as well as conceptual themes that connect content areas. My classes have also provided me with tools to be able to critically analyze and comprehend given information or ideas on many levels.


During my Maymester (“Boundary Crossing”) teaching experience in May of 2008, I found my liberal arts education so helpful when teaching a 7th grade social studies unit centered on the environment and civic engagement. During the 3-week research-based unit plan that I created and taught, students researched individual Olympic athletes from all over the world, as well as their respective countries, culture, and place within a global society concerned about climate change and pollution. Part way into my teaching experience, I realized that most of my students did not understand what climate change actually was. Because of my geology course at Albion College, I was able to scientifically explain the phenomenon of “global warming” in language that my students could understand.


During my student teaching experience, my students wrote persuasive essays as their main assessment to two of the novels we read in class, The Giver by Lois Lowry and Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. For this essay, students were required to compose four-paragraph essays that argued whether the main characters from each novel were the heroes because they were born with the natural qualities to become heroes, or because they were nurtured to become the heroes by the end of the novels. This assessment measured students’ abilities to make connections to deeper thematic issues within each novel, as well as connections between the two novels themselves. Throughout each of the novels and the persuasive essay, I feel as though my liberal arts education provided me the background to be able to guide students to dig deeper into the material, make connections, and then synthesize information in written form.




– Nature vs. Nurture persuasive paper grading rubric: