March 20th, 2009 by Nicole Battista

An understanding and appreciation of general and liberal arts including English, literature, humanities, social sciences, mathematics, natural or physical sciences, and the arts, and the ability to:

a. 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

Attending a liberal arts college has allowed me to easily meet this standard. I have taken a wide variety of classes here at Albion to meet our different mode and category requirements for graduation. The class that I think helped me to meet this standard the most was my English class called “Nature of Ideas.” In this class, we focused on writing but the topics were interdisciplinary. Many of my writings were centered on Public Policy and environmental issues.

The attached artifact #1 is a paper I wrote for this class.

b. Understand and appreciate free inquiry in English, literature, humanities, social sciences, mathematics, natural or physical sciences, and the arts;

Like I have stated in sub-standard “a,” my classes at Albion have included: multiple English, literature, humanities, and social science courses. I have also taken a math, science and art class. My ideas from these classes are brought into my classroom, particularly the idea of free inquiry. I strive to maintain a comfortable classroom environment that welcomes questions and comments. I encourage students to ask “why.” Often, I incorporate a “Question and Answer” type part of my class in which students express this free inquiry. In writing assignments students are also encouraged to express this.

c. Understand global and international perspectives of the disciplines;

Studying abroad at the Universidad Juan Carlos III and taking classes at the university with native speakers, I was able to truly understand European ideas of education.

The attached artifact #2 is my university transcript from Spain. Please keep in mind that the grading system is much different (they use a 1-10 system). Therefore, my grades are actually much higher.

d. Understand the tenets of a free, democratic, and pluralistic society;

Being a Political Science minor, I have taken various classes focused on the ideas of government and society. Throughout classroom discussion and debates among my colleagues, I have been able to truly understand and implement these tenets into my lesson plans and attitude in my classroom. One class that was particularly helpful was my Women in Politics class in which we discussed gender equality issues in modern society.

e. Understand and respect varying points of view and the influence of one’s own and others’ ethics and values;

I have a strong interest in politics and different political perspectives. Throughout my time at Albion, I made efforts to attend both College Republican and College Democrat meetings. This allowed me to understand varying points of view so that I could learn about other people’s political behavior.

f. Understand and respect the role, rights, and value of the individual in a free democratic society;

My Political Science class entitled: Human Rights in the Modern World truly allowed me to meet this standard. Through reading, watching documentaries and discussion, I came to view human rights on a more global scale and it motivated me to be an advocate for the protection of human rights for all individuals.

Artifact #3 is the syllabus from this class.

g. Understand technology and its use for gathering, processing, evaluating, analyzing, and communicating ideas and information;

In my Political Science research in my Theory of Political Thought class and my gathering of information for my Spanish class while writing a research assignment on the civil wars in El Salvador, I learned how to use library databases and online peer-reviewed articles to get information.

My artifact #4 is an essay I wrote in Spanish that proves how I met this standard. See bibliography.

h. Understand the similarities and differences within our culture that support the importance of common good and responsible citizenship within our American society;

I took a Spanish class entitled: Hispanic Literature and Culture in the U.S. This class allowed me to see American society through a different perspective by focusing on the wide array of Hispanic minorities that live among us but sometimes go unnoticed.

My artifact #5 is a powerpoint I presented on the Hispanic gangs that occupy many large U.S. cities.

i. Understand the constitutions and histories of the United States and Michigan;

My Political Science 101 class covered in depth information about the constitutions and histories of both Michigan and the United States.

j. Understand and respect individual differences, including the differences identified within the State Board of Education (SBE) Universal Education Vision and Principles; and

During one of my field placements, I was working in a Special Needs class at Albion High School. This class consisted of adolescents with a wide range of cognitive and physical disabilities.

k. Demonstrate the abilities and skills necessary for effective communication in speech, writing, and multimedia using content, form, voice, and style appropriate to the audience and purpose (e.g., to reflect, persuade, inform, analyze, entertain, inspire).

I have been able to demonstrate all of these abilities by working with the wide range of students in my field placements and volunteer work. I have worked with 2nd graders and 12th graders (and everything in between). My work in Foreign Languages in Elementary Schools (FLES) really allowed me to demonstrate these skills.

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