This course will focus on four lenses, each with its own way of exploring the world based upon different assumptions and approaches. When we examine a topic of diversity through different lenses, it may alter the way we look at the topic. The four general education interdisciplinary lenses are history, humanities, natural and applied sciences, and social science.
- History is the study of the past and its connection to the present. It encompasses content, memories, and events situated in time.
- Humanities is the study of cultures’ creative expression and contemplates metaphor, experience, and meaning.
- Natural and applied sciences study the material world grounded in the scientific method.
- Social sciences study human relationships and social structures grounded in demographic and statistic measurements.
When we look at an event in our lives, we often jump between different frameworks to make sense of it. For instance, if we attend a music concert we might move from an artistic lens (How did they create the musical score?) to a technical lens (How does all the lighting work?) to a financial lens (How much money do the performers earn?). Similarly, looking through the general education interdisciplinary lenses can help us see things from other perspectives by giving us a conscious way to analyze them, helping to broaden our perspective.
For the project in this course, you will examine a topic in diversity through one of the four general education interdisciplinary lenses. This assignment prepares you to choose that topic and lens by applying all four lenses. Before completing this activity, review the Project Guidelines and Rubric and IDS 400 Library Guide to know exactly what you will be working on. You may still change your choice of topic and lens until the next module.
For this activity, you will write a short paper on a diversity topic of your choice. Review the module resources and visit the IDS 400 Library Guide for guidance on how to select a topic. Choose a topic in diversity that you are interested in. It could be a topic you have personally experienced or a topic that you are interested in knowing more about. Apply each lens to your topic by using its language and perspectives.
You are not required to answer each question below the rubric criteria but may use them to better understand the criteria and guide your thinking and writing.
Specifically, you must address the following rubric criteria:
- Describe your existing knowledge about your topic in diversity.
- You might describe your personal experience with the topic, what you learned in school, or what your assumptions are about the topic. Ask, what do I know (or think I know)?
- Apply the history lens to your topic.
- Using the language of history as it is defined in your resources, and as it is used in history-focused journals, how would you write about your topic? What events and dates have occurred that are important to your topic? Has the significance of the topic diminished or shifted with time? Who are the authors of the historical record(s) related to your topic?
- Apply the humanities lens to your topic.
- Using the language of the humanities as it is defined in your resources, and as it is used in humanities-focused journals, how would you write about your topic? What meaning does your topic have within cultures? How do people express themselves with regards to your topic? What are people’s lived experiences with your topic?
- Apply the natural and applied sciences lens to your topic.
- Using the language of the natural and applied sciences as it is defined in your resources, and as it is used in natural and applied sciences–focused journals, how would you write about your topic? How might the scientific method be used to examine some aspect of your topic? How might your topic relate to the physical or material world? Are there any challenges to viewing your topic objectively?
- Apply the social science lens to your topic.
- Using the language of the social sciences as it is defined in your resources, and as it is used in social science–focused journals, how would you write about your topic? Who is affected by your topic? How might your topic affect interpersonal relationships? What social structures and systems relate to your topic?
What to Submit
Submit your short paper as a 1- to 2-page Microsoft Word document with double spacing, 12-point Times New Roman font, and one-inch margins. Sources should be cited according to APA style. Consult the Shapiro Library APA Style Guide for more information on citations.
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