Previously, I posted an article outlining some of the challenges I had been working through as I comprehensively redraft America 3.0, my course on the contemporary history of the United States. Today, I will share some thoughts on the “knowledge tree,” one of the organizational spines of the course and what the first 10 levels will look like for a student in the course.
The course asks students to acquire knowledge about recent American history in six areas: Social Change and Reaction, Culture, Politics, Economics/Finance/Labor/Industry, Foreign Policy and Technology. The first ten levels of the Social Change and Reaction tree look like this:
Some notes and definitions:
Gather – go to a source or source you trust and learn enough about the topic to DO something meaningful with it.
Derive – using the knowledge you gathered previously, determine an understanding that is defensible and makes sense to you of how that knowledge fits together.
DO – once you have gathered, derived or what have you, choose some method of sharing/communicating what you’ve learned from the Doing tree.
BOSS – a question/task of notably greater difficulty than the one’s before, which is lead into by the tasks before and which is particularly suitable for group exploration (and group-based DOs).
In my next post, I will respond to questions/thoughts posted by readers and/or share an example of how I am structuring the “Doing” tree.