200-Level Critical Frameworks Courses
The Critical Frameworks “modules” are experimental courses that put the faculty resources of a world-class research university at the disposal of undergraduate students interested in the multi-disciplinary terrain of Health, Inequality, and Sustainability. In Fall 2016 and Fall 2017 we are piloting three of these innovative modules: GCL 200/201: Frameworks for Inequality & Cultural Understanding, GCL 210: Frameworks for Sustainability, Energy, and the Environment, and GCL 220: Frameworks for Building Healthy Communities.
The “module” system is a style of collaborative teaching familiar to the British academy but the idea for a campus-wide module for each Grand Challenge pathway came out of the Spring 2014 working group on Education for Society’s Grand Challenges. Each pathway gathers leading faculty members from across the campus, each renowned for his or her research on the grand challenge in question. These faculty experts have collaborated in constructing the course syllabus, with each participating professor contributing 2 lectures and assignments (such as readings, viewings, or projects,) which all students in the module will complete. Each professor will also lead a weekly seminar with his or her own group of up to 25 students. The course will meet twice each week. The first of these meetings will take place in a plenary setting in which all enrolled students and participating professors hear the lecturer of the week (also open to the campus at large). Later in the week, all professors will meet individually with their seminars to discuss the scheduled lecture and assignments.
Among the many benefits of this new, collaborative teaching style, the Critical Frameworks coursesturn professors back into learners as they join their undergraduate students in discussing lectures and assignments designed by faculty in other disciplines, departments, and colleges. Students and professors share the opportunity to study complicated topics such as Inequality, Health and Sustainability from multiple disciplinary and methodological standpoints. The modules thus provide a unique means of “critically framing” grand-scale challenges that transcend the expertise of any single discipline.
For a list of the current GCL 200-level offerings, click here.
For a list of the current semester’s offerings on Course Explorer, click here.
To see GCL in the University of Illinois Catalog, click here.