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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Kathleen D. Noble
BST 424
Bothell Campus

Consciousness and the Natural World

Analyzes increasingly complex models of consciousness in the natural world and evaluates their ethical implications. Aims to help understand the power of scientific paradigms and their influence on human understanding and of interaction with other species. Prerequisite: BST 322. Offered: Sp.

Class description

We face unprecedented challenges on our planet that require radically new ways of thinking about human interaction with the natural world. This course continues the conversation about consciousness begun in BST 221 and BST 322 with a focus on plant and animal communities. We explore new models of consciousness proposed by researchers in the fields of biology, ethnobotany, and integral psychology and their ethical implications. These models provide a platform from which students will examine their own beliefs about the depth, breadth, and possibilities of consciousness in the natural world.

Student learning goals

1. Consider emerging models of consciousness in the natural world and evaluate their ethical implications.

2. Understand the power of scientific paradigms and their influence on human interaction with other species.

3. Demonstrate the ability to distill, discuss, and evaluate the principal ideas presented in textual material

4.Demonstrate the ability to reflect on, write about, and discuss your own ideas and insights about these issues throughout the course.

General method of instruction

Discussion, mini-lectures.

Recommended preparation

BST 321 and BST 322. Commitment to attending and participating in every class.

Class assignments and grading

1. Written outline and analysis of each reading (40%): Double-spaced, 12 point font. Hard copies only: 2 pages per set of readings. What are the authorís main points? Authorís So What? Your so what? Each synopsis is due at the beginning of the appropriate class and will form the basis of class discussion. Students must be present in class to submit and receive credit for each.

2. Final Reflection Essay (30%): 5 pages, double-spaced, 12 point font. This essay is your reflection on what you learned during the course. Your task is to think and write about the material we read or watched and discussed throughout the quarter. I want to know what you think about these ideas and issues and how you and your ideas have grown over the course of the course.

3. Presentation of final essays: (10%): Student will present and discuss their final essays during the last 2 days of class. 4. Participation (20%): Students will be evaluated by the professor during class discussion based on their level of participation, preparation to raise questions based on the readings, respect shown for other participants, and use of notes and texts to support their questions and discussion contributions. Students must be present in class to earn credit for participation.

Every written assignment will receive a variation of a Check. I will transform these to grades at the end of the course.

Check ++: You're a rock star and you taught me something. Thank you.

Check +: Excellent; no improvement needed; you could teach this session.

Check (+): Very good; you've almost reached the heights of excellence; just a little tweaking needed

Check: Acceptable, but with a little work this could be awesome

Check (-): Needs more work but you're on the right path Check -: Not failing because you tried but needs a lot more work. If you read my comments and take them seriously and/or if you talk with me you will improve immensely.

Check -- : You're not serious, are you?


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Kathleen D. Noble
Date: 02/25/2014