The Teaching and Learning Team teaches undergraduate students to critically engage with sources of knowledge. Through our instruction, our students come to view knowledge production as a process that must be analyzed in its social, political, economic, and historical context. Students will recognize that knowledge is arrived at by confronting and negotiating these different perspectives. At the same time, students will develop capacities for critical engagement that transcends specific disciplinary contexts and enables students to thrive as global citizens.
To better participate in scholarly and civic conversations, students must learn to integrate new knowledge acquired from various types of sources and effectively compare and reconcile their different perspectives. They must be able to evaluate each source by assessing how the creator, purpose, and evidence provided contribute to or detract from its relevance. Thus, we encourage students to be curious, raise objections, ask questions, and identify limitations in the information they encounter. They must be open-minded and willing to consider relevant facts, alternative opinions, and views of others which call in to question their own assumptions.
The Teaching and Learning Team helps students appreciate that the information sources they encounter are partial perspectives situated in specific social, historical, and institutional contexts which often place restrictions on intellectual inquiry. We encourage students to recognize that some perspectives may be de-emphasized, marginalized, or silenced, while others are privileged. Students are best positioned to productively participate in the creation of knowledge when they analyze the interests that motivate differing perspectives and shape discourse are best positioned to productively participate in the creation of knowledge.
Training students to act as responsible global citizens is the central objective of a university education. Therefore, our teaching focuses on developing critical thinking skills which encourage recognition of individual and collective rights, cultural sensitivity, and appreciation that actions have wide ranging consequences. In order to cultivate successful global citizens, we encourage students to be cognizant that lifelong learning and a willingness to contribute are crucial to flourishing in this diverse and interconnected world.
The Teaching and Learning Team aligns with the instructional goals of various campus initiatives as institutionalized in the Students as Scholars Master Rubric and the Development of Critical Thinking Rubric. Guided by our teaching philosophy and the aforementioned documents, we work with University partners and stakeholders to implement this series of student learning outcomes. Students will gain the following transferable, lifelong learning abilities:
- Students navigate the complex information landscape in order to locate information.
- Students evaluate a knowledge source to determine its suitability for their information need.
- Students identify multiple knowledge sources in order to compare, contrast, and synthesize diverse perspectives.
- Students seek out evidence to inform challenging decisions while developing an open-minded approach to inquiry.
- Students will recognize how political, social, economic, and professional contexts shape knowledge sources in order to engage in scholarly conversation within and across disciplines.
- Students will recognize that the Library’s value exceeds traditional information sources in order to transfer their knowledge to experiences beyond the classroom.