Gregg’s Introduction

I joined the ICbG last year and found the community very helpful in designing a GC1Y 1000 Critical Thinking section called Public Deliberation. I came to GC over 7 years ago and served for several years as the Coverdell Institute Director before assuming my current position as an instructor in Government and Sociology. I spent 30+ years in community organizing and church leadership as a Lutheran minister before coming to GC. Much of my experience is related to community poverty relief work, including creating a preschool for children of homeless families which is now in its fifteenth year of serving the greater Trenton area. I spent 17 years in Princeton Jct., NJ where we significantly expanded the people, programs, and physical facilities of a faith community of over 800 people. As an instructor with “adjunct” status, I appreciate the opportunity to learn from faculty members and colleagues.

This year I hope to use the workshops to develop a GC2Y global perspectives course by revising a Religion and Politics special topics course that I have taught for several years. The course will have a civic component where the class prepares for, experiences, and reflects on a field trip to a Georgia NGO dedicated to global development. The first submission was rejected and turned out to be a good learning-from-failure experience. I took the committee’s constructive criticisms and with the help of Caralyn, revised and re-submitted the proposal.

I will use the Chalk Talk exercise to debrief a deliberation on the national debt that the class will conduct this week (with IP Stas as a guest deliberator). I also appreciate the resource, planning the course with the end in mind as it will help me imagine a macro learning outcome that hopefully emerges from several micro outcomes relative to Bloom’s taxonomy. As for the TPI profile, I am not surprised that I scored virtually the same score in the apprenticeship, nurturing, and social reform categories. I tend to teach with an interest in creating a learning community and have a bias toward civic engagement and public scholarship where students apply classroom learning in community contexts.


About greggkaufman

I am a retired ELCA pastor and college professor. I am a Kettering Foundation research associate with an interest in deliberative democracy and the relationship of religion and civic life in America.
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3 Responses to Gregg’s Introduction

  1. Doug R. Oetter says:

    We submitted a GC2Y global perspectives course in geography, Gregg, and it came back with what looked like major revisions, but Amy Sumpter was able to clean things up pretty quickly and respond to what they told us was missing. I’m still confused about what the Core Committee expects, and more than that, I’m extremely concerned about how we expect to provide service learning opportunities that are engaging, educational, manageable, and practicable, to what, 1000 students per semester??!!?? I hope we can have a talk about WHO exactly is supposed to help faculty ‘engage’ our students ‘learning beyond the classroom.’

  2. I don’t think that the fourth hour has to be service learning. When we discussed this in the committee that developed the proposal, we envisioned these courses to be engaging through many potential mechanisms, which could include deep, meaningful analysis of primary sources (not necessarily out of the classroom). I think many will want to do service learning, however, and I agree that the current support isn’t likely going to be able to handle the demand. Yesterday in the CETL open forum with Linda Noble there was a lot of discussion about reinvisioning CETL as a place to bring together disparate areas such as Service Learning, Leadership programs and other “beyond the classroom” areas. If you haven’t already weighed in on this by completing the CETL survey – please consider using this survey to express your concerns.


    • Gregg says:

      I have the same concern. I just read Julia’s reply and was pleased with the latitude behind the fourth hour. What I hope to do is plan a field trip within Georgia to a nongovernmental agency and have the students do some significant pre-trip research and frame good questions, participate in the field trip workshop , and write a substantive reflection. The other two course I teach have service learning/community engagement componenets. This semester the two classes of 24 and 19 students will have “contact time” with 130-200+ local citizens. I will not even try to replicate that kind of service learning in a third course. I would rather experiment with something different.

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