Sociology | Topics in Social Psychology: Knowledge and Community
S431 | 16488 | Eder

S431- Topics in Social Psychology: Knowledge and Community	
This course is designed to consider a broader approach to social
science knowledge which includes caring for and knowing one’s
community.  We will begin by looking at Western culture’s current
approach to learning.  Alternative approaches from ecological models
to “care ethics” will be introduced. We will then examine models of
learning from non-Western cultures including Hispanic, Native
American, and African cultures.  This will be followed by a focus on
the role of storytelling as a means of teaching ethical and social
beliefs, emphasizing the role of oral practices. This section will
end by considering a new model for classroom discourse.

The second half of the course will begin with a focus on community
and knowledge, showing the importance of local knowledge.  After
looking at general readings on this topic we will read two articles
based on Bloomington’s past and present. Also during this section of
the class, students will give reports based on fieldtrips in the
Bloomington area.
This will be followed by an examination of sustainability and
community, again looking at general readings as well as one reading
focused on Bloomington. The final topic of the class is knowledge on
campus. We will critique current models of college teaching and then
look at alternative models. We will end by examining how sociology
in particular could be used to address community issues.

We will be using the city of Bloomington as a site for learning,
service, and research throughout this course.  Small teams of 3-4
will do a field trip to one of various community organizations or
events, reporting back to the class with each student writing a 2-3
page paper. All students will also do a service learning project
which will take 2-3 hours per week. This projects involves
organizing an after-school program based on storytelling. Students
will keep a journal, give a class presentation, and write a final
paper on these projects.  Students are also expected to attend all
class sessions and do all reading prior to the class discussion of
them.  There will be two essay exams covering the readings,
discussions, and guest speakers. Review questions will be
distributed a week before the exams which will be used to make up
the actual exams.

The course grade is based on:
20% Midterm exam
15% Field trip paper
40% Service learning journal, presentation, and paper
25% Final Exam
Students who miss more than two excused classes will have their
grade lowered.

Required Readings:
Ecological Literacy  by David Orr
Readings on Oncourse