learning goals

1) Interdisciplinary Problem Solving: A signature of the CCT program is a multi- and inter-disciplinary approach to studying the intersection of Communication, Culture and Technology. To that end, students will engage some key problems and bring explicit disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives to those problems throughout the course.

a. I’d like to dig into the problem of communicating across boundaries of technological and cultural significance. These could include language and conditions of power like race, gender and class, of course, but they could also include some more subtle distinctions, like political affiliation, artistic and communicative medium, or even the singular, material body. By thinking this problem through from several different angles, I hope to see facets I would never otherwise have recognized.

2) Conversations across the various clusters of CCT are an important function of this course, helping students to grow in appreciation for the multidisciplinary nature of the program. For this reason, students will consider course material from both social science and humanities perspectives and participate in heterogeneous discussion groups.

a. Though my background is reasonably strong in humanities’ jargon, I am often at a loss when dealing with the technicalities of “harder”, more numbers-based science. I hope that exposure to, and working together with, those of my classmates who think in this manner will help me attack the materials much more concretely.

3) A central difficulty for many students in the transition to graduate school is understanding the ways in which graduate programs are structured around the independence of the student and his or her own interests. For this reason, many students have trouble taking ownership of their program and understanding graduate school’s need for self-direction. Students’ engagement with multiple versions of the statement of purpose, the portfolios, and the reflective writing provide opportunities for students to articulate for themselves how CCT will fit into their educational and other career goals.

a. A professor of mine once remarked that at earlier levels of formal education, the classroom activity is almost all “discipline” and hardly any “control”, from the view of the teacher, at least, but that by the time one sits down in a graduate class, the conditions are neatly reversed. I know coming to terms with my indecision may take a while, but I am determined to narrow down and dig in deeply to one or two problems while I’m here. I do take some comfort in the syllabus laid out for this class, since it seems to account for that transition time from an undergraduate mentality to a more independent and purposeful one. I hope to gain the tools to define further questions and problems for research and study in Ph.D. programs.

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