Making Education Value-Added: Using a Humanity Model to Move Beyond Knowledge

Dr. Randall E. Osborne,
Paul Kriese
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It often seems that American education is designed to be value-free. As such, it is challenging to teach process courses, such as a course on hatred, because the content model does not apply. To move away from the content model in an interdisciplinary course on the Politics and Psychology of Hatred, we utilized a humanity model. This four-step model requires students to move from: (1) recitation = state known facts or opinions to, (2) exploration = state a fact or opinion and analyze its roots to, (3) understand = an awareness of other viewpoints and having an active dialogue over differences and, (4) appreciation = to be fully aware of differences and the importance of and nature of those differences. For our purposes, "understanding" did not mean "accept". It meant to realize the circumstances and motivations that lead to difference and causes the individual to be different in ways that are meaningful. By structuring all assignments using this model, we believe we were able to avoid the pitfall of focusing on content at the expense of process. By using this model, we feel we were able to utilize content as part of the process of learning and not as an end in itself. We believe this allows us to use knowledge courses to promote thinking by students and faculty alike that makes for a more humane society. Indeed, we believe it modelled the conference theme of "The Humanities on a Knowledge Society". Sample assignments, and sample student responses utilizing this model will be discussed as part of this presentation.

Keywords: diversity, tolerance, knowledge, content, value-added learning
Stream: Philosophy, Ethics, Consciousness, Political Science, Politics, Ethnicity, Difference, Identity
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Making Education Value-Added: Using a Humanity Model to Move Beyond Knowledge

Dr. Randall E. Osborne

Associate Professor and Department Chair, Psychology Department College of Liberal Arts, Texas State University-San Marcos

Dr Randall E. Osborne is Chair of the Psychology Department at Texas State University-San Marcos. Dr Osborne received his Ph.D. in Social Psychology from The University of Texas at Austin in 1990. He successfully defended his dissertation in the Fall of 1989 while serving as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Luther College in Decorah Iowa. After serving two years as an Assistant Professor at Phillips University, Dr Osborne joined the faculty at Indiana University East in 1992 and was tenured and promoted to Associate Professor in 1997. Randall's background is in Social Psychology but his teaching interests range from introductory psychology to psychology in the courtroom. For almost three years, Dr Osborne served as chair of the Behavioral and Social Science Division at Indiana University East before accepting the position at Texas State in Fall 2001. His colleagues describe him as endlessly enthusiastic. He himself lives by the motto, "take your job seriously and yourself lightly". Dr Osborne has published numerous articles in scholarly journals, teaching journals, and applied journals. In addition, his more than one dozen books include textbooks, resource manuals for faculty, a humor book, and two fantasy adventure novels. Randall is currently serving as President of the National Council of Teachers of Undergraduate Psychology.

Paul Kriese

Associate Professor, Political Science Behavioral and Social Science Division, Indiana University-East

Ref: H05P0447