Introduction to Human Ecology: What to Expect
This class is quite likely very different than other classes you
may have taken. Given this, it's important to know what to expect, so
you know what you're getting in to.
- I haven't taught this class before, so I'm not certain exactly how
it will go. I am certain that I'm very excited to teach it and that I
have a lot of ideas that I want to try out. I'm very confident it
will go well, but I can't predict exactly how.
- Although I'm unsure of a few of the particular steps, I do have a
definite plan for this class. There will be times when things may
seem a little disconnected. You may find yourself asking, "what does A
have to do with B", and by all means give voice to these questions. I
do think there's a "big picture" or a semi-coherent whole to the
different things I want to do, but it might not always be apparent
until we're closer to the end of the ten weeks.
- More than most classes, the success of this course, for you and
your classmates, depends on you. This class will only be effective if
you put time and thought into it, participate actively, and if we all
work together to make connections and answer questions.
- This class is a beginning, not an end. I hope that you'll leave
the class with more questions than you entered. I hope this class
helps to transform the nature of the questions you ask, rather than
providing all the answers.
- From time to time we'll do some role playing exercises and other
group activities. Sometimes the reason for doing them won't be clear
until the activities is over. I will never set you up for failure or
ridicule or anything like that. And you can always opt out at any
- In the final two-thirds of this class there will be many, many
handouts. You may wish to buy a binder, or figure out some other way
to keep everything organized.
- We'll be doing a lot of different things in this class. Some of
them you'll like more than others.
- At times, this class will be a lot of work. It's thus important
that you start readings and assignments early.
- If you're having trouble or are confused about something, it's
very important that you seek help sooner rather than later. There are
many people around who can offer help. However, we can't offer
assistance if we don't know who needs it when. You need to take
responsibility to seek help if you need it. On a related note ...
- I do not expect all of the homework assignments to be easy; I don't
expect you to be able to sit down and do them easily the first time.
Don't let yourself get frustrated -- I strongly suggest working with
others and seeking help if you need it.
- The exact syllabus for this class is quite flexible; feedback is
encouraged, and will help make the class better.
[Introduction to Human Ecology]
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