An Undergraduate Taught Course on Consciousness and Mind
Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education
Consciousness remains a mystery despite centuries of inquiry, but neuroscience research is beginning to offer insights into the conscious brain. Although the influence of neuroscience in decoding consciousness is growing, it is distinctly absent from collegiate education. Many psychology and neuroscience textbooks devote a single paragraph or an appendix to consciousness. Simultaneously absent from undergraduate education are opportunities for students to practice teaching skills. Our course, Consciousness and Mind (PSYC 499), was designed to address these inadequacies. The course was designed and taught by an undergraduate student at Ohio Wesleyan University and supervised by the Director of the Neuroscience program. The class met once a week for a three hour block period, which required active engagement to keep students interested and motivated. Several novel class activities were designed to hold student attention and offer a checkpoint for the student-instructor to assess the strength of the preceding lecture. These activities included varied group discussions, an animal-mind debate, a movie screening, and a final presentation. The course received positive feedback from all who participated. Although the once-a-week class period offered a manageable workload for the student-instructor, more frequent meetings would have strengthened the interaction with the material. With preparation, motivated students, and frequent feedback from a seasoned professional, a student-instructed course can be a rewarding experience for all involved.
Yates, Jennifer and Kronemer, Sharif, "An Undergraduate Taught Course on Consciousness and Mind" (2012). Psychology Faculty Work. 35.
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