LSTD 4243: Road Trip of the Mind
“What you will learn can change your life.”
Bold words grace the introduction to the Road Trip of the Mind, but those who have taken the class would be able to attest to why. As one of the College of Liberal Studies’ many efforts to encourage critical thinking, Road Trip of the Mind is a course about exploration. At the heart of its curriculum is the importance of discovering who you are, reflecting on your beliefs and exploring the world around us. This class gives everyone a chance to explore different topic areas, and to go deep into the heart of important concepts and current issues.
This class is cool because it’s a personal experience that encourages students to let themselves go and explore the inner reaches of their own mind. With customizable course content, the class allows students to dig into the heart of things that they find fascinating. It encourages them to connect the material to their own lives and explore what it means to them now and potentially in the future.
This course has as its primary objective the development of an understanding of various points of view in the global community, with an end to developing writing skills, enhancing creative problem-solving abilities, improving an understanding of cultural diversity and enhancing one’s awareness of how values and perspectives manifest themselves and evolve over time. With a focus on the global community, this class looks at the ways that images, narratives and various types of cultural cues can contribute to the “managing” of meaning. It critically analyzes propaganda, films and advertisements as examples, showing some of the many forms this influence can take. It challenges the student to maintain a mindset of openness and to continually think, process and enjoy exploring new perspectives.
“I hope that students take away a re-invigorated sense of self and exploration, and that they have a renewed sense of passion for the things that they care about,” said Susan Nash, the subject matter expert for the course. “I also hope they take away multiple ways to look at the world, and to explore new things.”
At the end of the course, students will have had several opportunities to examine perspectives that may be very different from their own “framework.” They will also have analyzed the process by which conclusions were reached and knowledge generated. Students leave the class with polished writing skills and creative problem-solving abilities, as well as a heightened awareness of how their values and perspectives shape the way they experience the world.
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