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HomeCo-op Field Experience Courses – Spring 2021

Co-op Field Experience Courses – Spring 2021

Co-op Field Experience I: Creative Placemaking (Luisa Bieri)

Co-op Field Experience I: Democratic Education (Beth Bridgeman)

Co-op Field Experience I: Work-Being (Writing Subject/Object) (Brooke Bryan)

Co-op Field Experience I: Community Action (Richard Kraince)

Co-op Field Experience III: Phenomenology of Place (Brooke Bryan)

Co-op Field Experience I (COOP 245) – First-time co-op students, please register for one of the sections below:

This integrated course is intended to promote students’ understanding of social engagement as lived experience as it involves them in deep collaboration with co-op partners and mentors in a variety of locations. It is intended to help students balance real-world engagement with reflection as a central component of integrative learning. These courses frame experiential learning as co-constructed processes that is realized by cultivating the habits of thinking, writing, and engaging in forms of creative expression while immersed in serious experiential activity.

The various sections of this course introduce students to dynamic tools for self-expression and lead them to embrace a medium to communicate their experiences, reflections, and ideas. Students are encouraged to make connections between their immediate experiences and prior learning, while also developing new practices, setting goals that connect them more deeply with communities of practice, and identifying self-defined pathways toward their life aims.

COOP 245 Sections:

COOP 245-01 – Co-op Field Experience I: Creative Placemaking (Luisa Bieri)

Through this course, students will engage in the practice of creative placemaking as a method of experiential, place-based learning. Students will consider their relationship to their creative practice, the workplace, and the communities in which their practice is located to deepen their understanding and connection to their surroundings—from neighbors and social networks to lived histories and the natural world. Students will learn cultural asset mapping skills, enhance their understanding of public art, and further develop public-facing communication skills while reflecting on life aims. Students will also have the opportunity to cultivate their own arts practice in various methods and mediums including performance, media arts, installation, drawing, painting, photography, creative writing, culinary arts, design, or arts activism, among others.

COOP 245-02 – Co-op Field Experience I: Democratic Education (Beth Bridgeman)

This course frames experiential learning as a co-constructed process that is realized through the promotion of student agency and the facilitation of engaged dialogue. It is based on best practices in democratic education, whereby students are not passive recipients of knowledge but rather active co-constructors of their own learning. With the understanding that each of us learn in best in different ways, the course provides opportunity for students to co-construct their goals, action steps, deliverables, and signature assignment. Throughout the course, students integrate the fieldwork component of the Cooperative Education experience with intentional forms of reflection. Course assignments open the door for explorations of some of the big questions around not only what students want to do but who they want to be, how they want to live, and how they want to relate to their communities.

COOP 245-03 – Co-op Field Experience I: Work-Being (Writing Subject/Object) (Brooke Bryan)

This section is an introductory survey of the philosophy of experience. We will consider our lived co-op experience as ‘text’ while engaging the history of ideas around work, labor, desire, appropriation, and emancipation. Reading a wide range of excerpts— from Aristotle on praxis and poiesis, to Marx on labor and alienation, to Studs Terkel’s interviews with waitresses in his classic Working— this class aims to develop a sensibility about what it means to be a self-determining actor who negotiates and co-constitutes a world with others. This class will have opportunities for synchronous video chats, and is appropriate for students interested in the philosophy of work or developing a critical lens on work and labor relevant for further area studies in the humanities and humanistic social sciences. Assignments can include discussions, brief creative nonfiction writings, and/or multimedia vignettes.

COOP 245-04 – Co-op Field Experience I: Community Action (Richard Kraince)

Recognizing that the individualized nature of the co-op experience can be a bit lonely at times, this course section is intended to serve as a point of connectivity for co-op students in the field and a forum to support their efforts to engage with their communities. The course offers opportunities to connect across various communications platforms and encourages participants to deepen their relationships with one another, develop a sense of shared purpose, and forge pathways toward collective action. This section is appropriate for students who want to engage fully in public communications and enjoy experimenting with various social media platforms.

Co-op Field Experience III (COOP 390) – Upper-level students can choose this course or one of the COOP 245 sections

COOP 390 – Co-op Field Experience III: Phenomenology of Place (Brooke Bryan)

This course is an opportunity for students to immerse in place— the work place, your home place, your ‘third space’, and the places in between. We will view your experience while on co-op as text, working to develop a phenomenological method of perception that will help you arrive at higher-level reflections on your daily lived experience. It’s an invitation to immerse in the milieu of sights, sounds, and hyper-local sentiment around you. Assignments will focus on developing place vignettes, taking the form of short written narratives or media productions, or media productions using digital tools (map-based productions or hosted intermedia). This class will have opportunities for synchronous video chats, is appropriate for students interested in thinking about how we might become more aware of the dominant sensory tendencies of Western culture while finding ways to “see” around them through sound and other modes of sensuous experience. Excerpts from Acoustic Territories: Sound Culture and Everyday Life by Brandon LaBelle and other readers will be provided.