Leading a Social Movement Unit

This semester students in our class working in leadership teams will select, research, develop and lead two week intensive investigations of specific social movements and teaching of their literature.

Your goal is to prepare other members of the seminar to be able to teach a unit on the literature of the social movement you have selected, and to have seminar members prepare a porfolio of resources, teaching ideas, and teaching materials that can be made available online to teachers who might like to use them.

During those two week of the class your group will have responsibity for assigning reading and writing and leading seminar meetings. Obviously, doing the research, planning, and teaching will be a substantial, collaborative, and exciting undertaking.

During each unit I think the seminar should learn: 1) Some history and analysis of the the movement, why and how did people join, what strategies did they use; 2) Read literature of the movement; and, 3) Consider how to teach about the movement and develop some teaching materials and resources.

Hold high expectations and ask us to do significant reading and writing.

It is completely appropriate to ask seminar members to purchase books and do significant reading online. I think paper is usually better to read; we can copy articles.

When it comes to writing, members of the seminar have much expertise and a range of backgrounds and intersts. Try to draw on those. I am intrigued by the advances in generative AI and am experimenting in my teaching with all kinds of AI writing assignments and helping students learn to use well and critically reflect on ChatGPT. AI generated texts can be played with, revised, rewritten, and can ease experimentation with less familiar genres. Of course, I require students who use an AI program to include a statement about how they used it with any assignment for credit.

I suggest that group leaders ask seminar participants to undertake three different kinds of writing:

Creative - students try their hand at creating literature that could have been used, or could be used, by the movement.

Analytical - analyze how movement literature works.

Pedagogial - create materials for teaching.

Students in the seminar that are not leading but are doing the reading and writing that you assign, and, of course contributing to the discussions, will have their work counted by me as part of their "class participation grade."

At the end of the weeks you teach you will write a self-evaluation of how the unit was organized, how you contributed to and led the unit, and give yourself a grade for unit leadership. (If I am uncomfortable with the grade you propose I will talk with you about it.

Created by: allen.webb@wmich.edu
Revised Date: 1/24