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What do teachers teach? English 2 Course Descriptions

Every instructor chooses specific topics for discussion in English 2; scroll down and discover what topics teachers teach.

Not all instructors teach every semester; check the "Schedule of Classes" first to identify who is teaching that semester, then read the course description here.

Alancraig M.- "Issues in the Biological Sciences"

In this class, you’ll explore cutting-edge research on whales, primates and elephants and the human brain as you think critically about the study of biology and other sciences.  Do whales have a language and culture?  Can elephants communicate over distances?  Do emotions have a cellular component?  What qualities and ethics are required to succeed as a scientist today?  In addition to being inter-disciplinary, this class is experiential and hands-on; we will attempt put into practice some of the current findings on the neuroscience of learning.  Be prepared to act as a teacher as well as a student: you’ll be instructing classmates about some of our readings and will make presentations on your research.  Of course, since this is a writing class, much of your responses to the assigned readings and class activities will be through the written word.  You’ll be asked to examine new ideas, looking for hidden assumptions, subtexts, and inferences in what we read.

Bañales V.- "Composition and Critical Thinking"- Multi-Cultural Section

The United States is the world’s leader in prisons, and according to recent statistics, approximately 2.3 million people in the U.S. are incarcerated today.  In fact, our incarceration rates exceed those of China or Russia (Alexander 6), and since 1975, there has been a 500% increase in prisons (“The Sentencing Project”).  Some say the prison increase is due to higher crime rates in the U.S.; however, others see the prison boom as lucrative business and/or as a highly strategized racist and classist political maneuver to maintain social control and lock away “undesirables.” 

In this class we will critically think, read, and write essays that deal with our prison system and other relevant issues pertaining to criminal justice.  Students will read and analyze historical, sociological, and theoretical essays written by experts in the field.  In addition, we will read real-life testimonials by current and/or former prisoners whose narratives tell of the events that lead up to their incarceration, their navigation through the labyrinthine legal system, their experiences behind bars, and sometimes their surprising stories of freedom and redemption.  To conclude, we will read a full-length text—based on a true story—chronicling a writer’s experiences working with high-risk youth offenders at a Southern California juvenile detention center and featuring creative writings by the youth.

Bass J.- "Composition and Critical Thinking"

Develops writing and reading skills for logical reasoning and argumentation; satisfies the IGETC & CSU critical thinking requirements. Students write a minimum of 6,000 words.

Bummer A.- "Composition and Critical Thinking"

Develops writing and reading skills for logical reasoning and argumentation; satisfies the IGETC & CSU critical thinking requirements. Students write a minimum of 6,000 words.

Chaffin C.- "Ethics, Autobiography, & Critical Thought"

In this course students read and engage a number of critical essays and a memoir in which writers make certain ethical arguments for socio-political change and human rights. In the early part of the course we will study forms of argumentation and rhetorical analysis as we look at current issues. Then we will read autobiographical essays and a memoir. To this end, students explore the linkages between critical thought and personal narrative. We’ll observe the close ties that creative and critical thinking share, and analyze how writers build convincing, thoughtful, rational, and even poetic arguments in merging personal experience and social critique. Students post to online discussions, write paper proposals, and compose three critical essays a final research paper.

Christianson J.- "Composition and Critical Thinking"

This class features material that demands close critical reading, is both challenging and accessible, with intended pleasure in the experience as well. A variety of literary genres will be offered—fiction, autobiography, poetry, and scholarly essays. The goal will be to strengthen and hone appreciation of a given source, the depth and complexity of what it can yield, and thereby sharpen critical thinking skills in the process. This operation will run concurrent with the Writing phase of the course: various short response papers, and several primary essays distributed through the term. Students will be asked to show command of logical, persuasive argument; precise, deferential fluency to what the authors themselves are saying; and develop sound interpretive slants of their own, supported by reasoned inquiry grounded in textual “evidence”—with Elements of Style, the basic “mechanics” and refinements of good prose, also prioritized.

Cowan K.- "Composition and Critical Thinking"

Develops writing and reading skills for logical reasoning and argumentation; satisfies the IGETC & CSU critical thinking requirements. Students write a minimum of 6,000 words.

De Guevara T.- "Composition and Critical Thinking"

Develops writing and reading skills for logical reasoning and argumentation; satisfies the IGETC & CSU critical thinking requirements. Students write a minimum of 6,000 words.

Fields R.- "Composition and Critical Thinking"

Develops writing and reading skills for logical reasoning and argumentation; satisfies the IGETC & CSU critical thinking requirements. Students write a minimum of 6,000 words.

Founds K.- "Civil Liberties in America:  It Gets Better . . . or Does it?"

In this class, we will critically examine the state of civil liberties in our society. Have we reached the promised land of racial justice? Are we living at the end of the gender equality rainbow?  In Unit I, the documentary Eyes on the Prize will illuminate this historical African-American freedom struggle. The New Jim Crow: Mass incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness will challenge our nation’s narrative of racial progress.  In Unit II, students will read Latino literature banned in Tucson schools and analyze why the books were perceived as a threat. In Unit III, students will read The Laramie Project and conduct interviews to determine the likelihood of hate crime within their own communities. In Unit IV, the PBS documentary Makers will introduce students to the history of feminism. Students will develop a definition of feminism, then interview a local feminist.

Jonker K.- "Composition and Critical Thinking"

Develops writing and reading skills for logical reasoning and argumentation; satisfies the IGETC & CSU critical thinking requirements. Students write a minimum of 6,000 words.

Lau D.- "Politics and Aesthetics"

In this “critical thinking” class, we will explore some classic debates on the status of human nature, as well as the power and political consequences of modern industrial development.  We will also consider the roll of artistic representation in this unfolding story of the modern political world—specifically the forms of poetry and cinema.  To this end we will write and revise 4 distinct papers, emphasizing interpretative techniques including argumentative analysis, explication of quotations as evidence, and broad synthetic interpretation of poetry and film respectively—we will take one midterm examination and one final examination.

Leal J.-"Rethinking the Semiotics of Globalization"

This course emphasizes the application of critical thinking and writing skills to the study of semiotics in contemporary culture.  In this course, students read short essays, poetry, song lyrics, and view visual texts (such as DVDs, graphic art, Youtube clips, and film) as a means to deconstruct the complex representations of life.  What is “reality” v. “the representation of reality?”  And what’s at stake when we unthinkingly accept images and propaganda that is infused with power?  What do images say about our world when read them as symbol, myth, or metaphor?  As students examine the popular and intellectual social frameworks that produce the complex articulations of culture, we will pay special attention to the language and writing strategy of individual authors.  This will in turn allow us to formulate a critique of advertisings in commercial culture and the complex representations they engender.  Students are encouraged to rethink dominate paradigms of race, gender, class, sex, religion, neoliberal economics, and globalization in both writing assignments and in-class discussions.  This course is designed specifically for students interested in building a community of writers and thinkers.   At the end of the semester, students will be asked to show total competence in college level research and writing abilities.  Welcome!

Marshall T.--"Critical Thinking about Films with Historical Perspective"

This course will strengthen your skills for critical thinking and the presentation of it in college and beyond. We will achieve this through reading intellectually respectable texts like Russell Banks’ Dreaming Up America, viewing films and discussing them, doing research on historical topics related to those texts and films as a basis for oral presentations. You will then write academic-style essays on topics that combine the presentation material with critical thinking about it and the films. We use Rules for Writers to supplement this work with study of logic and research as well as documentation and style.

McGuire J.- "Composition and Critical Thinking"

Develops writing and reading skills for logical reasoning and argumentation; satisfies the IGETC & CSU critical thinking requirements. Students write a minimum of 6,000 words.

Dr. Omosupe E.--Multicultural Section--“Emphasis on Race, Class, Gender & Sexuality”

English 2MC Critical Thinking: Race, Class, Gender in the United States” interrogates the categories of race, class, sex, gender, and sexual orientation.  Through our analyses we will begin to understand more clearly the historical relationships between race, class, sexual orientation, and gender. We will begin to see and understand how discrimination is hiding in plain sight because it is codified in law, reified in national myths; institutionalized and organizational. We will review literature and video that offers both subjective and more comprehensive (objective) perspectives on the historical, political and interpersonal experiences of Latinos, African Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans, European Americans, disabled, the working class, gays, transgender, and bisexual people. 

Paden C.- "Composition and Critical Thinking"

English II is a required course at most college and universities throughout the USA.  It is designed to give students practice in composition, literature, and thinking processes in order to prepare them for writing assignments in other classes.  English II offers opportunities in analytical writing begun in English 1A;  introduction to poetry, drama and fiction, with writings and discussions that develop critical and analytical skills.

English II is a rigorous class.  It requires six hours of homework a week and 8000 words of writing with an emphasis on clarity and accuracy.  Those students who are already carrying a heavy load,  I encourage great time management; the pace of the class is fast. 

Our class covers eight movements in African American Literature.  They are “Reconstruction and American Literature, Urban and Rural Literary Traditions, Harlem Renaissance, Realism Naturalism and Modernism, Continuation of the Oral Tradition, Black Arts Movement, Contemporary African American fiction, Black films and Black Women Writers.  Our first themes are, The Reconstruction Era and Urban and Rural Literary Traditions and Harlem Renaissance.”  All require critical reading and analytical writings as well as some short narrative assignments.  The next theme is twofold: Realism Naturalism and Modernism including a Continuation of the Oral Tradition.  We then, turn our attention to the Arts and Contemporary African American fiction.  And our final shift entails both African American film and Women Writers.  Additionally, member of our learning community participates in individual student led and small group joint productive activities and class discussion.  You will present your own ideas and arguments, learning to limit, organize and refine your work exploring author’s of the Americans as expressed by African Americans.

Putnam D.-"Composition and Critical Thinking"

From UFOs to JFK, Americans love a conspiracy. In this class, students will examine critical thinking strategies employed by conspiracy theorists and skeptics alike, particularly in government and corporate contexts. Students will read about specific cases (federally-sponsored medical conspiracies and financial-sector manipulations) in various texts, including two books: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and The Smartest Guys in the Room. Students will write analysis papers on these topics and a research essay about an American conspiracy of their choice.

Raney B.-"Composition and Critical Thinking"

Everything in English 2 relates to the title of the textbook, Everything’s an Argument. The class is divided into various units of related readings and writing.  We begin reading and discussing 700 years of ideas about a utopia and end that unit with the dystopian novel, Brave New World. The next unit is based on romantic and classicist perspectives. We end reading various pieces about social responsibility including the novel, Chronicle of a Death Foretold. In essay writing, we practice various types of support for an argument, various kinds of types of arguments, logic, and various types of sources. The over-arching assignment running throughout the semester is a position paper in which the student argues his/her position on a topic of his/her own choosing.

Roberts N.- "Composition and Critical Thinking"

Develops writing and reading skills for logical reasoning and argumentation; satisfies the IGETC & CSU critical thinking requirements. Students write a minimum of 6,000 words.

Rushworth S.- "Composition and Critical Thinking"

Develops writing and reading skills for logical reasoning and argumentation; satisfies the IGETC & CSU critical thinking requirements. Students write a minimum of 6,000 words.

Sander B.-“Let’s Think Now”

What do you think?  Why do you think that?  What errors might you make in thinking? Let’s explore our minds while we develop our writing. This course in analytical reading and expository writing will help you develop skills in critical thinking and composition.  You will learn to advocate your own ideas and to analyze and evaluate the arguments of others.  You will be asked to write 5 essays which demonstrate your ability to produce clear, coherent, and effective arguments.  This class will provide you with various opportunities to work not only independently but also collaboratively to explore various analytical tasks through assigned readings and class exercises. 

Scott-Curtis L.- "Composition and Critical Thinking"

Develops writing and reading skills for logical reasoning and argumentation; satisfies the IGETC & CSU critical thinking requirements. Students write a minimum of 6,000 words.

Sheftman D.- "Composition and Critical Thinking"

Develops writing and reading skills for logical reasoning and argumentation; satisfies the IGETC & CSU critical thinking requirements. Students write a minimum of 6,000 words. 

Wheeler E.--“Digital Geography: Navigating Our Mobile High-Tech World”

Western society is inundated and consumed by information, most of which is transmitted to us via technology: not just television and the Internet, but also mobile devices, from laptops to tablets to smart phones.
What effects are all of these media having on our society?  More and more information, instant accessibility, 24/7 availability; beeping, flashing, buzzing toys accompanying us everywhere; “friends” and “followers” and “profiles” from a variety of online networks, following us everywhere we go.  How do we process it all?  How do we respond and react?  And is “multi-tasking” really possible?
Through our reading and writing assignments this semester, we will explore the various effects these types of media are having on us in many ways: our human relationships, the way we process and retain information, and the way we learn and communicate new knowledge.  We will write a series of research-based essays on related topics, review themes in PBS’s excellent documentary, Digital Nation, and read works by experts in the field like Neil Postman and Sherry Turkle.

Woolsey K.--"English 2: Do Robots Have Rights?"

The idea of creating artificial “people” goes back thousands of years – to Jewish folklore, to Greek mythology, to ancient China.  In movies and stories these artificial humans live among us, doing our work.  We made them, we depend on them, but much of our art reflects a deep fear that they will turn on us.  In this class we’ll look at fiction and film that expresses that ambivalent relationship between humans and artificial life forms, from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein to RoboCop.  Do artificial life forms have rights?  Why do they make us so uncomfortable?  How do we treat the “people” we’ve created to do our dirty work?  How do we define “human,” anyhow?  We’ll look at these texts and questions through a critical-thinking lens, using this extended case study as a means to focus in, to pick apart our texts, and to strengthen our writing and argumentation.  No prior experience with robots required.

 

 

 

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