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Paths to Knowledge

Each Paths to Knowledge (Paths) course is unique, asking students to consider different interdisciplinary topics from many angles.

This course is required for anyone who is fulfilling their General Education requirements using Honors courses for the Honors Track of the Drake Curriculum. The Paths course is designed to help you reflect upon your interdisciplinary courses of the past and prepare you to make the most out of your interdisciplinary studies in the future. The foci of sections of Paths to Knowledge differ depending upon the Honors faculty teaching. The lab must be taken with the same instructor(s) who is/are teaching the course.

Spring 2021 HONR 100: Paths to Knowledge courses will address:

Education and Schooling: Why Bother?
Matthew Hayden

What is “education”? What is “schooling”, and what’s the difference? Why do we do either?  To what extent do education or schooling help us understand the world? To what extent do they limit our understanding of the world? When is education or schooling helpful or unhelpful? Both are assumed to necessary to life, but are they? This course will attempt to answer these, and other, questions about education and schooling, which constitute the perceived dominant method of knowledge transmission and discovery in the contemporary world. Through the disciplinary lenses of Philosophy, Economics, and Sociology, students will explore the origins, key characteristics, and applications of education and schooling. Students will learn more about their own philosophy and ideology of education and learn to deconstruct complex issues surrounding this vital domain of contemporary life through interdisciplinary thinking.  


Melisa Klimaszewski

Detroit, Michigan. Motown. The Motor City. Cars, toughness, hummus, music, Black culture, labor unions, and sometimes violence spring to mind when one hears “Detroit.” In the popular imagination of the United States, Detroit has a powerful presence that teaches us about American identity, race relations, labor relations, violence, and cultural richness. Studying a single American city also affords us the opportunity to consider how we learn: what questions do we need to ask to move toward a comprehensive understanding of this iconic city? What happens to our understanding of social space when we study a city from afar? In this Paths to Knowledge course, students will collaboratively draw upon works in multiple disciplines and genres (cultural history, fictional literature, news coverage, music and music videos, films, scholarly articles, discussions of art history) to develop final projects on what they have learned about the city of Detroit. Readings will include The Turner House and Middlesex as well as selections from Arab Detroit 9/11, The Dawn of Detroit, and The World According to Fannie Davis. Films will include Standing in the Shadows of Motown and Detroit. All students will be required to listen to copious amounts of Stevie Wonder. 


Higher Education
Jennifer McCrickerd

What is this institution of higher education? How did it come to be? How does the system work (to the extent that it does)? What is its relationship to society more generally? What is and should be the purpose of higher ed? How should it change? And what might it look like in the future? To make progress in answering these questions, we read history, sociology, politics, philosophy, economics, and fiction to better understand this thing we are all participating in.


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