Religious studies

Religious studies
assignment you will fundamentally redesign a U.Va. course you have taken or are taking so that it is intrinsically contemplative. In doing so, you have to engage the intellectual content of the course creatively – not just add some contemplative practices in a generic way that have nothing particular to do with the content of the course. Remember to think broadly about “contemplation” – it isn’t just the Buddhist practices or their direct secular adaptations. Note: this assignment can be longer than the required word-count, up to 2000 words.
Your redesign should include:
A syllabus with a 14 week calendar (2-4 pages)
Course description
Reading assignments
Project and exam assignments
A contemplative practice schedule (if applicable)
Discussion sections (if applicable)
Lab sections (if applicable)
Explanation of the learning goals for the course
A critical and analytical reflection of your own (approx. 2 pages), that includes:
Some of the perceived shortcomings of the typical university learning environment (course structure, materials, classroom environment, teaching practices/styles, etc).
Summarize the specific modifications that you made to the course.
An analysis of the specific ways that these shortcomings are addressed by the added contemplative elements.
Some helpful guidelines:
As for the format of your paper, you are required to present a syllabus, calendar, readings and assignments, which should take the form of a standard 2-4 page class syllabus/calendar. The analysis section (approx. 2 pages, double spaced) should be written in the format of an essay with sentences and paragraphs, presenting clear explanations and arguments.
In general, the most important thing is that you make the overall gist of the course contemplative, i.e. that you really transform the course in a way that it becomes contemplative and different from before, and that you present it and argue for it clearly and well. Creativity is valued, as well as thinking deeply what it means to be contemplative. For example, instead of listing a long litany of readings, it is better to list just some readings and explain clearly how the readings function in the overall contemplative agenda of your course.
You have the freedom to change anything you want in the course that you are redesigning, and we expect you to make substantial changes. If you don’t, you should convince the reader why you didn’t, and how it fits your vision of the contemplative course.

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