Recent Submissions

  • The Useful Citizen

    Kasper, Becky (The Common Good: A SUNY Plattsburgh Journal on Teaching and Learning, 2014)
  • The Paradox of Democracy and Higher Education

    Moran, Thomas (The Common Good: A SUNY Plattsburgh Journal on Teaching and Learning, 2014)
    At the heart of democracy lies a paradox. Democracy is dependent upon citizen participation, but if citizens, exercising the freedom that democracy permits, choose not to participate in the political life of the society, democracy by definition ceases to exist. That paradox confronts higher education today. The question for faculty is how to explore the foundations of civic responsibility in ways that productively acknowledge the paradoxes and the requirements of democratic life in ways that compellingly prepare our students for the civic commitments that they will need to exhibit.
  • Integrating Civic Engagement with the Online Classroom: Lessons from Tennessee State University

    Robinson, Cara (The Common Good: A SUNY Plattsburgh Journal on Teaching and Learning, 2014)
    The promotion of active citizenship and a commitment to public service while providing an environment of experiential learning and activity in traditional classrooms with traditional students can be tough enough; however, the task is exponentially more difficult in an online classroom of non-traditional students. The Urban Studies and Nonprofit Management programs at Tennessee State University (TSU) continue to explore ways in which to integrate their programmatic commitments to civic education, service learning and community engagement while understanding the changing landscape of the student body and the demand for online education. This paper reviews the challenges faced by online educators and offers potential solutions for online civic engagement and citizenship curriculum based on the experience of educators at TSU.
  • Writing for the Community: Building Better Citizens in the Professional Writing Classroom

    Devine, Julia (The Common Good: A SUNY Plattsburgh Journal on Teaching and Learning, 2014)
    In the fight for the future of the humanities, can teaching grant writing help? This article explores the relationship between civic engagement, the humanities, and the nonprofit world. I demonstrate how my grant writing class gave students not only professional grant writing experience, but also engaged them deeply in the Plattsburgh community and the wider world. I conclude that a classroom emphasizing collaborative learning and community connections makes students into better professionals and better citizens.
  • Service Learning as a Pedagogical Tool for Citizen Stewards

    Kulkarni, Tara (The Common Good: A SUNY Plattsburgh Journal on Teaching and Learning, 2014)
    Service-Learning is an effective pedagogical tool in which students apply their classroom learning to help communities in need. Six service-learning projects were conducted in an introductory environmental engineering classroom. In four of the six projects, undergraduate students worked with local K-12 school students in various projects involving Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in environmental science and engineering. This paper describes two of the projects, and some student reflections along with my notes on the experience.
  • Creating Context for Civic Engagement through the Study of Social Issues

    Bower, Janine A.; Bower, Tim (The Common Good: A SUNY Plattsburgh Journal on Teaching and Learning, 2014)
    Preparing college students as personally and socially responsible members of society is commonly reflected in institutional learning goals which incorporate outcomes for advancing the development of knowledge, values, motivation and skills related to civic engagement and the formation of civic identity. We suggest a method for providing a context for civic engagement in social sciences courses where students are introduced to skills useful for studying, understanding, and addressing issues of public concern. Students engage in a series of activities focusing on interrelated social issues, in this case food insecurity and food waste, and complete a capstone assignment in which they reflect upon their learning over the semester. A capstone writing assignment provides student the opportunity to reflect upon their experience, the qualitative results from which are used to assess attainment of learning objectives associated with civic engagement.
  • Connecting Classrooms for Collaborative Learning

    Kasniunas, Nina T. (The Common Good: A SUNY Plattsburgh Journal on Teaching and Learning, 2014)
    Teachers are increasingly engaging students through experiential learning and incorporating new technology in the classroom. In this unique collaborative project we brought together two American politics courses (one taught at a college in one region of the United States and another taught in another) via web conferencing to work on a project in which our students designed and conducted an exit poll in each geographical location. Additionally each class worked together via video conferencing to design the survey instrument and to discuss election outcomes. The data allowed for analysis of vote choice and the ways in which geography and other variables affect it. In bringing the two classes together via web conferencing we successfully introduced diversity of viewpoint from an ideological perspective which otherwise would not have existed and cultivated civic engagement.
  • Teaching Global Issues through Public Intellectuals

    Hornibrook, Jeff (The Common Good: A SUNY Plattsburgh Journal on Teaching and Learning, 2014)
    By focusing on individual writers, public intellectuals, who are both thoughtful and easily accessible—rather than reading about these broader topics in textbooks—students learn about many of the same important issues while pointing them to specific individuals who they can turn to in the newspapers and political web sites whenever political conflicts and debates arise long after they leave college.