Okay, so you totally have the opportunity of a life time here. Imagine that you are a professor at a top notch university, and you are given the chance to create a brand new *awesome* *creative* course to be offered. YOu have complete control over the course topic as well as how the curriculum will be presented. What *new* *awesome* *inspiring* course would you create & why?
How about a course in doing whatever you want? To put it a little more elegantly you could call it something like “pursuing your passion” etc.
I know it sounds silly and trivial at first, but think about it. I think that many of the “straight-A student” types would find such a class to be highly challenging, while many people who are not such “academic” types would find it easy. Oh, how I love to turn the tables!
A course like that might actually stand a chance at giving you some real-world skills!
(As opposed to the traditional function of formal education, which is to temporarily memorize information of dubious relevance to anything else outside the classroom)
Ethical Solutions! Ideally, it would be a class within specific majors, allowing us to really hone in on solutions for particular areas of study. In the first class, we’d come up with a list of overarching problems, then narrow it down to a few main themes (carbon emissions, waste, water use, etc.). Every other week, students would prepare to discuss one of the themes, tackling problems and solutions as a group. On the off weeks, we would watch a related documentary, discussing and writing about it. At the end, each student would come up with a personal proposal for an ethical company within his/her field.
Such a thing (or a similar thing) probably already exists, but I could see myself having the most fun teaching this class. :)
My strengths are in observation of human behavioural psychology and its relationship with power dynamics; as humans we are driven by a variety of motives, from circumstances and ambition to impulses like fear, desire or anger, and even ideology, reason and observation, all these things can feed off each other in erratic ways, creating a mess of irrational behaviours, or we can learn to discipline impulses and keep knowledge in perspective as a tool in our service, to prioritise according to relevance.
The nature of power is like a drug, it grants us an illusion of control that serves as enticingly comfortable to our psyche, and often on the material level also, but in reality as a drug it is we who are subject to it. It has no intent, no more than a cup of coffee or a cigarette, but just like if you take the nicest person and get them hooked on meth they will begin to behave in ways contrary to their nature.
But also the way the powerful use techniques to appeal to our weaknesses in order to have us serve their agenda, the lure of desires like money or pleasures, incitement of fear, provocation of anger or even a noble principle like Faith, duty, morality, patriotism, justice, all serve to drive us to action they have prescribed in their favour. These noble principles can exist without an agenda behind them but it is important to recognise when they are being exploited as a manipulation device.
So this is the kind of class I would design if I could, these are just a very generalised outline of the topics, there would be a lot of chewy chunks the deeper we go into it.