Posts Tagged “Map of the Modern World”
This week, Vox wanted to give the Class of 2014 a sneak peek into each of Georgetown University’s four schools. Today we examine the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service.
A strong core builds a strong degree, so they say
With a heavy load of core requirements, a hefty portion of the first two years of your SFS education will be dedicated to courses you have to take, meaning you’ll still be stuck in Comparative Political Systems while your friends in the College are taking drawing classes.
One of those classes is the proseminar. Freshmen SFS students takes this class—usually taught by a top professor—in the fall of their freshman years to help improve their writing and analytical skills.
Overall, the core consists of two classes in the government department (international relations and comparative political systems), three in the history department (one introductory course and two regional histories), and proficiency in a modern foreign language. And Vox gives our sincerest apologies to those of you who have spent countless years studying Latin—it counts for nothing in the SFS.
Perhaps to weed out those who don’t have strong enough constitutions for a degree from the SFS, all SFS students also are required to take four—yes, four—economics courses, including microeconomic principles and international finance.
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Farewell Address from Former Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski
President Kwasniewski is leaving Georgetown at the end of this semester, completing his time as a Distinguished Scholar in the Practice of Global Leadership. On Thursday, April 29, he will be speaking in the Fisher Colloquim in the Hariri Building. President Kwasniewski will talk about the future of Poland and the rest of East/Central Europe in light of tragedy of April 10. A reception—free food!—will follow the speech. The event requires an RSVP.
Are you smarter than people being paid to teach you?
The SFS Academic Council will be hosting a quiz show to help freshmen in Map of the Modern World prep for their final exam on Tuesday at 6 p.m. in ICC 104. Student teams will be pitted against their professors and deans in a match that will either embarrass Georgetown’s finest minds or scare some freshmen into an all-night cram session. Deans Bryan Kasper and Maura Gregory and economics professor Robert Cumby will compete, along with others. Prizes will be gift certificates to the Tombs, Saxby’s, Bangkok Bistro, and more. If you’re a student who thinks they are smarter than their professors (when it comes to Map), e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to see if spots are still available on the team. And if you’re not a freshman, don’t forget to check what has changed from the old Map regime before signing up.
Georgetown students like art too!
Eleven seniors with a concentration in the visual arts will be displaying their artwork off in an exhibit running from April 28 to May 21 in the Spagnuolo Gallery. The exhibit will have officially kick off on Wednesday from 6 to 7 p.m., with a reception—more free food!—at the gallery.
Toqueville Forum will be holding its Third Annual Reverend James V. Schall Award Ceremony on Thursday evening at 6 p.m. in the ICC Auditorium. This year’s recipient is Dr. George Carey of the Government Department. Professor Carey will also be giving a lecture on the “Constitutional Morality and the Crisis of Our Time.” He joins professors Leon Kass and Ralph McInerny as prize recipients. The event requires registration, so e-mail email@example.com and let them know you’re coming.
Photo from Flickr user Institute for Human Sciences used under a Creative Commons license
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When the School of Foreign Service decided to change the Map of the Modern World curriculum and replace professor Keith Hrebenak with former SFS-Qatar Dean James Reardon-Anderson, SFSers weren’t too happy about it. The SFS Academic Council heard the protests and decided to investigate the changes.
According to SFSAC member and principle investigator Josh Mogil (SFS ’11), the group did a thorough study of the new and old versions of the class and reviewed “hundreds” of comments from alumni, students and professors. The report they issued concluded that, “In a school as demanding as the SFS, students must be introduced to a multidisciplinary worldview about all of the forces shaping the world around us. Anything less will not effectively support students in their studies.”
Chief among the SFSAC’s recommendations was to restore the original curriculum:
Our first proposal is to reinstate the former Map Program with its curriculum intact until such time that a new program can be further developed and carefully reviewed. After carefully analyzing the proposed curriculum for the suggested Spring 2010 course, we feel it is too limited in scope (the role of physical geography) and does not adequately serve as a replacement for the original Map Program.
We also feel that the passing rate (65 students compared to the previous 3 students) from the exemption exam demonstrates that this class will be easily passed by many in the SFS and will not contribute to new learning.
When the SFS School Council met last week to review the SFSAC’s report, they did not agree to the curriculum reversal. They did, however, accept the SFSAC’s recommendation to create a panel to review the new version of the class and “possibly integrate some of the elements who’s removal was previously suggested,” according to Mogil. The SFSAC will also advise Reardon-Anderson on the selection of a group of students to “review and oversee” the class this spring.
Mogil writes in an e-mail:
We are glad that we were able to effectively represent the masses of students protesting the initial curriculum change, and the process of that change. We hope that in the future, the SFS administration will be open to discussions and reviews before it makes an important alteration in the education of its students.
Check out the SFSAC’s full report after the jump!
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When it was revealed last week that the School of Foreign Service standby, Map of the Modern World, was undergoing a curriculum revitalization and getting a new professor, students and alumni were quick to voice their outrage.
A Facebook group, “Take Back Map of the Modern World,” quickly cropped up, and its membership has skyrocketed to nearly 700.
While Facebook groups are all well and good, the administrators of the group realize the real key to effecting change is putting pressure on administrators. To that end, in the group’s leaders encourage members to e-mail the Dean of the SFS, Carol Lancaster, and other administrators:
Nothing demonstrates opposition like a letter. If every person in this Facebook group took the time to write one, we would get what we want. It doesn’t have to be too long if you are pressed for time. The most important thing is the number of people writing to express their opinion. It takes 2 seconds to join a Facebook group, but it takes effort to express your opinion in a letter.
Unfortunately, their encouragements haven’t proved too effective yet. When asked how many letters and e-mails she has received about the Map changes, Lancaster wrote in an e-mail this Monday that she has only received 20 complaints so far.
That’s no way to make sure SFSers of the future have to learn about Vanuatu and Kyrgyzstan!
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Bring back the old Map!
As we reported yesterday, the School of Foreign Service institution, Map of the Modern World, is undergoing major changes this year. Turns out SFSers aren’t taking too kindly to the alterations.
They’ve started a Facebook group in protest, “Take Back Map of the Modern World.” The group currently has 392 members, including SFS Academic Council Representative Josh Mogil (SFS ’11) and former Map TA Helen Burdett (SFS ’11).
The group’s description explains their grievances:
Just because Dean Reardon-Anderson wants to take over the course, it doesn’t the course material should change … Map of the Modern World is a pillar of the SFS, and we urge the new Dean to reconsider his changes, not to the class called Map, but to that SFS institution called Map.
Keep Map and its cherished contents intact. Some additions to the course are always warranted, as there have been new developments occuring all the time. That isn’t the same as gutting the course. It’s just one of those binding forces that brings all of us in the SFS together
The group encourages members to invite all their friends in the SFS so that the deans will understand that students don’t support the “watering down” of Map.
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All you will need to know to pass the new Map of the Modern World course
Map of the Modern World, the School of Foreign Service rite of passage, is undergoing significant curricular changes and getting a new instructor this year, as The Hoya first reported yesterday. Instead of the surly and demanding Professor Keith Hrebenak, the course will now be taught by former SFS-Qatar Dean James Reardon-Anderson.
So how will the class be changing? According to an email from Reardon-Anderson:
The course content has been modified to provide a greater emphasis on physical geography (what is sometimes called “environment”) and to demonstrate how physical geography has influenced large scale human behavior (what is sometimes called “international affairs”) …
The content of the exam will be modified to reflect the new course content. Therefore, there will be more emphasis on physical geography and its influences and less on topics that were the focus of the previous version of this course [such as political boundaries, colonial legacies and border disputes].
Reardon-Anderson wrote that the change is “partly” related to the effort to add science to the SFS core curriculum.
According to the syllabus Reardon-Anderson used when he taught the course in Doha (posted in full after the jump), four of the 14 lectures will be devoted to science topics like “The Atmosphere,” “Plate Tectonics” and “Global Climate Change.” The other 10 lectures will be devoted to specific regions. The course will include lectures on North America and Europe, regions that were previously not covered. The class will maintain the 100 multiple choice question final exam.
When asked if Hrebenak wanted to stop teaching the course, Reardon-Anderson replied, “I will let him speak for himself concerning his interests in teaching.” Hrebenak has not yet replied to requests for comment. Reardon-Anderson did say he would continue to teach other courses at Georgetown, though.
Check out the full syllabus for the revamped course after the jump!
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We at Vox wade through the web 2.0 morass and pick out the top 5 Georgetown tweets of the week. Wanna be considered? Start following GtownVoxPop on Twitter and, if you’re connected to Georgetown, we’ll return the favor and you’ll automatically be in the running for your own 15-seconds of internet micro-micro-fame!
Julie Alcarez discovered that finals bring out the nerd in all of us.
Jack Stuef judged then embraced our Swine Flu-infected GW peers.
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